Rested and ready: 13-1 shot Cloud Computing wins Preakness

Through the brief, three-race campaign of Cloud Computing, a colt out of Maclean's Music with Distorted Humor and A.P. Indy as grandsires, Brown had managed his way to his first triumph in a Triple Crown race after seven in Breeders' Cup races and the 2016 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer.

It was Castellano's first time on Cloud Computing, an inexperienced colt who didn't run past year due to injury.

And by the second time in front of the grandstand, Always Dreaming was almost nowhere to be found, a well-beaten eighth before an announced crowd of 140,327 on a cool, cloudy day at Pimlico Race Course.

"I love the way my horse finishes", he said.

"I think the turnaround was a little too quick", said Pletcher of the two-week interval between Derby and Preakness. "I'll leave it as a possibility right now". So it would be surprising if they suddenly turned aggressive in scheduling a horse who still has just four career starts. "We'll head back to Belmont. and regroup". He called his Belmont status "undecided".

"I think possibly 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", Brown said. "We're thrilled with the result". 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". Numerous record crowd of 140,327 were sure it was a two-horse race as the field went down the backstretch.

"He was just telling me in the post parade, he says 'look over there I used to have a seat in the infield for the Preakness, and now I'm here for the first time.' He especially is very deserving of this", said Brown.

The Preakness was the first time Always Dreaming was running back on two weeks' rest; he had a five-week gap going into the Derby. Trainer Todd Pletcher also favors long layoffs, although he made an exception to run Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming back in two weeks.

Classic Empire fought on to the finish line, but could not hold off a fresh charging horse in Cloud Computing.

At that point, Classic Empire's Toronto-based trainer Mark Casse thought he was headed there, too.

"He ran his race". "We just got beat". I know it's huge for him and I'm so excited for him. He was just telling me he remembers coming out here to the infield as a kid. And on his right shoulder was Classic Empire, who had finished fourth in the Derby and was second in the odds at 2-1.

"My opinion is that those are horses with established 2-year-old form", he said. "What you get is circumstances, the things that are out of his control, the track condition and pace scenario". "We're just going to evaluate the horse this week and probably by next weekend we may have a decision". Instead, he gunned his colt around the far turn, squared his shoulders into the stretch and galloped his horse down the rail as if he were a sure thing.

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.

Only 12 horses have gone on to complete the Triple Crown with a win in the Belmont Stakes in NY.

Always Dreaming seemed poised to do it after impressive wins in the Florida Derby and the Kentucky Derby, but he had nothing left to give down the stretch in the Preakness.

Always Dreaming was the first to throw in the towel, surrendering the lead to Classic Empire midway around the final turn.

Unlike in the Derby, in which Classic Empire was mugged leaving the gate, he had a clean trip Saturday. He could change that at Belmont, where he'd likely be the favorite.

  • Larry Hoffman