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The pageantry of the 142nd running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (GI), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown headlined by the Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, will be featured prominently at Churchill Downs on Saturday with the simulcast of the 1 3/16-mile race scheduled for 6:45 p.m. (all times Eastern).
Churchill Downs admission gates will open Saturday at 11:15 a.m., the first of 11 races is 12:45 p.m. and the finale is scheduled for 5:51 p.m. Video and audio of the races from Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course will be shown on select television monitors throughout the facility, and NBC's coverage of the 1 3/16-mile Preakness, which is Race 13 of 14 at Pimlico, will be broadcast on the massive Big Board after the last race.
General Admission is $5, reserved seating is $10 and reserved dining packages are $47. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets.
Guests at Churchill Downs will have an opportunity to enjoy a taste of the Preakness with The Black-Eyed Susan, the event's official drink that will be available at locations throughout the track (complete with commemorative glass). Also, Levy Restaurants plans to sell Crab Cake Sandwiches on the second floor of the Clubhouse.
Last call for drinks will be “Call to the Post” for the Preakness, and all dining rooms will remain open through the big race.
The following are Preakness opinions from select horsemen around Churchill Downs:
Retired Trainer Tom Bohannan, winner of 1992 (Pine Bluff) and 1993 Preakness (Prairie Bayou): “I miss not being at Pimlico with a good horse. Always Dreaming is the one to beat.”
Trainer “Buff” Bradley: “Always Dreaming looks tough. I've liked him since I first saw him this winter in Florida but got off him for the Derby because of how aggressive he was training.”
Trainer Pat Byrne: “I think it will be tough to beat Always Dreaming. I think the way that he won the Derby that horse has a legitimate chance to win the Triple Crown.”
Trainer Brad Cox: “Always Dreaming will be tough to beat. I thought Cloud Computing looked good in his training but I don't know how far he wants to go.”
Trainer Mark Danner: “As soon as I saw Always Dreaming train I knew he would be tough to beat. He's full of energy. I think he'll win again.”
Trainer Greg Foley: “Always Dreaming and Classic Empire look to be the horses to beat but we'll be rooting on (Kenny) McPeek's horse (Senior Investment). We have his 2-year-old full sister that Tamaroak Partners purchased that is coming to our barn next week.”
Trainer Wes Hawley: “Always Dreaming is the one to beat. Classic Empire should improve and even Lookin At Lee deserves another shot.”
Trainer Dale Romans: “Todd (Pletcher) will be tough to beat with Always Dreaming. He's a good guy so I'll be cheering him on.”
Trainer Mike Tomlinson: “I don't think I could bet against Always Dreaming.”
Trainer Ian Wilkes: “I think Classic Empire will sit a closer trip. Conquest Mo Money will probably have to go from the outside post so it will be interesting how close Always Dreaming is to the pace.”
The post The View From The Rail: Churchill Horsemen Give Their Preakness Picks appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.