The Preakness field, the second jewel of the Triple Crown, will have just half the horses that converged on Louisville for the Kentucky Derby.
Whereas there were 20 horses in the Derby, there were only 10 entered in Saturday’s 142nd Preakness Stakes.
With the ease in which Always Dreaming won the Derby, there are already people screaming “Triple Crown.”
Many also believe frontrunners have the advantage on Pimlico’s sharp turns. The Pimlico odds maker has posted opening odds of 4-to-5 on the Derby winner.
More than likely, he will be less than that when the horses break from the gate.
The Preakness field is made up of five horses that competed in the Derby – the winner, Lookin At Lee, Classic Empire, Gunnevera and Hence.
Five newcomers are entered – Cloud Computing, Conquest Mo Money, Multiplier, Senior Investment and Term of Art.
Royal Mo, who was on the also-eligible list for the Derby and was expected to be a factor in the Preakness, suffered a serious career-ending injury while working towards the Preakness.
Of those that didn’t compete in the Derby, longshot Senior Investment piques my interest as a dead closer and Conquest Mo Money is one tough hombre.
Of those who ran in the Derby, Gunnevera loses the nation’s top rider Javier Castellano to Cloud Computing.
With all of that said, I like Classic Empire. After all, jockey Julien Leparoux said “we’ll get them next time” after the Derby.
Also trainer Mark Casse is training the colt as if he is the best horse.
I also believe the muddy track at Churchill Downs helped carry Always Dreaming.
Ocala Breeders’ Sales will be represented by Multiplier. He was a $120,000 RNA in the 2016 April Sale.
While OBS will not be represented but by one horse, the local facility could have a bearing on the outcome.
OBS president Tom Ventura was proud of the fact that Casse brought exercise rider Martin Rivera to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby and to Maryland for the Preakness to work Classic Empire.
Rivera is one of the ring men at OBS.
Steve’s picks – Classic Empire, Always Dreaming, Lookin At Lee, Senior Investment, Conquest Mo Money, Gunnevera, Cloud Computing, Hence, Term of Art, Multiplier.