The second leg of the Triple Crown is upon us, and it’s time to find out if we’ll go into the Belmont with the Triple Crown on the line.
Have a great time and cash plenty of tickets!
News About the Contenders
Baltimore Sun: Preakness notes: Classic duel overshadowed by Cloud Computing
Blood-Horse: Preakness Race Sequence
Blood-Horse: Cloud Computing Leaves Pimlico, Others Thinking Belmont
DRF: Watchmaker: Appreciate Cloud Computing’s Preakness win
DRF: Cloud Computing, Always Dreaming not Belmont definites
Blood-Horse: Haskin: Preakness: No Awaking From This Dream
Blood-Horse: Royal Mo’s Surgery Successful, Racing Career Over
Brisnet: Preakness Stakes 142 Post Position Draw Quotes
DRF: Always Dreaming fresh and eager for Preakness
DRF: Three Rules back sprinting in Chick Lang Stakes
1 3/16 miles (9.5 furlongs)
2017 Preakness Replay
2017 Preakness News & Recaps
Blood-Horse: Cloud Computing Wears Down Classic Empire in Preakness
Brisnet: Cloud Computing runs down Classic Empire to win Preakness
Brisnet: Preakness Stakes 142 Trainer & Jockey Quotes
DRF: Pletcher gracious in defeat as Always Dreaming disappoints
DRF: Cloud Computing edges Classic Empire in Preakness Stakes; Always Dreaming fades
TDN: Maclean’s Music’s Cloud Computing Wears Down Classic Empire in Preakness
2017 Preakness Preview
Always Dreaming was able to replicate his Grade 1 Florida Derby form and win the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby in smashing style. He was never really threatened throughout the race andhad to pass only the hopeless pace-setting State of Honor, while his rivals toiled behind him, literally stuck in the mud. For trainer Todd Pletcher, it put to rest the notion that his best runners from Florida don’t duplicate that same South Florida form in Kentucky on the first Saturday in May. It also scared off several of his Derby rivals, as only four runners from that race join him in this year’s Grade 1 Preakness, where Always Dreaming is the 4-5 morning line favorite. On paper, this appears to be a straightforward race, as Always Dreaming holds an early pace edge on his best rivals, and he doesn’t need to improve much to win again here. For those looking to oppose him strictly on price, there’s a case to be made that his Derby win was aided by a Churchill Downs track that favored inside speed all weekend. Still, his early speed took him out of the early trouble so often encountered in the Derby, and his matching of the Florida Derby effort suggests that he’s the real deal, so I can’t fault those that will once again key him on top and look for prices underneath.
Classic Empire got bumped around pretty good at the start of the Kentucky Derby and was basically taken out of his game, as far back off the pace as Gunnevera was. He then made a nice middle move to get back into the race on the backstretch but was pretty flat in the lane and couldn’t make any gains on Always Dreaming. The good news is there are 10 fewer horses lined up here, and that should, in theory, mean far less potential for trouble and a fair shot at rival Always Dreaming. The bad news is that this will be his third start in five weeks, and he’s simply not moved forward off his best form from last year. Expect him to be more forwardly placed, but Always Dreaming holds a tactical early pace edge, so Classic Empire will still have to improve, which while not impossible, increasingly looks unlikely as the Triple Crown season has unfolded.
Lookin At Lee rode the rails to close well for second in the Kentucky Derby. The inside of the track was the place to be on the sloppy Churchill Downs track all Derby weekend, so it’s tough to gauge how good that Derby effort was. Still, this is a race that does not appear to have the same amount of early speed that the Derby had, and this is a runner that settled for minor placings in five of his last seven races, which were all graded stakes. His two wins came at Ellis Park sprinting last summer, so Lookin At Lee is more of a “bottom of exotics” type of betting proposition whose odds are going to be depressed because of his good Derby effort two weeks ago.
Cloud Computing has only three starts to his past performance record, and they were all at Aqueduct. While this is a step up in class to Grade 1-level competition, he’s still open to improvement being so lightly raced. Last out in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial, he simply could not keep up with Irish War Cry and settled for third. His second-place finish in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes was very good for a horse making just his second start. However, the two horses he’s chased home in his last two – J Boys Echo and Irish War Cry – did not factor in the Derby outcome, so it appears that Cloud Computing would need a significant improvement here. While he has the tactical speed to attend the pace, question whether he’s up to the task of holding off closers or catching and passing Always Dreaming.
Like most horses in a 20-horse Kentucky Derby, Gunnevera encountered some trouble at the start and then attempted to close while very wide in the stretch, passing tired rivals to finish seventh. That Derby effort was a continuation of declining form after finishing third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby following his Grade 2 Fountain of Youth triumph. Mike Smith picks up the mount with the move of Javier Castellano to Cloud Computing. Gunnevera is a stone-cold closer that needs some pace to run at, which is unlikely to happen in this spot, plus there are other closers thathave more upside and will offer better prices.
Conquest Mo Money is the biggest X factor in this year’s Preakness. His effort in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby to almost hold off Classic Empire late shows that he belongs at this level, and he has enough tactical speed to provide problems for Always Dreaming. He’s shown improvement in every start as the distances and class have increased this spring, which is something many horses in this year’s Derby had not. His connections ultimately passed on the Derby for this more realistic spot, and they could be rewarded for not succumbing to Derby fever. Anything around his 15-1 morning line is a nice price to take a chance on this new face.
Hence was a disappointing 11th in the Derby, and while he encountered mild trouble, he essentially did no running in the stretch and never really appeared to be in the race. The good news is that for those who are willing to give Hence another chance, his morning line of 20-1 is above the 15-1 he went off at in the Derby. The bad news is that he did not move forward off his winning effort in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby. He will likely not have the same type of fast early pace to run at as he did in his last two races, but can’t fault those willing to look past the dreadful effort to try again at a better price.
Multiplier won the Grade 3 Illinois Derby four weeks ago from mid-pack, chasing down Hedge Fund late, a nice effort in his graded stakes debut. He’s open to improvement, this being his fifth start, and is certainly bottom-of-exotics filler. Term of Art danced all the Derby prep dances out west at Santa Anita and has only a placing to Mastery in the Grade 2 San Felipe to show for it. He did no closing in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby despite the hot pace in front of him. Still, he’s shown mild improvement off his best 2-year-old form that had him winning the off-the-turf Grade 3 Cecil DeMille and is another like Multiplier to use at the bottom of exotics at a big price. Senior Investment closed from well off the pace to win the Grade 3 Lexington last out, but his two-back effort in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, where he was not a factor, is probably more indicative of his abilities at this level, and he would need to improve 20 lengths to fetch a placing here.
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