Always Dreaming vs. Classic Empire
Will triple crown contender Always Dreaming beat out Classic Empire in the 2017 Preakness Stakes on Saturday?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, Always Dreaming has -180 odds to finish ahead of Classic Empire, who is +150. Always Dreaming doesn't have to win the Preakness Stakes in order to cash a winning ticket in this prop bet, he just needs to finish ahead of Classic Empire. The same is true for Classic Empire, who just needs to beat out Always Dreaming in relation to this specific prop bet.
Always Dreaming Snapshot
This year's Kentucky Derby winner is on a four-start winning streak. He won a Maiden Special Weight on January 25, then won an Allowance on March 3 before making a huge jump to the Grade 1 Florida Derby in early April. He proved that he could handle the step up in class, beating State of Honor and Gunnevera in an impressive performance. While he was the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, other contenders received more hype heading into Churchill Downs. Nevertheless, Always Dreaming's inexperience did not hinder his performance. He has cruising speed, push-button acceleration, and outstanding closer burst. This Todd Pletcher-trained contender has the talent to win the triple crown.
Classic Empire Snapshot
Despite being slammed at the start, Classic Empire recovered from a bad trip at the Kentucky Derby to rally midstretch. He finished off the board at fourth, but a better trip in the Preakness Stakes could lead to victory. A Mark Casse-trained thoroughbred, Classic Empire won the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, finished third in the Grade 2 Holy BUll, and also was a 2-year-old champion, with victories in the Grade 1 Breedres' Cup Juvenil and the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity Stakes.
Preakness Stakes Prediction
Even with the bad trip in the Kentucky Derby, Classic Empire likely wasn't beating Always Dreaming, who won in essentially a blowout at Churchill Downs. Fatigue is a factor for both of these contenders, but Always Dreaming has both the speed and closing burst to finish ahead of Classic Empire. As long as he doesn't suffer the same fate that Classic Dreaming did in terms of a bad trip, Always Dreaming should finish strong at the Preakness Stakes.
2017 Preakness Stakes Predictions: Always Dreaming over Classic Empire