Preakness 2017 Contenders: Horses, Jockeys with Best Shot at Pimlico Race Course

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2017

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 18: Always Dreaming on the track in preparation for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 18, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Horsephotos/Getty Images)
Horsephotos/Getty Images

If you're "always dreaming" about horse racing, the next jewel in the exciting Triple Crown races is almost upon us. 

The 142nd Preakness Stakes will be run on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. 

The field of 10 includes Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and runner-up Lookin At Lee as well as eight other hopefuls who are looking to earn a prestigious win in a Triple Crown race. 

The post time for the race is 6:45 p.m. ET and you can tune in on NBC, with coverage to begin at 5 p.m. 

Let's take a look at all 10 of the horses and their jockeys, including the three with the best shot to win it all. 

Preakness 2017 Contenders
Post PositionHorseJockey
1MultiplierJoel Rosario
2Cloud ComputingJavier Castellano
3HenceFlorent Geroux
4Always DreamingJohn Velazquez
5Classic EmpireJulien Leparoux
6GunneveraMike Smith
7Term of ArtJose Ortiz
8Senior InvestmentChanning Hill
9Lookin At LeeCorey Lanerie
10Conquest Mo MoneyJorge Carreno

Horses and Jockeys with Best Chance

Horse: Always Dreaming 

Jockey: John Velazquez

Always Dreaming and jockey John Velazquez are still basking in the success of their Kentucky Derby victory as they prepare for the second leg of the Triple Crown. 

For Velazquez, it was the second time he had won the Run for the Roses, the first being six years ago when he guided Animal Kingdom to victory. 

However, the Preakness has eluded Velazquez throughout his career; it's the only Triple Crown race he has failed to capture, per The closest he has ever come is second place with Animal Kingdom in 2011. 

This time, Velazquez hopes to build on the momentum he and Always Dreaming have built and advance one step closer to capturing the elusive Triple Crown. They are favorites heading into Saturday's race, at 4-5 odds per OddsShark

"We have a very good horse," Velazquez said after the Kentucky Derby victory, per Jacob Troxell of Press Box. "We probably have the best horse right now, [so] hopefully he can continue on that."

Horse: Classic Empire

Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Three-year-old Classic Empire and his jockey, Julien Leparoux, are nipping on Always Dreaming's heels in the Preakness odds, coming in as the second favorite at 3-1. 

Though the odds are favorable for Classic Empire heading into the Preakness Stakes, he's had to overcome a lot this season.

The trouble started for Classic Empire back in the Hopeful Stakes in September, when he "wheeled at the start and dropped jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.the only time regular rider Julien Leparoux, then recovering from a broken wrist, was not aboard," per

Since then, riding with Leparoux, Classic Empire has suffered a spate of injuries, including a foot abscess after the Holy Bull Stakes and a swollen eye as a result of a collision out of the gate at the Kentucky Derby. 

Despite the eye injury, however, Classic Empire still rallied to finish fourth in the Run for the Roses, and the oddsmakers seem to really like his tenacity. 

The best Preakness finish for Leparoux is second place with Macho Again in 2008.

Horse: Lookin At Lee

Jockey: Corey Lanerie

Lookin At Lee and his jockey, Corey Lanerie, are third in the Vegas odds at 10-1 heading into the Preakness. 

The pair has to be feeling good about its chances coming off a surprise second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby at 33-1 odds, five lengths ahead of third-place Battle of Midway. 

In 2016, Exaggerator became the first second-place Derby finisher to win the Preakness in 23 years, according to Marty McGee of Daily Racing Formvia

Now, Lookin At Lee will attempt to repeat that feat.

These two are a stellar combination, something that Brian Zipse at Horse Racing Nation picked up on even ahead of their big finish in the Kentucky Derby. 

"Lanerie has a great track record at Churchill Downs, has a fearless style of riding and is not afraid to make his move up the rail," Zipse wrote at the time. That style is part of what allowed Lookin At Lee to make his move at the end and surge past his tired competitors. 

Now, the two enjoy much better odds but nevertheless will attempt to turn their underdog status into a win at the Preakness. 


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