Will there be a Triple Crown winner this year?
For the second time in almost thirty years, we could have another Triple Crown champion on our hands in 2017. Always Dreaming jumped out to a solid start and never looked back in the slop at the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago. He ousted Lookin at Lee, Battle of Midway and once-considered Derby favorite Classic Empire. Now, heading into this weekend’s Preakness, Always Dreaming is the top dog by a landslide.
While he is favored, he is also in tough. The Derby second, third and fourth place finishers listed above will be back, while fresh legs round out the rest of the field. While the odds are still in the John Velazquez ridden colt’s corner, there is still some room for error. However, should we not be cynical and look at why the odds are the way they are, we could have the second Triple Crown champion since American Pharaoh take to the track this weekend. The Preakness is never an easier race by any means than the Derby, but the weather will at least be in the Always Dreaming team’s favor.
It’s looking like a high of 80 degrees with a 20% chance of precipitation, meaning that Always Dreaming could be heading for his fifth-straight win in 2017. In fact, the three-year old colt hasn’t lost yet this year. Horse Racing Nation lists his status as probable in Baltimore and possible at the Belmont Stakes next month. Should he take the win this Saturday though, you can guarantee he’ll be on the track in June. Of course, racebooks and sportsbooks want this to happen, with TopBet noting that the odds are definitely in Always Dreaming’s favor this weekend and beyond.
In Baltimore, Always Dreaming is showing odds of -130, a solid increase from his +250 just two weeks ago in Louisville, KY. Meanwhile, the team is also sitting at +400 to polish the crown at the Belmont next month. In other words, the dynamic duo of Pletcher and Velazquez are sitting pretty heading for the halfway point.
The dynamic duo are also the sport’s leading money winners and combined have created an all-out assault on the horse racing world.
Velazquez alone makes $24 million per year, a number which should grow heavily this season, while Pletcher earned $27.7 million in 2006 (his highest earning season to date). They are the Bryce Harper and Steve Williams (Tiger Woods’ former caddy) of the track; but with more earnings!
Their Kentucky Derby win was one that every other horse, trainer, jockey and owner need to take note of this Saturday and June 10th. Not only does Always Dreaming have a winning pedigree, but his team is also built for success.