Always Dreaming faded down the stretch, where Cloud Computing overtook second-favorite Classic Empire to win the 142nd Preakness States on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course.

You always remember your first time, although jockeys don't find it a big deal

 (Diane Bondareff / Associated Press)
(Diane Bondareff / Associated Press)

You would never think of buying a car without test driving it. Or, when you go to the rental car counter, you’re often given a choice, so you pick the vehicle with which you’re most familiar.

So how is it that jockeys can get on a horse without ever having ridden or worked the animal and make it look like they are lifelong friends?

If you ask the best — and in this case, that’s Mike Smith — they will tell you it’s no big deal to have your butt on a horse for the very first time seconds after the “riders up” call.

Smith will be doing just that for a second straight Triple Crown race Saturday, when he rides Gunnevera in the Preakness.

This will follow his ride on Girvin, a horse he had never ridden, in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago.

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