The spotlight will be on one horse at the Preakness Stakes, but 10 different competitors are hoping to reach the winner's circle Saturday.
Always Dreaming is the clear favorite after winning the Kentucky Derby in convincing fashion. He is looking to continue his path to the Triple Crown, hoping to at least be the fourth horse in the last six years to win the first two legs.
Still, nothing is guaranteed in such a quick event, and the other nine contenders are not going to go down without a fight. Here is a look at the 10 competitors set to run at Pimlico, Baltimore.
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Trainer: Brendan Walsh
Morning Line: 33-1
Multiplier might be a sleeper in this field, mostly due to the fact no one knows what to expect from him.
The colt has a win at the Grade 3 Illinois Derby, but his other three starts were against weaker competition. Although the talent is certainly there to surprise, the step up in competition could be intimidating.
Fortunately, he has an experienced jockey in Joel Rosario who can help navigate off the rail.
2. Cloud Computing
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Trainer: Chad Brown
Morning Line: 14-1
The best morning line among those who missed the Kentucky Derby goes to Cloud Computing, which is a bit of a surprise considering he has just three races under his belt. Only one of those was a win.
Still, third place at the Wood Memorial showed he can compete with some of the best in his age group.
Javier Castellano should also help as one of the top jockeys in the world. Per Equibase, he has finished first in earnings in each of the last four years. Despite a seventh-place finish aboard Gunnevera at Churchill Downs, he should be able to bounce back at Pimlico.
Jockey: Florent Geroux
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Morning Line: 20-1
Trainer Steve Asmussen had three horses in the Kentucky Derby, two of them returning for the Preakness. One of them, Lookin At Lee, is coming off an impressive second-place finish and remains one of the top contenders at the Preakness. The other is Hence.
Hence finished in 11th place at the Kentucky Derby and was never able to get past the pack. He also finished seventh at the Southwest Stakes earlier this year.
While there was also a win at the Sunland Derby in there, Florent Geroux will have a tough time getting this horse to compete at a big event like this one.
4. Always Dreaming
Jockey: John Velazquez
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Morning Line: 4-5
With four straight wins in 2017, Always Dreaming was clearly not a fluke winner at the Kentucky Derby. John Velazquez kept him on the right path, and the horse did the rest.
Todd Pletcher earned his second Kentucky Derby win, but rival trainer Bob Baffert thinks this is just the beginning.
"I've never seen him go into the Preakness with a horse like this," Baffert said, referring to Always Dreaming, per Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports. "If he has racing luck, I can't see him getting beat."
ESPN Stats and Info did note the easy favorite doesn't always win:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Always Dreaming (4-5 odds in Preakness) would be 12th horse since 1980 to go off as odds-on favorite. Only four of previous 11 won the race.2017-5-17 21:41:52
However, Always Dreaming has the most momentum and is the best horse in the field. A lot of things can go wrong, but betting against him might take guts.
5. Classic Empire
Jockey: Julien Leparoux
Trainer: Mark Casse
Morning Line: 3-1
It's almost fitting that the biggest challenger to Always Dreaming will start right next to him in post No. 5.
Classic Empire was the morning line favorite at the Kentucky Derby, thanks mostly to his quality win at the Arkansas Derby. However, bettors were scared off the day of and this turned out to be justified, as he ended up in fourth place.
One of the issues was the rough start where he was bumped by McCraken.
"I just want him to have a good break and see what happens," trainer Mark Casse said, per Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form.
Sitting next to Always Dreaming won't necessarily allow for the best start, but what happens in the first few seconds could end up deciding the race.
Jockey: Mike Smith
Trainer: Antonio Sano
Morning Line: 16-1
There are always jockey shakeups, but the one surrounding Gunnevera might be the most interesting. Javier Castellano moved to Cloud Computing, while Mike Smith will take over Gunnevera after riding Girvin in the Derby.
Interestingly, Smith currently tops the earnings list of jockeys in 2017, per Equibase. He has won 26 percent of his starts, easily the best among top riders this season.
Gunnevera has raced in seven different graded events, winning three, so the talent is there for a surprise. It all comes down to whether Smith can get enough consistency out of him.
7. Term of Art
Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Trainer: Doug O'Neill
Morning Line: 33-1
With just two wins in nine career starts, Term of Art appears a bit overmatched in this field. However, he comes in with loads of experience, including six graded races.
Trainer Doug O'Neill knows what he is doing as well as a former Preakness winner, while elite jockey Jose Ortiz replaces Tyler Baze, who has struggled aboard Term of Art the last few runs. This could help potentially turn things around in the big race.
8. Senior Investment
Jockey: Channing Hill
Trainer: Ken McPeek
Morning Line: 33-1
It's always good to be coming into a big race off a win, which is what Senior Investment has going for it. He earned the victory at the Lexington Stakes in April, making it two wins in the last three starts.
However, Ken McPeek has just one top-three finish in a Triple Crown race in the past 15 years, and jockey Channing Hill is a bit overmatched in this field. This could lead to a tough road toward the money on Saturday.
9. Lookin At Lee
Jockey: Corey Lanerie
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Morning Line: 10-1
Lookin At Lee represented the biggest surprise at the Kentucky Derby, finishing in second place after coming in with 33-1 odds. In a loaded field, he was the one closing strong and giving Always Dreaming his toughest test.
The question is whether he can replicate this feat and possibly even improve upon it.
Considering he has zero wins in his last seven starts, earning a win here seems difficult to expect. However, he has enough speed to fight to the front of the pack and stay there throughout the race. At the least, he should be a threat to end up in the money once again.
10. Conquest Mo Money
Jockey: Jorge Carreno
Trainer: Miguel Hernandez
Morning Line: 18-1
Out of the long list of horses who missed the Kentucky Derby, Conquest Mo Money might be the scariest contender.
The outside post doesn't seem to bother trainer Miguel Hernandez, who is expecting a late charge anyway, per Jeremy Balan of BloodHorse:
Jeremy Balan @BH_JBalan
Miguel Hernandez is happy with drawing the 10 spot. Doesn't even mind if Conquest Mo Money is 3-4 wide in first turn.2017-5-17 21:32:41
He also has never finished worse than second in five career starts, including a second-place showing behind Classic Empire at the Arkansas Derby. That race also featured Kentucky Derby runners in Lookin At Lee and Untrapped.
If Jorge Carreno keeps the pace and saves some for the final stretch, Conquest Mo Money could be a threat at the end of the race.
All odds are courtesy OddsShark and current as of Friday, May 19.