Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Pletcher confident of Derby victor at Preakness

Pletcher confident of Derby victor at Preakness Pletcher confident of Derby victor at Preakness
Rita Gibson | 19 May, 2017, 19:32

Always Dreaming, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, was a 9/2 favorite at the outset.

His nine opponents - including four returnees from the Derby - are ready for the colt's front-running tactics.

American Pharoah added his name to the history books in 2015 when winning all the three races, becoming the first to do so since Affirmed in 1978. Classic Empire kept on coming, then was bothered again when Practical Joke drifted out, causing a chain-reaction that again slowed Classic Empire's momentum. Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming is the big favorite after a dominating run through the muck at Churchill Downs.

"I'm someone who has been in a lot of races and lost a lot of races, so I know you don't want to be overconfident".

Both Pletcher and Casse have said this week that they expect Conquest Mo Money to end up setting the pace. He galloped 1½ miles on a warm, muggy Thursday and will jog on Friday because "that's what we did the day before the Derby", Pletcher said.

"We had the strongest stable in the world, probably, and to leave a secure assistant job was a tough decision to make - and an intimidating one", Pletcher recalled.

That's what happened at Churchill Downs, when Lukas had no entrant but was overcome with joy while watching Always Dreaming approach the finish line. The Preakness Stakes horse race is scheduled to take place May 20. A fast track is anticipated. Always Dreaming's talent is unquestioned. "He's always at the front of the stall, has his head out and his ears up and taking in the scenery".

It brought to Viola's mind some of horse racing's greatest rivalries. At Laurel, they race 150 days a year, not 12. "I think it cost him a few placings at least". "We got clobbered. We got hit by a linebacker". The "Run for the Black-Eyed Susans" is held on the third Saturday in May and is only trumped by the Kentucky Derby in attendance for North American stakes races.

Always Dreaming is undoubtedly the horse to beat on Saturday. Super Saver finished a exhausted eighth. Classic Empire finished fourth, Gunnevera seventh and Hence 11. It says here Classic Empire will bounce back from his nightmarish trip in the Derby and spoil Always Dreaming's Triple Crown hopes. He certainly shouldn't have as long odds as Term of Art or Senior Investment. With only one other speed horse (Conquest Mo Money) in the Preakness, Always Dreaming could get another flawless trip and may be on the lead from the start.

India lags behind Lanka, Bangladesh in healthcare
China, with a score of 74 on the index, has been ranked at 82 - far ahead of India, and Sri Lanka has scored 73 on the index. However, it underperformed in the areas of tuberculosis, diabetes, rheumatic heart diseases and chronic kidney disease.

If Always Dreaming wins again, the horse could complete the treble at next month's Belmont Stakes. This season, he's been winless in four stakes, all at Santa Anita.

The nine remaining Preakness entrants all visited the track throughout the morning as well, with GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. victor Senior Investment (Discreetly Mine) next up at 5:50 a.m.

"Lee is going to run his race every time", said Scott Blasi, assistant trainer to Steve Asmussen, who also has Hence, at 20-1, in the race.

As for Derby third-place finisher Battle of Midway, he's back in California in trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's barn.

Conquest Mo Money did not run in the Derby, and he has odds of 18-1 at this point.

"I thought our horse gave a nice effort", Hollendorfer said.

Hollendorfer can see why most California trainers passed on the Preakness.

"If anything I have a greater respect for Always Dreaming", Casse said. It's just in a lot of cases, we felt like our horses needed a little more time to recover.


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