Always Dreaming Is a 4-5 Favorite to Win the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on Saturday

Always Dreaming 4-5 Odds in Preakness Stakes

Always Dreaming runs from the 4th gate and is a 4-5 favorite to win the Preakness.

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming is a 4-5 prohibitive favorite at the Preakness, which runs from Pimlico Park in Maryland this weekend. The Preakness runs this Saturday, as the second leg of the Triple Crown races in thoroughbred horse racing.

Classic Empire, pitted by most as Always Dreaming’s top rival, has 3-1 odds at most racebooks. Classic Empire finished 4th on a sloppy track in the Kentucky Derby, but had to run from the 14th gate during the race.

Classic Empire Provides a Challenge

This time around, Always Dreaming and Classic Empire run from the 4th and 5th gates. Their side-by-side placement in arguably the best positions sets up a classic showdown. Weather should be better as the horses race in the Preakness.

Mark Casse, Classic Empire’s trainer, said of the match-up, “Hopefully, they both have good trips, break good and it could be interesting. They could go at it right from the start.

A Shot at Racing Redemption

Classic Empire got bounced around at the Kentucky Derby. Coming down the back stretch, Classic Empire looked ready to make his move, but another horse crossed his path and slowed down his momentum.

With a better track and a better starting position at the Preakness, Mark Casse believes his horse has a chance to pull the upset. Casse said, “We just want a fair shot at it.”

Classic Empire Has 3-1 Odds

Mark Casse thinks Classic Empire likened his horse to Rocky Balboa. While he said revenge is not the motivation this time around, reputation is.

Casse said, “The champ’s been knocked down and he’s going to come back and try to take back the crown. It’s got nothing to do with revenge because Always Dreaming did nothing wrong. He’s the champ and we’re just going to go after him.

Other notable factors make the Preakness Stakes a different race than the Kentucky Derby. The Preakness is run on a longer track, so some thoroughbreds are better suited to run at Pimlico. The race this weekend is a 1 3/16-mile race, while the race at Churchill Downs was only a 1 1/4-mile race.

This is also the first time most horses will have run a second race so quickly after a major test, as the Kentucky Derby took place only 2 weeks ago. Four of Always Dreaming’s competitors in the Kentucky Derby will race again at Pimlico. Nine new thoroughbreds are set to compete at the Preakness, which occasionally has given the fresher horses an advantage.

Todd Pletcher on Always Dreaming’s Odds

According to trainer Todd Pletcher, the No. 4 gate should be a perfect set-up for Always Dreaming. Pletcher noted that Always Dreaming started in the No. 4 gate at the Florida Derby and the No. 5 gate at the Kentucky Derby, which were both wins.

Thirteen other Preakness winners began in the 4th gate. Curlin in 2007 was the last winner from that placement. Of Always Dreaming’s gate selection, Pletcher said, “It’s fine. He’s usually a very good horse coming away from the gate.”

Belmont Stakes on June 10

If Always Dreaming can win on Saturday, it would set up a shot to win the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes on June 10 in Belmont, New York. American Pharoah was the last horse to win the Triple Crown two years ago, breaking a 37-year streak without a triple winner.

Mark Casse added, “We want people to watch. If we can’t win, I want Always Dreaming to win because this sport is so important to me. It’s always nice to have a horse going for the Triple Crown. If we can’t win, I hope he does.