Published: Sat, May 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Always Dreaming pointing for the Preakness after Kentucky Derby victory

Always Dreaming pointing for the Preakness after Kentucky Derby victory

The third-place finisher, Battle of Midway, challenged him through the stretch, but faded late as Lookin at Lee came up the rail to secure the placing.

If Always Dreaming didn't win the Derby, it's a certainty he wouldn't be in the Preakness because Pletcher loathes bringing back horses that quickly.

Trainer Todd Pletcher won the Derby for the second time.

As for California horses, there will likely be only one in the Preakness, Royal Mo, who was the 21 {+s} t horse in a 20-horse field at the Derby.

With great focus, he broke Always Dreaming second out of the No. 5 post and sat just outside early pace-setter State of Honor, who went out really fast, posting an opening quarter of 22.89 for the 1¼-mile race.

As of Monday, the betting favorites were Classic Empire and Always Dreaming.

Always Dreaming has now won three consecutive races this year after finishing second and third in his first two contests, according to CBS Sports.

Lookin at Lee held on for second, which was odd because the colt was 33-to-1.

CORRECTS ID TO ANTHONY BONOMO NOT VINNY VIOLA Anthony Bonomo celebrates after Always Dreaming won the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 6, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. It was another five lengths back to Battle of Midway, a longer shot at 40-to-1.

Sure, Pletcher proved he could train a Derby victor seven years ago. Together, they harnessed their collective talents to win the Kentucky Derby.

Always Dreaming won by 2 3/4 lengths.

Added Velasquez, "This is the best horse Todd and I have ever come to the Kentucky Derby with".

Always Dreaming came out of winning the Kentucky Derby on Saturday in good shape and ready to take the next test in thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown - the Preakness Stakes on May 20. The trifecta member, Irish War Cry, was 10th. "We'll gallop him up to the race".

"We also felt he was setting on go nearly to the point our main focus was just trying to deliver it at 6:45 on Saturday and not 6:45 on Thursday morning", Pletcher said. "The second I had to ask him to straighten up and once I got under the wire for the first time, I was happy where I was". He did not win as a two-year-old when he was trained by Domenick Schettino before being turned over to Pletcher, for whom he won his first race at Tampa Bay in January.

Looking at Lee finally showed the finish I have been looking for. "But I did have in my mind that if Always Dreaming were to be good enough to win the Derby, we'd want to go to Pimlico". "I think it'll be a quiet environment, give us time to get him settled in, and if we need to make any adjustments, we'll have time to do that". "When this horse has its first baby, we're going to name it Keep On Dreaming". I feel like I'm a better trainer now than I was an hour ago ...

Thunder Snow carries the hopes of Godolphin Racing, which is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.

Classic Empire got banged into by McCraken in the start of a chain-reaction collision and his eye was almost closed shut on Sunday. "He was examined and was found to have no injuries and walked back to his barn under his own power".

Classic Empire, the Arkansas Derby victor, encountered a horrific journey Saturday but still managed to nab a fourth-place finish that has encouraged trainer Mark Casse to seriously consider a Preakness run.

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