Always Dreaming is only a little more than 24 hours away from trying to win the second leg of a Triple Crown bid. Trainer Todd Pletcher thinks he's more than ready.
"He's shown us everything we were hoping for leading us back in two weeks," Pletcher said Thursday, per John Cherwa of the Los Angeles Times. "Tank seems full. He seems eager to go. We're just trying to keep him on the ground one more day."
On Saturday, Always Dreaming will attempt to become the third horse in the last four years to win each of the first two legs. California Chrome started the trend in 2014 before faltering in the Belmont, while American Pharoah went on to become the first Triple Crown winner in nearly four decades in 2015.
Always Dreaming will come off as a -125 favorite Saturday, per OddsShark. He'll line up in the No. 4 post for the race, which Pletcher says should put him in a place of comfort
"I think [the post] is fine," Pletcher told reporters. "He was four in the Florida Derby and five in the Kentucky Derby. He's generally a very good horse away from the gate. We'll just come away and try to establish some position and see what some other horses are doing.
"He's done great [at Pimlico]," Pletcher added. "He's training forwardly, aggressively, manageably—everything we would like to see."
Not working in Always Dreaming's favor, however, is Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez's record at Pimlico, Baltimore. Neither of the two horse racing legends have a win at the second Triple Crown race in their storied careers.
"Our home base is Belmont, and it's a special race for us," Pletcher said, per Cherwa. "We've kind of taken our best shot at that by taking a pass on the Preakness and using that five weeks to prepare.
"I really have tremendous respect for the Preakness. It's something I'd love to win. It's just in a lot of cases, we felt like our horses needed a little more time to recover. Not all of them have bounced out of the Derby as well as it seems Dreaming has."
Always Dreaming will face formidable competition in Kentucky Derby fourth-place finisher Classic Empire, which comes off the gates at 3-1. Lining up in the No. 5 post, most view this as a head-to-head race to see which horse gets off the line better.
2017 Preakness Stakes Field
Post - Horse (Trainer; Jockey; Odds)
1. Multiplier (Brendan Walsh; Joel Rosario; +2000)
2. Cloud Computing (Chad Brown; Javier Castellano; +2000)
3. Hence (Steve Asmussen; Florent Geroux; +1200)
4. Always Dreaming (Todd Pletcher; John Velazquez; -125)
5. Classic Empire (Mark Casse; Julien Leparoux; +300)
6. Gunnevera (Antonio Sano; Mike Smith; +1200)
7. Term of Art (Doug O'Neill; Jose Ortiz; +2500)
8. Senior Investment (Ken McPeek; Channing Hill; +2500)
9. Lookin At Lee (Steve Asmussen; Corey Lanerie; +1100)
10. Conquest Mo Money (Miguel Hernandez; Jorge Carreno; +1600)
2017 Preakness Stakes TV Schedule/Race Info
When: Saturday, May 20
Where: Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore
Post time: 6:45 p.m. ET
TV: NBC's coverage begins at 5 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com.