Lookin At Lee eyes Preakness glory after strong run in Derby

Alvin Kelly
May 19, 2017

Trainer Todd Pletcher wanted to give the dark bay colt plenty of time to adjust to his new surroundings since Always Dreaming proved hard to train in the days leading up to the Derby. "I think if they both break running, they may go at each other from the beginning".

"So I'm already in the mindset", Viola said happily. By bypassing a series of prep races in stakes and focusing on smaller building blocks, Pletcher gambled that he would have a colt who would produce when it mattered in the Florida Derby and thus would be set for the demands of what lay ahead. Perhaps this means we may see Gunnevera positioned a little bit closer to the pace?

When the Preakness Stakes are run for the 142nd time Saturday (6:45 p.m. ET post time, NBC) at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Always Dreaming will attempt to win its second race of horse racing's 2017 Triple Crown.

"It's never that easy", he said.

So which horses do you take? Entries were due Wednesday, when post positions were drawn. "In a lot of races things change as soon as the gates open".

But Pletcher practically shrugged off the importance of the Preakness draw.

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Todd Pletcher is taking a cue from Always Dreaming in that he, like his high-energy charge, have about had it with the minutiae leading into the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1) and are ready to just run the race.

Hence was kind of the "wise guy" horse in the Kentucky Derby going off at 15-1.

When American Pharoah followed his historic Triple Crown run in 2015 by racing three more times and ultimately closing his unbelievable 3-year-old season with a victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic, owner Ahmed Zayat put untold millions at risk to give more horse racing fans the opportunity to see the sport's newest superstar. The 1915 Derby was won by Regret, who did not compete in the Preakness. He's got that high cruising speed, which can be effective in all races, especially the Belmont. "You never want to be overconfident, but I feel very confident about the way he's coming into it". Always Dreaming eased into his 3-year-old campaign by winning a maiden race against overmatched rivals at Tampa Bay Downs. 6, Antonio Sano. 7, Doug O'Neill. Finishing second in the Derby seemingly impressed no one.

"The Derby is a race we always want to win". He's in the good hands of Chad Brown and that is an endorsement it itself. Just outside of Always Dreaming, and they think that's a good thing. "If he thinks he's running, he'll sit back".

Brendan Walsh-trained Multiplier is expected to arrive later in the day following a van ride from Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

Trainer Steve Asmussen will saddle two starters: Lookin At Lee and Hence.

"He said 'Perfect, ' so that's my quote", Blasi noted with a laugh.

Regardless of the Preakness outcome, Conquest Mo Money is already a victor for New Mexico-based owner Tom McKenna, 81, who paid only $8,500 for the colt last November at the dispersal sale of Conquest Stable horses. Purchased for a mere $8,500 by obscure owners, Conquest Mo Money will start from the far outside as a 15-1 choice in the morning line. His owner, Paul Fireman, was at a trade show before his 33rd birthday when he bought the rights for US distribution of a shoe company, Reebok, for $65,000 in 1979.

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