The 142nd Preakness Stakes will go off on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. We've now got the post positions for the second jewel in horse racing's Triple Crown, which is the shortest of the three races at 1 3/16 miles, and to no one's surprise Always Dreaming is the favorite.
Always Dreaming is the runaway favorite at 8/11 after his dominant win at the Kentucky Derby where he won by 2 3/4 lengths. On a sloppy track some wondered if Always Dreaming could handle adversity and he did that and then some. He has now won four in a row and with a win here would be under a lot of pressure going into the Belmont Stakes.
Always Dreaming will start at the No. 4 slot, which is a pretty decent slot. 13 winners have come from that post with Curlin being the latest in 2007.
Next in line is Classic Empire (3/1), Lookin At Lee (12/1), Cloud Computing (14/1) and Gunnevera (16/1). Lookin At Lee finished second at Churchill Downs while Classic Empire was fourth and Gunnevera was seventh. These horses mounted a challenge to Always Dreaming at the Kentucky Derby but faded down the final turn. Classic Empire might have had the best run of any horse in the race but he got crowded at the start and was almost knocked down by McCraken. The fact that he was able to get back to fourth by the end of the race was a stellar result. He'll need a better start this weekend, though, as there won't be as much time to catch up at the Preakness.
It's important to note that the track is supposed to be fast at Pimlico on Saturday, instead of the muddy and rainy mess that it was at Churchill Downs. Don't count out Lookin At Lee or Gunnevera, who were sired by horses that did very well in this race. Lookin At Lee's sire, Lookin At Lucky, won the 2010 Preakness, while Gunnevera's sire, Dialed In, came in fourth in 2011.
Conquest Mo Money (18/1) and Hence (20/1) are the final horses at 20/1 or better, While Conquest Mo Money didn't race the Kentucky Derby, Hence did and finished 11th. Multiplier (40/1) won his last start, which was at the Illinois Derby (G3).
Conquest Mo Money might have the best track record as he has finished first or second in all four starts, winning two non-graded races and finishing second to Hence at the Sunland Derby (G1) and second to Classic Empire at the Arkansas Derby (G1).
The longest shots are Senior Investment and Term of Art, who both come in at 50/1. Senior Investment won the Lexington (G3) in his last start while Term of Art came in seventh at the Santa Anita Derby (G1). It's surprising to even see Term of Art in this 10-horse field as he has lost all four of his starts this year.