Derby Champ Always Dreaming Heavy Favorite for Preakness Stakes

The Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming will be sent off as the heavy favorite for the Preakness Stakes (G1) next Saturday and could face as many as 10 foes in the second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown.

The Todd Pletcher trainee is currently at odds of 10-12 and if those odds hold up the colt will be the fifth consecutive favorite to go off at even money or less in the Preakness.

Favorites California Chrome ($3.00) in 2014 and American Pharoah ($3.80) in 2015 got the job done as the chalk, but last year Nyquist was the beaten favorite, Exaggerator victorious as the second choice, returning his backers $7.20.

Always Dreaming is a son of Bodemeister, who ran second in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2012 and now has won four races in a row.

His final prep for the Run for the Roses was the Florida Derby (G1), which he won by five lengths.

He earned a career top Beyer Speed Figure of 102 for his Kentucky Derby victory, giving Pletcher just his second Derby score from 48 starters covering 17 years.

Classic Empire is the second choice in early Preakness betting at 5-1. The colt had a rough trip in the Kentucky Derby in his fourth-place finish and came out of the race with a swollen eye

The colt was the Eclipse Award winner for the top juvenile in 2016, winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last fall at Santa Anita.

He came into the Kentucky Derby off a victory in the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park and was sent off as the third choice in the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby runner up Lookin At Lee will try and turn the tables in Baltimore next Saturday. The colt got a great trip riding the rail in the Kentucky Derby and rallied to finish in the runner up spot at 33-1.

The colt is the third choice in early Preakness wagering at 11-1.

Two others are coming out of the Derby and going to the Preakness – Gunnevera (12-1) who was seventh and Hence (12-1) who was 11th.

There are six newcomers to the Triple Crown scene at this time – Wood Memorial third place finisher Cloud Computing, Arkansas Derby runner up Conquest Mo Money, Illinois Derby (G3) winner Multiplier, Lexington Stakes (G3) winner Senior Investment, Term of Art, who was seventh in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), and Royal Mo, who was third in the Santa Anita Derby and failed to get in off the also-eligible list in the Kentucky Derby.

Among the new shooters, Royal Mo is the lowest price in early Preakness betting at 12-1.

Final entries and post positions for the Preakness Stakes will be drawn on Wednesday, May 17.

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