Saturday, May 20, 2017

No Triple Crown Winner This Year – Classic Empire is the Pick for the Preakness!

 142nd Preakness Predictions

The 142nd running of the Preakness will be held on Saturday with a much smaller field than the Kentucky Derby. Although I correctly picked Always Dreaming (#4) to win the Derby two weeks ago, his amazingly low 4-to-5 line is way too rich for me. While I believe Always Dreaming will run near the front and finish in the money, I believe that Classic Empire (#5) will win the second leg of the Triple Crown.  Most experts feel that these two horses have the only chance to win the Preakness; however, I also like a long-shot, Conquest Mo Money (#10) at 15-1 odds.
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Classic Empire

Best Pick: #5 (3:1) Classic Empire.  Classic Empire has a solid trainer in Mark Casse and a great jockey with Julien Leparoux in the irons. Classic Empire was fourth in the Derby and was coming on strong – despite being bumped numerous times throughout the race. Winner of the Arkansas Derby earlier this year and winner of last year’s Breeder’s Cup Juvenile, Classic Empire is a strong closer who will lie back and run down Always Dreaming in the home stretch.  If you believe in smart horses, Casse says this is one of the highest intelligence horses he has ever trained! I like Classic Empire to win the Preakness.

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Always Dreaming, winner of the Kentucky Derby
In the Money: #4 (4:5) Always Dreaming.  Although Always Dreaming is not the next American Pharoah, he is a horse on a hot streak. He has won his last four races (including the Kentucky Derby) by over 23 lengths. The Derby had too many horses and jockey John Velazquez kept Always Dreaming out front on a wet track, so I believe that the 4:5 odds are too rich for me. I just don’t believe he’s going to be headed to the Belmont looking to win the Triple Crown – he's a good horse, but I think Classic Empire will catch him before the wire because Conquest Mo Money will be pushing the pace.

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Conquest Mo Money
Long-shot: #10 (15:1) Conquest Mo Money. This is my long-shot in the Preakness Stakes field. Conquest Mo Money is the son of one of my favorites, Uncle Mo. CMM is a hard charger out of the gate and has run strong this year - winning three races and placing in two others. He looked like the winner until he was beaten down the stretch in the Arkansas Derby by Classic Empire (I believe the same thing will happen in the Preakness). With a relatively unknown jockey, Jose Carreno, and Conquest Mo Money's owners having to pay a $150,000 supplement to race in the Preakness (since he was not nominated to the Triple Crown series earlier in the year), he is clearly a long shot. Nevertheless, he is a very fast horse, who will run near the front the entire race, and while I think he will hold on to third today - don't be surprised if this long-shot captures headlines.

Good luck!

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