2017 Preakness Predictions: Current Odds, Picks, Betting Sites
2017 Preakness Stakes Odds
Even the most contrarian bettors looking to find chinks in Always Dreaming’s armor will have difficulty finding any rational reason to dismiss the colt’s chances in the Preakness. Unbeaten in four starts this year, Always Dreaming has been nothing short of sensational in his last two, easily dispatching his Florida and Kentucky Derby foes with a high cruising speed and ample acceleration in the stretch. Now the Todd Pletcher trainee must prove he’s capable of firing another big effort on short rest to become the 24th horse to win both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
Always Dreaming, listed at 4/5 on the morning line, should get an excellent trip breaking from post 4 under jockey John Velazquez given the colt’s tactical speed. With so little speed in the race other than the widely-drawn Conquest Mo Money (15/1) from post 10, it’s quite conceivable that Always Dreaming will inherit an easy early lead. The enigmatic Classic Empire (3/1) might be the only horse in the field with talent approaching the level of Always Dreaming. Suffering a bad trip in the Kentucky Derby, Classic Empire is capable of being much closer to the early pace than he was in winning the Arkansas Derby or in his fourth-place effort in the Kentucky Derby.
The early pace scenario seems relatively straight-forward with Always Dreaming and Conquest Mo Money likely comprising the top two through the opening quarter and half mile splits. That should leave Classic Empire, Cloud Computing (12/1), and Multiplier (30/1) among the second tier, with deep closers Hence (20/1), Gunnevera (15/1), Term of Art (30/1), Senior Investment (30/1), and Lookin at Lee (10/1) well off the pace.
With an utter lack of pace, basic handicapping principles suggest that the deep closers will be bad bets in the Preakness. Lookin at Lee ran on well to be second in the Kentucky Derby and will likley be overbet in the Preakness based on the merit of that race. From our vantage point, we would not use Lookin at Lee in the top two spots – especially at an unappealing price.
Preakness Stakes Predictions
- 1st: Always Dreaming
- 2nd: Conquest Mo Money
- 3rd: Classic Empire
- 4th: Multiplier
As much as we hate to take a short price, we see this race unfolding perfectly for Always Dreaming. While wheeling back just two weeks after the Derby is a major concern for any horse, Always Dreaming seems to be maintaining good energy levels at Pimlico and may not even have to be at the top of his game to find the winner’s circle.
If Always Dreaming is to get upset, it makes sense that Classic Empire would be the horse to do it. The problem is that it’s difficult to know exactly where Classic Empire is physically at this point in his development. In three races this year, Classic Empire hasn’t come close to running as fast as he did while winning the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
We will stop short of saying the Classic Empire has a big chance to win, but we will also stop short of denying his chances of victory. Tough call for those backing this guy.
Outside of Conquest Mo Money and potentially Cloud Computing, most of the runners in the field figure to be at a signficant disadvantage given their natural running styles. This field is heavy with late-closing horses who need plenty of pace in front of them to deliver their best efforts. Quite simply, we don’t see enough pace in this race to make them effective. From our handicapping chair, we like an exacta using Always Dreaming on top of two runners who figure to be closer to the pace. We’ll also throw in Gunnevera as the late runner with the best shot of crashing the exacta.
Suggested Preakness Exactas
$10 Straight Exacta ($10 total)
Always Dreaming with Classic Empire
$5 Exacta Wheel ($15 total)
Always Dreaming with Multiplier, Gunnevera and Conquest Mo Money
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