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Always Dreaming checks into Pimlico

John Velazquez rides Always Dreaming
Always Dreaming has arrived at Pimlico in Baltimore to prepare for the Preakness Stakes.

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming has arrived at Pimlico ahead of his bid for the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the triple crown.

The colt was in excellent spirits after travelling from Churchill Downs in Kentucky to Baltimore on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST).

Always Dreaming was accompanied by assistant trainer Ginny DePasquale with her boss Todd Pletcher scheduled to arrive this week.

“I just spoke to Todd and told him: ‘The horse looks very bright-eyed. He looks very happy,”‘ DePasquale said.

“It’s pretty special to see him looking that well. I’m happy and I know Todd is.”

The colt is in stall 40, traditionally reserved for the Kentucky Derby winner and has housed many of the greatest champions in horse racing history.

Secretariat and Seattle Slew are among several Triple Crown winners who resided there, but Always Dreaming is the first Derby winner to occupy the box since California Chrome in 2014.

“It’s actually very exciting because we think he’s a really, really special horse,” DePasquale said.

The 1-3/16-mile (1900m) Preakness will be run May 20.

Instead of travelling the New York-based Always Dreaming from Kentucky to Belmont and back to Baltimore, Pletcher figured it was best just to eliminate the trip to New York.

“All that travelling, it doesn’t really take anything out of him, but you never really know,” DePasquale said. “It’s simpler to bring him here, let him settle in and save all that shipping back and forth.”

She said the plan was for Always Dreaming to jog around the track on Wednesday and he would probably gallop the following day.

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