Always Dreaming Betting Favorite Over Classic Empire for Preakness Stakes

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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.

 

Saratoga, without Justify, ready to go for 150th meet

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Triple Crown winner Justify won’t be running during the 150th meet at Saratoga Race Course, but many of the best thoroughbreds will be at the historic track for the 40-day season.

The meet features 69 stakes races worth $18.8 million in purses and opens Friday. Among those running this season will be Good Magic, Hofburg, Gronkowski, Vino Rosso, and Bravazo.

Todd Pletcher is eyeing his 13th training title in 16 years. He won last year with 40 winners, one more than Chad Brown.

Justify has returned to Del Mar in California after swelling in his left front ankle emerged two weeks ago. Trainer Bob Baffert says Justify probably will walk around the stable area the next two weeks.

The colt likely will return in the fall, the ultimate goal being the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in November.

Triple Crown winner Justify under observation at Del Mar

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DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) Triple Crown winner Justify has re-located to Del Mar where trainer Bob Baffert is keeping him under observation after swelling in his left front ankle emerged two weeks ago.

Baffert says Justify will probably just walk around the stable area for the next two weeks at the track north of San Diego. The probable scenario for the colt is a return to racing sometime in the fall with the ultimate goal being the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in November.

“Right now, we’re just looking to get him 100 percent,” Baffert said Monday. “We’re in a holding pattern. I’d love to run him again because he’s so much fun and exciting to watch. We should know more in a couple of weeks.”

Justify has won all six starts in his brief career that began this year. He has won four straight Grade 1 races, including a sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont to become horse racing’s 13th Triple Crown champion.

The colt hasn’t had a workout since the Belmont Stakes on June 9.