Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Preakness Stakes: Watch Cloud Computing's upset victory

Preakness Stakes: Watch Cloud Computing's upset victory

Classic Empire dueled with Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming throughout most of the race before taking the lead turning for home.

Classic Empire and Kentucky Derby champion Always Dreaming battled for the lead, while Cloud Computing stalked the pair before finding another gear deep in the stretch to overtake Classic Empire at the wire by a head.

Castellano Wins Second Preakness Javier Castellano, Cloud Computing's jockey, made his second trip to the Preakness winner's circle.

"We figured the race would be won or lost in that first turn", Brown said, per Joe Drape of the New York Times, "and he won it right there".

"Nobody deserves anything, but Seth Klarman has been buying horses for 25 years", Lawrence said.

Trainer Antonio Sano said Gunnevera bled in the Preakness, where he finished fifth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths.

The victor was not controversial, and while Leparoux should have to explain to trainer Mark Casse exactly why he moved Classic Empire so soon, there were no excuses. The colt was scheduled to van back to trainer Mark Casse's Churchill Downs base Sunday evening.

"He didn't seem to relish the track, but I don't really think that was it".

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The dream of another Triple Crown victor has again gone by the wayside, and there are no assurances that Always Dreaming or Cloud Computing will go to NY to compete in the Belmont Stakes June 10. The crowd of 140,327 and wagering total of $94,127,434 were records, bettering the marks set a year ago. Javier Castellano had kept Cloud Computing in third and had plenty of horse when it mattered most.

Cloud Computing broke his maiden in a sprint race February 11 at Aqueduct, then came back in the Gotham Stakes and finished second by 3½ lengths. The racing world waited 37 years to witness American Pharoah's awesome run in 2015, so a second one in such a short period would have been a rare thing indeed.

Classic Empire returned $4.40 and $4, and 31-1 shot Senior Investment was another 4 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $10.20.

Classic Empire and Lookin At Lee would face off for the sixth time in the Belmont, and they could be the only horses to run in all three Triple Crown races. He rode Bernardini to victory in the 2006 Preakness.

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

"He was a better horse yesterday than he was two weeks ago for the Kentucky Derby", Casse said of Classic Empire.

They remained in step from the gate opening through three quarters in 1:11.

This race was the metaphor that keeps giving, because Classic Empire started as favorite with odds of 2/1. And as the field entered the far turn, Cloud Computing went with him. Classic Empire was a very unlucky second. 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.

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"Today is a special day", Castellano told broadcaster NBC just after the race.

Pletcher still has no answer why Always Dreaming faded in the Preakness to finish a disappointing eighth.

Trainer Chad Brown was even-keeled after the race, doling out credit to everyone who was a part of the horse's team.

When a horse gets the lead too easily, they think their job is over - remember horses are pack animals and don't like to be alone.

The top two colts - Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming and hard-luck, fourth-place finisher Classic Empire - look clearly superior to the ho-hum horses that make up the rest of the field.

For the last 50 yards, Cloud Computing and Classic Empire shadowed each other, running nose to nose nearly until they hit the wire.

"The six weeks (break between the Wood and Preakness) was huge", the agent said.

"Like I kind of cautioned everyone during the week, sometimes you don't know those things until the quarter pole, but everything that we had seen, we were happy with", Pletcher told the Baltimore Sun.

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The victory was especially sweet for Klarman, who grew up a few blocks from Pimlico.

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