Preakness 2017: Top Contenders and Unheralded Horses in Lineup Field

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2017

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 09: Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming walks shed row in the Stakes Barn before Preakness preparations at Pimlico Race Course on May 9, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland.(Photo by Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images

The Triple Crown efforts of Always Dreaming continue as Preakness 2017 approaches, with the Kentucky Derby winner attempting to make history on Saturday, May 20.

The colt will battle Irish War Cry and Classic Empire for the title in Baltimore as he tries to stay on track to capture the legendary U.S. Triple Crown.

The race is due to start at 6:45 p.m. ET at the Pimlico Race Course.

Here is the confirmed field:

Preakness 2017: Top Contenders and Field
HorseOdds
Always Dreaming1-1
Irish War Cry11-2
Classic Empire13-2
Lookin At Lee11-1
Battle of Midway11-1
Cloud Computing14-1
Conquest Mo Money16-1
Gunnevera16-1
Malagacy16-1
Practical Joke18-1
OddsShark.com

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 12: Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming exercises in preparation for the Preakness Stakes next week at Pimlico Race Course on May 12, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland.(Photo by Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images

Three horses stand out as the top contenders, but Always Dreaming is likely to be the unanimous race-day favourite at Pimlico.

Classic Empire was fancied by many at the Kentucky Derby but finished fourth after a turbulent ride.

There is no doubting the potential of Classic Empire, but Irish War Cry was a stronger mover as Always Dreaming romped to victory, and punters will be pairing them up as this race's potential winners.

XBTV provided footage of Always Dreaming, who has spent time in Baltimore preparing for the race:

Practical Joke is the long-odds outsider for the win, currently standing at 18-1 to cause a complete shock.

However, the form of the favourite gives outsiders little chance, with Always Dreaming's talents wide-reaching.

He is a horse that has prevailed in multiple weather and track conditions, and his nature was evident at the Derby as he remained completely focused during the Run for the Roses.

Irish War Cry and Classic Empire are both impressive horses, but it is questionable if they can beat the three-year-old that claimed such an impressive victory over them both.

Diane Bondareff/Associated Press

Classic Empire's focus simply doesn't match the Kentucky Derby champion, but he has the raw pace to contend until the winning post if conditions do not upset his preparations on the day of the race.

The Preakness is slightly shorter than the Derby, offering the field a chance if they can reach top speed early in the battle.