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.

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.

Funtastic wins Monmouth’s United Nations Stakes in 23-1 upset

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OCEANPORT, N.J. — Funtastic led all the way in a 23-1 upset Saturday in the $300,000 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Chad Brown, the Eclipse Award winner the last two years as the nation’s leading trainer, got his third victory in the New Jersey’s biggest turf race. He won with Big Blue Kitten in 2013 and 2015.

The U.N. and the $1 million Haskell on July 29 are the two Grade 1 stakes at Monmouth.

Brown saddled four of the nine runners in the U.N. and ran 1-2 as Money Multiplier rallied to finish a half length behind Funtastic and jockey Antonio Gallardo.

The other two Brown horses were Silverwave (fifth) and Kurilov (eighth).

The time was 2:12.36 for 1 3/8 miles over the firm course.

Funtastic paid $48, $15.80 and $8.60. Money Multiplier, the 2-1 favorite, returned $4 and $2.80.

Bigger Picture, last year’s U.N. winner, was third, paying $5.80 to show.