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.

Watch the Preakness on NBC

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.

Stradivarius, 3-time Ascot Gold Cup winner, retired to stud

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LONDON – Stradivarius, one of the most famous racehorses in Britain and Ireland after winning the Gold Cup at Ascot three times, has been retired to stud.

Bjorn Nielsen, the owner of Stradivarius, said he felt it would be unfair to make the horse come back next season as a 9-year-old after time away with a bruised foot.

“It has been a fairytale from start to finish,” Nielsen told British newspaper The Racing Post.

Stradivarius, bred in Ireland and the son of Sea The Stars, won 20 of his 35 races – including seven Group One races – and earned almost 3.5 million pounds (now $3.8 million) in prize money.

Stradivarius won four Goodwood Cups, three Yorkshire Cups and two Doncaster Cups.

Taiba wins $1 million Pennsylvania Derby for Baffert

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BENSALEM, Pa. – Taiba won the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby by three lengths for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Taiba ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.67 and paid $4.80, $3 and $2.60.

It was Baffert’s fourth win in the Grade 1 event at Parx Racing. He also won in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Smith won the race for the third time, all aboard Baffert horses.

Zandon returned $3.80 and $2.60. Cyberknife was another 3 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $3 to show.

Taiba was coming off a second-place finish in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth in July. The colt was 12th in the Kentucky Derby under Tim Yakteen, who took over training him while Baffert was serving a 90-day suspension.

“He had a little bit of a rough trip in the Haskell, but we had some time to get him ready for this one,” Baffert said from his base in California. “He proved today he is a good horse. He is getting better and better.”

Baffert Taiba will be pointed toward the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. The colt has three wins in five starts this year.