Handicapping the Preakness: Our staff picks

Kentucky Derby Horse Racing
Classic Empire is among the favorites in Saturday's Preakness.

A RECAP of staff writers' Kentucky Derby picks and a quick note on whom they like in the Preakness and why.

Ed Barkowitz

Kentucky Derby: Miserable. Had Irish War Cry (10th), Girvin (13th) and Classic Empire (4th). The fourth in my superfecta, Thunder Snow, stumbled out of the gate and was pulled up shortly into the race. No wonder the guy at the window handed me my tickets already ripped up.

Preakness pick:

Win: 5 - Classic Empire

Place: 9 - Lookin At Lee

Show: 4 - Always Dreaming

Fourth: 10 - Conquest Mo Money

Irish War Cry (grrrrr) ignited a a five-car pileup at the start of the Derby that essentially took out 25 percent of the field. Classic Empire was one of those horses. He did extremely well to finish fourth. With a much lighter field, he should get a cleaner break. Lookin At Lee running second would make for a lucrative trifecta.

Dick Jerardi

Kentucky Derby: Also had Irish War Cry (finished 10th) with McCraken (8th). At least he had Always Dreaming in his trifecta. Rounded his super out with J Boys Echo, which finished 15th.

Preakness pick:

Win: 5 - Classic Empire

Place: 4 - Always Dreaming

Show: 2 - Cloud Computing

Fourth: 10 - Conquest Mo Money

It's most likely Always Dreaming (to win), but hard to like him at 4-5 or so. Officially, my pick will be Classic Empire because I know he's better than his Derby finish. But I don't know if he is good enough to beat Always Dreaming.

Mike Jensen

Kentucky Derby: Had Always Dreaming to win, which paid $11.40. That's commendable. His other super selections, however, were Irish War Cry (10th), J Boys Echo (15th) and Irap (18th).

Preakness pick:

Win: 5 - Classic Empire

Place: 4 - Always Dreaming

Show: 10 - Conquest Mo Money

Fourth: 2 - Cloud Computing

Simple Preakness thought every year: The best horse usually wins. Not saying Always Dreaming isn't best, just not sure it's a Derby-Preakness winner. A better trip gets it done for Classic Empire.

Mike Kern

Kentucky Derby: Could have gotten a piece of the huge exacta with just a little wheel work. Kern had the winner, Always Dreaming. Then he had Hence, which ran 11th. Lookin At Lee, which finished second to Always Dreaming, was his third pick. He rounded it out with Gunnevera, who placed 7th. Not bad, considering the giant field.

Preakness pick:

Win: 4 - Always Dreaming

Place: 3 - Hence

Show: 5 - Classic Empire

Fourth: 10 - Conquest Mo Money

Coming off a once-in-a-lifetime $336 exacta in the Derby, what can I possibly do for an encore? I'm not usually a chalk guy, but I am now. And maybe we get lucky for second again. See you at the Belmont in three weeks.