Cloud Computing pulls surprise to win Preakness


Always Dreaming ride by John Velazquez moves off the track after the running of the 142nd Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico race course, Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Baltimore. Classic Empire looked to have the race won at the turn, but Cloud Computing found some extra resources from somewhere, drew level and managed to take the race by a nose. It seemed that trainer Mark Casse and trainer Julien Leparoux would be celebrating the second jewel of the Triple Crown when Classic Empire hit the wire. Super Saver was also trained by Pletcher.

"No regrets. I think possibly some of the reasons 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", Klarman said referring to the rain-soaked track at Churchill Downs two weeks ago.

The early pace was typical - 23.16, 46.81, 1:11.00 - not fast, not slow, and both horses seemed relaxed down the backstretch. "Maybe the quick turnaround, maybe a different surface, that drying-out surface we were hoping to avoid at Churchill". Initially, it looks like he came back well. Derby winners who have stayed near the lead - American Pharoah, California Chrome (2014) and I'll Have Another (2012) - have been able to replicate that success at Pimlico.

Cloud Computing is the 2017 Preakness Stakes victor.

But that is far from a certainty this year.

"He rode an excellent race", Brown said.

Leparoux, seeking his first Classic win, was equally disappointed after the race. It's special. Chad gave me a lot of support. "We'll head to Belmont and regroup".

Javier Castellano was aboard Cloud Computing for the first time on Saturday, a switch dictated by Brown, who wanted his go-to rider to get the colt into the race from the start and keep him there. He is notorious for giving his horses plenty of time between starts.

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

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"I love the way my horse finishes", he said. "But I thought I was going to win a lot of times before, so it doesn't shock me".

Pletcher nearly never runs his top horses back in two weeks.

"Classic Empire held on for second, " Pletcher said.

"To run second in the Derby, I thought I was going to win it, and it was really, really an exciting moment, an adrenaline rush", Lanerie said.

"Always Dreaming hasn't had many obstacles to face", said Corey Lanerie, who will ride Derby runner-up Lookin At Lee. The feeling is now that Cloud Computing may get some rest and aim for the Travers Stakes at Saratoga this summer. "We stuck with the plan", Castellano said. "I knew he didn't have it". Longshot Senior Investment took third, albeit almost five lengths adrift. The racing world waited 37 years to witness American Pharoah's incredible run in 2015, so a second one in such a short period would have been a rare thing indeed.

Two weeks later, Cloud Computing pounced on those two horses in the Preakness, pulling off an upset victory at 13-1 odds Saturday.

With two-thirds of the Triple Crown done, we're no closer than ever to determining the star of this year's 3-year-old crop.

In 2016, Japan was able to offer wagering on up to 24 worldwide races annually.