A smaller field and the ever-present desire to see a Triple Crown winner has driven down the price on Always Dreaming, which creates value elsewhere on the odds to win the Preakness Stakes at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Always Dreaming is listed as the -125 favorite to win the Preakness, the middle and penultimate jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby-winning colt is on a four-race win streak and will get to start from the No. 4 post at Pimlico Race Course, where 13 winners have started from in the history of the race.
The field for Saturday consists of 10 horses, only half the number that ran in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago. The weather will be warmer and the track will likely be firmer than it was at a muddy Churchill Downs. Neither Always Dreaming’s mount, John Velazquez, or his trainer, Todd Pletcher, has ever won a Preakness.
The conditions and the shorter turnaround time might work in the favor of second favorite Classic Empire (+300), who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby. Classic Empire will also break from the middle of the pack in the No. 5 position.
Lookin At Lee (+1000) is the Kentucky Derby runner-up and will start from the No. 9 hole. The slightly shorter distance (one and three-16th miles vis-a-vis the Derby’s mile and one-quarter) might not allow Lookin At Lee enough time to make a push for top spot.
Cloud Computing (+1400) and Conquest Mo Money (+1800) could each have a drop in price for the Preakness Stakes closer to post time on Saturday. Cloud Computing, who will be ridden by jockey Javier Castellano, has been lightly raced. He also has the No. 2 position, which allows for drafting off another horse until the home stretch.
Conquest Mo Money, ridden by Jorge Carreno, is a speedster suited for the shorter duration of the Preakness. He has had a five-week break since his last race at the Arkansas Derby, where he was a close second behind none other than Classic Empire.
The field also includes Gunnevera (+1600), Hence (+2000), Term of Art (+3300), Senior Investment (+3300) and Multiplier (+4000). Gunnevera and Hence were seventh and 11th respectively in the Kentucky Derby, which doesn’t strike one as a harbinger of a win on Saturday.