13-1 shot Cloud Computing springs upset in Preakness

Rufina Vignone
Mag 21, 2017

Todd Pletcher, trainer of Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming, is 0 for 9 in the Preakness.

Hard-charging Cloud Computing won Saturday's Preakness Stakes, narrowly edging out Classic Empire by a nose.

"Some of the reason that we won today was because we were patient and didn't throw an inexperienced horse against a 20-horse field in the Derby on a very hard track", winning co-owner Seth Klarman said. "We're just trying to keep him healthy, and we don't want him to make a mistake". Always Dreaming led much of the race, but finished well back. Then, for so much of the stretch, a fresh validation for the embattled Kentucky Derby contender Classic Empire looked nigh.

"We got the trip we wanted, outside Always Dreaming", said Classic Empire jockey Julien Leparoux. He said Classic Empire might have run out of gas because he was too concerned with Always Dreaming.

"Of course", said Casse, a nine-time Sovereign Award victor as Canadian racing's top trainer. "So I think that's actually why we're here today". Numerous record crowd of 140,327 were sure it was a two-horse race as the field went down the backstretch.

Ridden by Javier Castellano, Cloud Computing ran 1 3/16 miles in 1:55.98 and paid $28.80, $8.60 and $6. It was just the dark brown colt's second career victory. He didn't run as a 2-year-old because of injury.

Classic Empire, by Toronto-based Mark Casse, a nine-time Sovereign Award victor as Canadian racing's top trainer, returned $4.40 and $4, and 31-1 shot Senior Investment was another 4 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $10.20.

It was the first victory in a Triple Crown race for Brown.

Castellano comes from a racing family, with a father, uncle and brother who have been jockeys. But that has been the norm for a very long time, and let's not fool ourselves - it wasn't like the next three weeks were going to be a garden of human interest delights. "It's great for the family".

Always Dreaming trainer Todd Pletcher, despite winning seven Eclipse Awards, remains winless in the Preakness with his nine starters dating to 2000. Always Dreaming took a slight lead with Classic Empire on his flank.

Always Dreaming and Classic Empire broke well from the gate and galloped to the lead with Always Dreaming along the rail and Classic Empire on his shoulder.

Said Velazquez of Always Dreaming: "He just got beat". "We were in a position we expected to be, and I think the turnaround was a little too quick". "The only thing is, Always Dreaming backed out of the race early". It was a case of looking far beyond the Fountain of Youth and assessing the best way of getting Always Dreaming to the Kentucky Derby at the very peak of his form, even at the risk of - pardon the cliché - putting all his eggs in one basket in a grade 1 stakes.

That strategy, bringing a fresh horse into the mix, often draws criticism at the Belmont Stakes when a Triple Crown is on the line, but you know what?

Brown teamed up with another Capital Region native, Shaker grad Bill Lawrence, in the Kentucky Derby with Practical Joke and that tandem was the right connection this time around with Cloud Computing.

He thought about late mentor Bobby Frankel, who came to Pimlico four times and never hit the board in the Preakness.

"It just didn't work out in the Wood". "He just got beat", Velazquez said of the Kentucky Derby victor. He turns 60 on Sunday. Career-wise, he specializes in "patient long-term investments on behalf of our clients", he said, while of horse racing, he said, "This is gambling".

Klarman, who races as Klaravich Stables, is a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox. Gunnevera was fifth, followed by Multiplier and Conquest Mo Money. Hence was 9th and Term of Art ran last.

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