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Final Preakness 2017 Preview by Jarrod Horak

Preakness 2017 Preview by Jarrod Horak

The post positions for Preakness 2017 have been drawn and nine horses will take on Derby winner
 
Always Dreaming in Baltimore. Is there an upset on the horizon or will it be deju vu all over again at Pimlico on May 20?

PACE MAKES THE RACE

The pace should be on the tepid side with 
ALWAYS DREAMING and CONQUEST MO MONEY on or near the lead, followed by CLASSIC EMPIRE. The only other horse with positional speed is CLOUD COMPUTING.

Post position is not nearly as important as it is in the Derby. The key is where the pace horses draw. 
ALWAYS DREAMING drew post 4 and is the inside speed. CLASSIC EMPIRE is right next to the Derby winner in post 5 and will likely track his main rival throughout. CONQUEST MO MONEY drew post 10 and figures to either go to the lead or sit and pounce on the outside.  

CLOUD COMPUTING projects a ground saving tactical trip from post 2.

Also, if any horses were compromised by post position and troubles trips in the Derby, there is a good chance that they will perform much better in Baltimore. Lookin At Lucky comes to mind. 
CLASSIC EMPIRE fits this category.

If the Preakness runs according to the projected race shape, 
ALWAYS DREAMING will sit the same trip as he did in the Derby and that could spell trouble for his opponents.   

TODAY’S RACING DIGEST SPEED FIGURE ANALYSIS

1.  
MULTIPLIER (30-1): His overall numbers show improvement but his FIRE Number dipped from 92 to 90 in the Illinois Derby. He appears to be getting better but seems a cut below these. A minor award is possible.  

2.  
CLOUD COMPUTING (12-1): TRD gave him a career best FIRE Number and Final Rating in the Wood Memorial. Other TRD numbers shows him peaking in the Gotham. He is lightly raced (3 starts) with positional speed and a ground saving trip is projected. He probably earns a new top in the Preakness based on projected trip and time between starts and it is a good sign that Castellano chose him over Gunnevera. He can definitely be used in exotics.

3.  
HENCE (20-1): Sunland Derby TRD numbers by far his best. He is a horse with seven starts and only one fast race and that is a big concern. Use underneath if at all.

Check out Today's Racing Digest for Preakness Day handicapping products, analysis, and more! 
 

4.  
ALWAYS DREAMING (4-5): TRD awarded him triple digit FIRE Numbers in Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby. His Digest Pace Ratings put him out in front early and he might not look back as the fastest horse in the paper race. I picked him on top in the Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby and he looks like a winner again. 


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5.  
CLASSIC EMPIRE (3-1): TRD numbers indicate the BC Juvenile was easily his best effort. TRD did give him a 140 CPR in Arkansas Derby and BC Juvenile. His Derby trouble is known to everyone but the Preakness is his third race in five weeks and he was faster as a juvenile. Actually, he was only fast enough to win a race like this once in eight starts and that was the aforementioned BC Juvenile. A clean break should lead to a nice tactical trip but Always Dreaming has been faster in 2017.  

6.  
GUNNEVERA (15-1): Peaked in the FOY with a 100 FIRE Number. He is a decent late runner but that FOY was at 8.5f and his 9-10f numbers dipped. He can rally for a share.

7.  
TERM OF ART (30-1): TRD gave him a 96 FIRE in the SA Derby but their other numbers say the San Felipe was his best effort. The plodder adds blinkers and will be passing tiring rivals. Anybody can run 4th or 5th so include him way underneath.

8.  
SENIOR INVESTMENT (30-1): TRD numbers show a much better effort in his late running victory the Lexington. He is an improving closer but needs a pace meltdown and the paper race says that won’t happen. Minor award possible.  

9.  
LOOKIN AT LEE (10-1): Career best TRD numbers in the Kentucky Derby but he looks like one of those Preakness sucker plays. Ran great in the Derby on a wet track but had a super inside trip and probably won’t duplicate it from an outer post on a fast track two weeks later.   

10.  
CONQUEST MO MONEY (15-1): Improved his TRD numbers in all five outings. The versatile, improving early/pressing type will give his rider options from the outside post and he has had ample time to recover from his last and might earn a new top. Definitely a contender but Always Dreaming is the proven class with speed.

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