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2017 Preakness Stakes Picks and Analysis

2017 Preakness Stakes -G1, Race 13, Pimlico, Saturday, May 20, 2017
3-Year-Olds, 1 3/16-miles, Dirt, Purse: $1.5 million

Preakness Stakes Picks

1. Classic Empire
2. Always Dreaming
3. Conquest Mo Money
4. Multiplier

Preakness Stakes Analysis

Let's be realistic. Making a big score on the 142nd Preakness Stakes is going to be tough. The only way you're going to do better than double your money is if Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming somehow runs a bad race after another perfect trip.

We still think Always Dreaming got a bit lucky in this year's muddy Kentucky Derby, but none of the pace horses that were around him finished well in that race and they're not in here regardless. There is much less speed to deal with in this year's Preakness.

Always Dreaming will be on or near the lead and they'll have to hope he bounces off his Derby victory in order to finish worse than second. The odds of that are low, as will the odds on him be in the Preakness. We'll be betting against him for that reason, but there are at least two other angles to play.

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Breeders' Cup Juuvenile-G1 and Arkansas Derby-G1 winner Classic Empire appeared to becoming into the Kentucky Derby perfectly but got slammed at the break and then traveled wide the whole way around to finish fourth beaten 8 3/4-lengths by Always Dreaming. There will be a lot less traffic this time and he can breathe down Always Dreaming's neck if he feels like it. And he does have enough class to win. At 2-1 or better he's the play.

The only other angle in the race that we could find is the potential lone speed of Conquest Mo Money, who finished second beaten only half a length behind Classic Empire in the Arkansas Derby. He doesn't need the lead to win, but he will either be on it or forcing the pace outside Always Dreaming. If he gets loose, he could go a long ways at a big price. If he forces the pace instead, he helps set the race up for Classic Empire.

Finding the fourth place finisher in the Superfecta is a crap shoot, and almost all have a chance to round out the Superfecta. We'll take a shot on Multiplier as our longshot. He changed leads and found more to win the Illinois Derby-G3 in his last start and looks like he is on the improve. He should be able to sit closer than many of his rivals in here, many of which are deep closers, and might just get lucky.

Hence and Gunnevera could both improve off their Kentucky Derby efforts (11th and 7th respectively). Lookin At Lee took advantage of a perfect rail trip in the mud to finish second in the Kentucky Derby and is likely to be at least a little overbet.

So what's the play?

We'll bet Classic Empire to win and place at 2-1 or better, knowing full well that Always Dreaming could beat us at low odds. We'll box Classic Empire and Always Dreaming in an exacta box and bet twice as much on the combination with Classic Empire on top. We'll also bet a smaller exacta box of Classic Empire and Conquest Mo Money.

We'll take Always Dreaming, Classic Empire and Conquest Mo Money in the top three spots in the superfecta with ALL and hope Always Dreaming finishes third instead of first or second, which should result in a reasonably good payoff. We'll also play our superfecta horses in a triactor box.

Our top two picks in here look like they outclass the field, but watch the exacta payoffs. If you can get $6.00 or better on the top two in the exacta…

Take it.

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