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Always Dreaming drawn four of ten in Preakness Stakes
19 May 2017 | Racingpost.com 

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming will break from gate four under John Velazquez in a field of ten for the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on Saturday.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said he felt the post position was unlikely to have any significant bearing on the second leg of the Triple Crown, in which Always Dreaming has been made 4-5 favourite of the track's indicative morning line. He is a best-priced even-money with British bookmakers.

"In a ten-horse field here, I don't think it's nearly as important as it is in the Derby," Pletcher commented. "Hopefully, he just gets away cleanly and Johnny's able to put him in a good position.

"He's generally a very good horse away from the gate, and we'll just try to come away, establish some position, and see what some other horses are doing," Pletcher added. "He's training forwardly, aggressively, manageably - everything we'd like to see."

Including the favourite, five of the ten runners contested the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, among them Steve Asmussen-trained runner-up Lookin At Lee, who is drawn nine for the Preakness, and last year's champion two-year-old Classic Empire, who starts next door to Always Dreaming in gate five.

Classic Empire finished fourth at Churchill Downs, where his chances were compromised when he was cannoned into shortly after breaking from the stalls.

"We want to just have a good break and see what happens," said trainer Mark Casse, speaking to the Blood-Horse. "Always Dreaming's a very good horse, and we just want a fair shot at him."

Derby seventh Gunnevera has a jockey change with 'Big Money' Mike Smith taking over from Javier Castellano, who rides new shooter Cloud Computing.

Likely pacemaker Conquest Mo Money will have to use his speed early if he wants the lead from the outside in gate ten.

Preakness Stakes post-position draw

1 Multiplier Joel Rosario

2 Cloud Computing Javier Castellano

3 Hence Florent Geroux

4 Always Dreaming John Velazquez

5 Classic Empire Julien Leparoux

6 Gunnevera Mike Smith

7 Term Of Art Jose Ortiz

8 Senior Investment Channing Hill

9 Lookin At Lee Corey Lanerie

10 Conquest Mo Money Jorge Carreno




 
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