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Together, they harnessed their collective talents to win the Kentucky Derby.
Always Dreaming took first place at the recent 2017 Kentucky Derby race with the help of his jockey John Velazquez, who steered the horse in an advantageous position on the field.
"Always Dreaming is a great horse, and he was very impressive", Leparoux said. Always Dreaming has thrived in the relative tranquility, even when he had to gallop over a sloppy track on Saturday. So, Always Dreaming, who won horse racing's marquee event by 2-3/4 lengths, is favored at 11/10 (-110), per Preakness odds posted at OddsShark.com.
The colt has been, well, like a dream since he left Kentucky. Icecoldbeeratreds is a sibling to the dam and he won the 2002 Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity as a 2-year-old, and was second in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont later that year. So it is safe to say that Pletcher can be called a modern-day trainer and bears little or no resemblance to the old school trainers of the past. "Maybe I can win, maybe I run last, but I gave him the time to recover".
They used to, as long ago as 1967, when Harold and Frances Genter's In Reality was rolling through his early-season races with stylish abandon for trainer Melvin "Sunshine" Calvert. His best finish was third with Impeachment in 2000. He certainly could win again, but as a heavy favorite, I believe all the differing variables we will see from one race to the next are enough for me to take a chance to beat him.
Pletcher has been named the country's top trainer seven times, but he's never won the Preakness and has only entered eight previous times. "The first couple of strides, he went to try and buck Nick off and kind of stumbled a little bit when he did it". As they came out of the gate, he shook the reins, signaling Always Dreaming to move ahead out of the traffic on the muddy track.
The modern Triple Crown tilts heavily toward the Kentucky Derby, with its demand for 20 horses and its overstuffed hype aided and abetted by a compliant media. The only real surprise victor among the new shooters was Red Bullet, who prevailed in the 2000 Preakness over odds-on Derby victor Fusaichi Pegasus. Cloud Computing and Term of Art will be coming off six weeks' rest; Conquest Mo Money will have been off for five weeks and Multiplier four weeks. Classic Empire's ears flicked back and forth as he came rolling down the stretch during his strong, one-mile gallop just waiting for his cue from regular exercise rider Martin Rivera.
"We think he's the best horse, and we want to prove it", said Mark Casse, Classic Empire's trainer. "With the weather that we dealt with and the competition, I'm very proud of my horse for what he accomplished". With a cleaner trip in the Preakness, Classic Empire could pose a serious threat to Always Dreaming.
Horsemen were reminded on Sunday how one misstep can change everything in an instant, when Royal Mo suffered a career-ending injury during a workout at Pimlico in preparation for Saturday's 143rd Preakness. Royal Mo was to undergo surgery Monday at the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
The Southern California-based colt was on the eligible list for the Derby but didn't draw into the field.
But in this case, Pletcher actually ignored the lure of a possible graded stakes victory and rapid ascent up the Kentucky Derby rankings and ran Always Dreaming instead in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race on the same card.
Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming, ridden by exercise rider Nick Bush, walks at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Monday, May 15, 2017.