BALTIMORE — It’s not where you start from, but how you start that matters most. Wednesday’s post-position draw for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes was uneventful, as usual. Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, the 4-5 morning-line favorite, got post 4, with his main rival, 3-1 second choice Classic Empire, next door in 5.
Woodbury resident Anthony Bonomo, who bought Always Dreaming for $350,000 in September 2015, is OK with post 4. “I think in a race with 10 horses, the post isn’t as important as it is in a race with 20 like the Derby,” Bonomo said.
Trainer Todd Pletcher agreed. “I think it’s fine,” he said. “He had post 4 in the Florida Derby and 5 in the Derby. He’s generally a very good horse coming away from the gate. We’ll try to establish position and see what some other horses are doing.”
Always Dreaming enjoyed a perfect trip while stalking in second at Churchill Downs. Classic Empire was sandwiched at the start and bothered in the stretch, when he was too far back to make any impact anyway. He ran well to be fourth, and trainer Mark Casse thinks he can turn the tables on the favorite.
“We just want to have a good break this time,” Casse said. “Always Dreaming is a very good horse, and we just want to have a fair shot at him. If our horse breaks well, maybe we’ll be on the lead.”
The other eight are all double-digit odds, with Derby runner-up Lookin At Lee next at 10-1.