The second leg of the annual Triple Crown races will take place this afternoon from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, as fans across the U.S. prepare to watch the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes.
While every horse in this race could realistically pull off the win, all eyes will be on Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming. A win at the Preakness Stakes would not only be another feather in the cap of the great career Always Dreaming is starting to build upon, but it would also lead to a lot more hype surrounding the upcoming Belmont Stakes in June because a Triple Crown attempt would be on the line.
According to Bleacher Report, Always Dreaming will start the Preakness Stakes from the number four position, and he is currently listed as the overwhelming favorite to win today's Preakness Stakes at 4-5 odds.
Always Dreaming drew the No. 4 gate for the race on Wednesday during the annual post position live draw for the Preakness, and his trainer Todd Pletcher is more than happy to be starting from that position.
"I think [the post] is fine," Pletcher said, per Mike Dempsey of OddsShark. "He was four in the Florida Derby and five in the Kentucky Derby. He's generally a very good horse away from the gate. We'll just come away and try to establish some position and see what some other horses are doing."
"He's done great [at Pimlico]," Pletcher added. "He's training forwardly, aggressively, manageably — everything we would like to see."
Right behind Always Dreaming on the odds board is Classic Empire at 3-1. Classic Empire got off to a slow start at Churchill Downs two weeks ago, leading to a disappointing fourth place finish in the Kentucky Derby. If Classic Empire can get out of the gate and run a good first quarter mile, his results could be much better this time around.
Like many of the horses running today, Classic Empire has gone head-to-head with many of them already this year. Classic Empire already beat out Conquest Mo Money and Lookin at Lee when he captured the Arkansas Derby back on April 15.
So who is going to win the 2017 Preakness Stakes? It's a tough call. Looking outside of the obvious two big favorites of Always Dreaming and Classic Empire, watch for Lookin at Lee and Conquest Mo Money to compete for first place today. Both of these horses had great showings in the Arkansas Derby, and Lookin at Lee finished in second place two weeks ago at the Kentucky Derby.
That being said, Always Dreaming has won his last four races and has been on a flat out roll of late! One interesting tidbit, for people who just like to wager on a horse due to the post position number they draw - the No. 4 horse has finished in the money over 68 percent of the time at the Preakness.