Cloud Computing pulls upset in Preakness; Always Dreaming eighth

Sheri Evans
May 28, 2017

Cloud Computing ran down Classic Empire Saturday to win the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes.

In doing so he was only the fourth horse in 34 years to win the Preakness Stakes without first running in the Kentucky Derby. With every kiss Castellano blew into his horse's ear, Cloud Computing extended his stride.

Jockey John Velazquez knew he was in trouble as the horses turned for home in the 1 3/16-mile race.

This year, the connections of graded stakes-placed Cloud Computing successfully shook the virus symptoms that affect so many and skipped the Run for the Roses despite having earned enough points in favor of the Preakness Stakes (GI), giving more time between races to the lightly raced colt and avoiding the pitfalls that sometimes come with the bumper vehicle affair the Kentucky Derby sometimes becomes. I've always said that this race, the Derby, the Belmont are always won by guys with experience.

At this point we need to explain The Reg's sudden interest in horseflesh: it's because we can't make stuff like this up.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has not made a Belmont decision for Always Dreaming, who boarded a van to return to NY on Sunday morning. "Baloney", Casse said while he was holding Classic Empire on the shank outside the Preakness Stakes barn.

"I'm very excited", Castellano said immediately after the race. The victor ran 1 3/16 miles in 1:55.98. The colt responded with an eighth-place finish - the worst of his career - on Saturday. Cloud Computing finished a head in front of Classic Empire with Senior Investment surging from last to finish 4¾ lengths back in third. Unlike in the Kentucky Derby, when he stalked leader State of Honor from second, this time Always Dreaming was first. He rode Bernardini to victory in the 2006 Preakness.

"We been working for a long time for this moment". "It's great for the family".

This race was the metaphor that keeps giving, because Classic Empire started as favorite with odds of 2/1. Not only did he suffer an interrupted preparation, but then he was interfered with soon after exiting the starting gate and unable to adopt his customary prominent position.

Casse said he'd likely take blinkers off of Classic Empire for the Belmont.

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Cloud Computing returned $28.80 for a $2 win wager. But stunning performances in the Florida Derby and the Kentucky Derby, followed by the quick 2-week turnaround between the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, may have been too much to handle for Always Dreaming.

On Saturday evening, Pletcher said, "We didn't have an excuse", and, "He ran so hard in the Derby and today just wasn't his day", and, "He didn't seem to relish the track, but I really don't think that was it".

Always Dreaming lost for the first time in five races this year. He'd won his first four by a combined 23 1/4 lengths. Classic Empire showed a bit more speed than I thought he might, and he was able to hang on much longer than I would have anticipated given the pace scenario.

"Certainly, I'm not going to dispute the face that I brought in a fresh horse as part of our strategy", Brown said. "Our horse is very talented, too".

Since his colt went on to win the Preakness, it was posed to Klarman whether he regretted skipping the Kentucky Derby.

Cloud Computing was competing in his first race since the Wood Memorial six weeks ago.

"You have to have an incredible team of people that share a common goal", Brown said. "We just got beat". Klarman grew up three blocks from Pimlico Race Course and used to hang out there handicapping. He turns 60 on Sunday. The Jockey Club, which governs horse racing in North America, has pretty strict rules for what you can and can't name a horse. "It's a culmination of a lot of hard work", he said.

Klarman is "a long-term value investor". "I knew he didn't have it".

Klarman, who races as Klaravich Stables, is a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox.

Lookin At Lee finished second in the Derby, when Classic Empire was fourth. All of the dirt races before the Preakness were won by runners that were on the lead or close up.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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