BALTIMORE — Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming was made the early 4-5 favorite for the Preakness on Wednesday. Four of his rivals are back to take him on in the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Ridden by John Velazquez, Always Dreaming will break from the No. 4 post in the 10-horse field Saturday. Thirteen winners have started from there, most recently Curlin in 2007.
"It's fine," said Todd Pletcher, noting that Always Dreaming had the No. 4 post in the Florida Derby and No. 5 in the Kentucky Derby, two of his four victories this year. "He's usually a very good horse coming away from the gate."
Post positions were drawn on a steamy, unseasonable 92-degree day at Pimlico.
Classic Empire is the early 3-1 second choice for the 1 3/16-mile race. The colt finished fourth after getting bounced around and having a rough early trip in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago. He will be next door to Always Dreaming in post No. 5.
"We just want a fair shot at it," said trainer Mark Casse, who believes his horse didn't get to show his best effort after getting slammed coming out of the starting gate on a sloppy track in the Derby.
Always Dreaming and Classic Empire are the only two horses with single-digit odds in the field.
Lookin At Lee, the second-place finisher in the Derby, is the 10-1 third choice. He drew the No. 9 post.
Cloud Computing, one of five new shooters in the Preakness, is the 12-1 fourth choice. He will break from the No. 2 hole.
There's a pair of 15-1 shots: Gunnevera (seventh in the Derby) and Conquest Mo Money, whose owners paid $150,000 to supplement their horse.
Hence, the 11th-place finisher in the Derby, is listed at 20-1 on the morning line.
The field is rounded out by a trio of 30-1 shots: Multiplier, Senior Investment and Term of Art.
Calumet Farm is bringing back Hence for another try at Always Dreaming. The storied Kentucky stable also has Term of Art, trained by 2012 Preakness winner Doug O'Neill.
Trainer Steve Asmussen will saddle two starters: Looking At Lee and Hence.