Lookin At Lee eyes Preakness glory after strong run in Derby

Preakness Stakes contender Classic Empire is washed after a workout at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore Wednesday

Preakness Stakes contender Classic Empire is washed after a workout at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore Wednesday

4, Todd Pletcher. 5, Mark Casse.

It's not the daily media obligations that are weighing on the seven-time Eclipse Award winning-trainer, as he is more than adept at repeatedly answering similar queries about his stock.

There are some notable differences between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

For Always Dreaming's owners, the dream of winning was first imagined 50 years ago while sitting on their Brooklyn stoop.

With that achievement, though, comes a new challenge. Watch the Preakness Post Position Draw LIVE at 5pm (EST) on the Preakness Facebook page.

Lexington victor Divining Rod finished third to Triple Crown victor American Pharoah in the 2015 Preakness, while Collected was 10th previous year. Multiplier will be the third Illinois Derby victor to contest the Preakness in its four runnings since the points system was launched and will look to improve on Departing's sixth in 2013 and Dynamic Impact's seventh in 2014.

The 10-horse field is evenly divided between horses who ran in the Derby and fresh challengers. "You have to be in top form to win the Kentucky Derby, so once they're in top form, it's just a matter of just getting them there".

"For the most part, the better horses are in the Derby, and that's why they come back to have success in this race", Pletcher said. "And the horses are peaking".

The Preakness hasn't generally been kind to horses who did not run in the Derby.

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"They both had really easy works", Asmussen said.

Lookin At Lee and Hence both are trained by Steve Asmussen, who has won the Preakness twice, with Curlin, who was third in the 2007 Derby, and the filly Rachel Alexandra, who had won the 2009 Kentucky Oaks the day before that year's Derby. "You do have some later-arriving ones on the scene, like Bernardini".

Classic Empire won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last year, when he was voted 2-year-old male champion.

It has become well-documented that Oaklawn Park is a major player in the world of horse racing, especially as the home of prep races for the Triple Crown.

Lookin At Lee (second), Classic Empire (fourth) and Hence (11th) ran in the May 6 Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown. "Now he has a legit chance to win (the Preakness)". He finished third in the Wood Memorial in his most recent race, but Brown, last year's Eclipse Award victor for Top Trainer, carries automatic respect. Last year's Preakness victor, Exaggerator, came out of Gate 5.

At one point, he thought: "I'm going to win the Derby!"

"I do love history, and this is a lovely place", said Mark Casse, trainer of Preakness entrant Classic Empire. We have the utmost respect for Always Dreaming.

For one thing, it won't be as crowded in the starting gate. From those 16 starters who won their previous start, he has two wins (13%) and five other placings. Theres no avoiding each other for Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming and rival Classic Empire. "So I think he checks all those boxes". Hes the champ and were just going to go after him.”.

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