Preakness offers encouraging news for Always Dreaming

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Recent history suggests Kentucky Derby champion Always Dreaming has a good shot at winning the Preakness on Saturday.

Always Dreaming will attempt to be the fourth Kentucky Derby winner in the last six years to finish first in the Preakness. In fact, seven of the last 15 Kentucky Derby victors also went on to win the second leg of the Triple Crown two weeks later.

Here’s a rundown at how the last 15 Kentucky Derby winners fared in the Preakness. Their Preakness finish is in parentheses.

2002: War Emblem (1st)

Notes: War Emblem posted a three-quarter length victory over Magic Weisner. War Emblem went on to finish eighth in the Belmont Stakes, which was won by Sarava.

2003: Funny Cide (1st)

Notes: Funny Cide won the Preakness by 9 } lengths over Midway Road. Funny Cide finished third in the Belmont Stakes and was five lengths behind Empire Maker, which hadn’t run in the Preakness.

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2004: Smarty Jones (1st)

Notes: Smarty Jones won the Preakness by a record 11 + lengths over second-place Rock Hard Ten. Smarty Jones also led the Belmont Stakes for much of the way before getting passed late in the race and losing by a length to Birdstone.

2005: Giacomo (3rd)

Notes: Giacomo was a surprise winner of the Kentucky Derby while overcoming 50-1 odds. Giacomo got stuck with an outside post in the Preakness and finished 9 } lengths behind the favored Afleet Alex.

2006: Barbaro (Injured)

Notes: Barbaro broke down at the start of the Preakness and had a fracture above and below his right rear ankle. Barbaro was euthanized several months later due to complications from that injury. The 2006 Preakness winner was Bernardini.

2007: Street Sense (2nd)

Notes: Street Sense led the Preakness during the stretch run and appeared on the way to victory before Curlin pulled ahead on the final stride.

2008: Big Brown (1st)

Notes: Big Brown rolled to victory by 5 \ lengths over Macho Again in the Preakness before finishing last out of the nine entrants in the Belmont Stakes.

2009: Mine That Bird (2nd)

Notes: After winning the Kentucky Derby as a 50-1 long shot, Mine That Bird finished a length behind Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness. Rachel Alexandra became the first filly to win the Preakness in 85 years. Calvin Borel was the jockey for Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby and Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness.

2010: Super Saver (8th)

Notes: Super Saver headed into the Preakness as the favorite but faded and finished eighth out of 12 entrants. Lookin At Lucky won the Preakness.

2011: Animal Kingdom (2nd)

Notes: Animal Kingdom made a late charge but finished just behind Shackleford in the Preakness.

2012: I’ll Have Another (1st)

Notes: Just as he had done in the Kentucky Derby, I’ll Have Another came from behind to edge Bodemeister in the Preakness. The margins of victory were 1 + lengths in the Derby and a neck in the Preakness. I’ll Have Another was scratched from the Belmont Stakes because of a swollen tendon.

2013: Orb (4th)

Notes: Orb started on the rail and was never in contention at the Preakness, which was won by Oxbow.

2014: California Chrome (1st)

Notes: California Chrome held off a late threat from Ride On Curlin to win the second leg of the Triple Crown. California Chrome tied for fourth place in the Belmont Stakes, which was won by Tonalist.

2015: American Pharaoh (1st)

Notes: American Pharaoh won by seven lengths in the Preakness and then went on to finish first in the Belmont Stakes to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

2016: Nyquist (3rd)

Notes: Exaggerator surged down the stretch to win the Preakness by 3 + lengths. Nyquist finished third, just behind Cherry Wine.

British horse racing inspired by Formula 1 for new series

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LONDON (AP) British horse racing is drawing inspiration from motor racing for a new championship.

Twelve branded teams will compete over eight consecutive Thursdays at different race courses across Britain when “The Series” is launched by Championship Horse Racing in 2019.

The aim is for each team to feature 30 horses and four jockeys. Each of the teams will enter one horse into each of the races to create 12-runner fields.

Organizers say a Formula One-style points system will be used to determine the winners of championships for teams and jockeys.

Championship Horse Racing CEO Jeremy Wray says it’s a chance to engage fans with “bite-size, interactive content.”

The Series has been developed with the Jockey Club, which hopes to attract a new audience to horse racing.

Kanthaka wins San Vicente prep at Santa Anita

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Long shot Kanthaka won the $200,000 San Vicente Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths on Saturday at Santa Anita, giving Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer a second Kentucky Derby prospect.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, Kanthaka ran seven furlongs in 1:22.62 and paid $24.20, $7.20 and $4.80 at 11-1 odds in the field of six 3-year-olds.

Hollendorfer also trains Derby contender Instilled Regard.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Nero returned $7.80 and $5.60 at 9-1 odds. All Out Blitz, another 9-1 shot that was another 12 lengths back in third, returned $5 to show.”

Ax Man, the 2-5 favorite also trained by Baffert, was under intense early pressure from his post along the rail and faltered badly in the stretch to finish fourth.

“I would completely throw this race out,” said Drayden Van Dyke, who rode Ax Man.

Kanthaka was next-to-last midway around the far turn before cutting inside All Out Blitz a quarter mile from the finish of the Grade 2 race.

“He gave me a great run and he did everything right,” Prat said. “He broke like a bullet but then we had quite a lot of speed in front of us. So he sat really nicely behind the speed and made a really nice run around the turn.”

The victory, worth $120,000, increased Kanthaka’s career earnings to $153,440, with two wins in three starts.