05/08/2017 3:20PM

Nine likely to take on Always Dreaming in Preakness

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Conquest Mo Money will have to be supplemented for $150,000 to run in the Preakness.

Led by Always Dreaming, the Kentucky Derby winner, five horses from the Derby and five newcomers to the Triple Crown trail make up the prospective field for the Preakness Stakes on May 20 at Pimlico.

Always Dreaming, who has won four races in a row, will try to become the second Triple Crown winner in three years but only the second since 1978. As of Monday, a field of 10 was shaping up for the Preakness, with four of the 19 horses who futilely gave chase to Always Dreaming on Saturday at Churchill Downs back to try again.

Lookin At Lee (second in the Derby), Classic Empire (fourth), Gunnevera (seventh), and Hence (11th) will try again to beat Always Dreaming.

The five who did not run in the Derby but will try to capitalize on facing Derby horses coming back on just two weeks’ rest are Cloud Computing, who was third in the Wood Memorial; Conquest Mo Money, who was second in the Arkansas Derby; Multiplier, the Illinois Derby winner; Royal Mo, who was third in the Santa Anita Derby; and Senior Investment, the winner of the Lexington Stakes.

Always Dreaming was scheduled to fly to Pimlico on Tuesday in the company of Royal Mo. Always Dreaming has won races this year at Tampa Bay Downs, Gulfstream, and now Churchill Downs, and has run well on fast tracks and the sea of slop he encountered Saturday. Pimlico will be the sixth track at which he has raced in seven starts.

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Gunnevera will have a new rider, with Mike Smith taking over, trainer Antonio Sano said Monday. Javier Castellano had been the regular rider for Gunnevera, but Sano and his son Alex said Castellano asked to take off in order to try to obtain another mount, believed by the Sanos to be Cloud Computing, whose assignment has yet to be confirmed by trainer Chad Brown.

“We understand, we gave him permission; totally understand,” said Alex Sano, who helps as a translator for his father. “We have given the ride to Mike Smith.”

Smith rode Girvin in the Derby, finishing 13th. Girvin is bypassing the Preakness.

Antonio Sano said Gunnevera was scheduled to travel to Pimlico on Sunday from Churchill Downs.

Trainer Mark Casse and his son and assistant, Norm, were eager to try again with Classic Empire, who was clobbered at the start of the Derby. He is a notoriously fickle work horse, so running him right back is preferred, Norm Casse said.

“Going on to the Preakness is actually easier than breezing him,” Norm Casse said. “He had a tough, tough trip. He’s a very special horse.”

Trainer Steve Asmussen will have two runners in the race, with Lookin At Lee and Hence. They are scheduled to fly to Baltimore on May 16.

Asmussen was gratified that Lookin At Lee got into the Derby. Lookin At Lee had been on the outside looking in until a week prior to the race.

“We wanted him to get that chance,” Asmussen said. “He’s spoiled us with the way he’s handled everything.”

Asmussen said he believed Hence did not get a fair run in the Derby owing to the amount of slop being kicked in his face.

“It wasn’t that he didn’t handle the track,” Asmussen said. “He didn’t handle what was thrown at him.”

Conquest Mo Money was not nominated to the Triple Crown, and thus his owners will have to pay a $150,000 supplemental fee to be made eligible for the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown, which is run on June 10. The money was due by entry day for the Preakness, May 17, but Pimlico officials at Churchill Downs on Sunday said they had already received payment.

Conquest Mo Money is at Prairie Meadows, where trainer Miguel Hernandez is currently based. Hernandez on Monday said Conquest Mo Money would work at Prairie Meadows on Friday before traveling over the weekend to Pimlico. Jorge Carreno, who has ridden Conquest Mo Money in all five of his starts, will have the mount in the Preakness, Hernandez said.

Royal Mo was entered in the Kentucky Derby but was ranked 21st based on points and earnings among the 22 entered in a field that has a maximum of 20 and thus was placed on the also-eligible list. He did not draw in.

Royal Mo worked an easy five furlongs in 1:05 at Churchill Downs on Sunday. At Belmont Park that morning, Cloud Computing went five furlongs in 1:00.20.

Both Multiplier and Senior Investment worked on Monday at Keeneland, with Multiplier timed going a half-mile in 50.60 seconds, while Senior Investment had the best work of the day among 18 going five furlongs, timed in 1:00.40.

– additional reporting by David Grening

PREAKNESS CONTENDERS
Horse Trainer Jockey Last Race/Finish
Always Dreaming    Todd Pletcher John Velazquez Kentucky Derby, 1st
Classic Empire Mark Casse Julien Leparoux Kentucky Derby, 4th
Cloud Computing     Chad Brown Javier Castellano Wood Memorial, 3rd
Conquest Mo Money Miguel Hernandez Jorge Carreno Arkansas Derby, 2nd
Gunnevera       Antonio Sano Mike Smith Kentucky Derby, 7th
Hence Steve Asmussen Florent Geroux Kentucky Derby, 11th
Lookin At Lee     Steve Asmussen Corey Lanerie Kentucky Derby, 2nd
Multiplier  Brendan Walsh Joel Rosario Illinois Derby, 1st
Royal Mo John Shirreffs Gary Stevens Santa Anita Derby, 3rd
Senior Investment Kenny McPeek Channing Hill Lexington Stakes, 1st