LISTEN: Handicapper Brad Thomas Breaks Down Preakness

NEW YORK (WFAN) — Can Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming capture the second leg of the Triple Crown?

Horse racing handicapper Brad Thomas likes his chances.

MORE: Always Dreaming’s Brooklyn-Bred Owners Now Dreaming Of Triple Crown

In previewing the Preakness on Mike Francesa’s WFAN show Friday, Thomas said there are two reasons Always Dreaming could be vulnerable: He prefers a firmer track than what Pimlico offers and the two-week turnaround from the Derby is shorter than what his trainer prefers.

“Still, there’s a lack of other serious and committed speed in the Preakness, and his good draw (the fourth post), I think, gives him a huge tactical advantage,” Thomas said. “Always Dreaming is going to be very, very hard to beat at about 1-to-2 odds.”

However, Classic Empire, who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby, poses a real threat, Thomas said.

“Here, he’s perfectly posted (at No. 5) … ,” Thomas said. “He should fall into a much more tenable early position. He can be quirky and headstrong, however. So he’s going to have to relax better than he has in some previous races when he was in close-range mode.

“The key other question for him is whether or not he can move forward following two gut-wrenching efforts and now a second straight quick turnaround. … If he can, he definitely has the talent to test Always Dreaming.”

Two other horses Thomas likes are Conquest Mo Money and Hence. To listen to his analysis of every horse in the Preakness, click on the audio player above.

Also check out Francesa’s interview with NBC Sports analyst and two-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Jerry Bailey below.

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