Cloud Computing surges down stretch to take Preakness

Workers paint the weather vane in the colors of Cloud Computing ridden by Javier Castellano after they won the 142nd Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico race course, Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Baltimore.

Long-shot Cloud Computing stalked the two horses that got all the attention during Preakness Week and stole the second jewel of the Triple Crown, which made for a nice little narrative featuring a soon-to-be Hall of Fame jockey and an owner who grew up in the shadow of Pimlico Race Course.

There will not be a Triple Crown victor again this year as Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming finished a disappointing eighth in the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes Saturday. Always Dreaming, the 6-5 favorite in the field of 10, exhausted badly with John Velazquez in the saddle and finished eighth.

When jockey Julien Leparoux put Classic Empire in gear with three furlongs remaining, he left Always Dreaming in his dust and looked headed for victory.

The 142 Preakness Stakes on Saturday was supposed to be a two-horse race. Watching the race today from Always Dreaming, I was surprised. Castellano won for the second time.

Senior Investment, a 30-1 long shot, finished third, 4 3/4 lengths behind Classic Empire, the Arkansas Derby victor and second favorite in the Preakness at 2-1 odds.

Cloud Computing was prepped for racing at Stonestreet Farm under the direction of Ian Brennan, who along with Nick de Meric and J.J. Crupi, handle the preparation of the Preakness owners' horses in Florida.

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"He's a horse we've liked for a long time", said Ryan, who watched the Preakness from his hotel room as he interspersed watching pre-sale workout videos with the Pimlico races.

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

"I feel this is for him", he said.

"We were in the position we expected to be and I think the turnaround was a little too quick", said Always Dreaming trainer Todd Pletcher. In the end, Cloud Computing won the only duel that mattered - the 142nd Preakness Stakes.

"Our horse is very talented too".

"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.

"I've been training now for 10 years".

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"Never imagined I'd own a horse, let alone be the victor of the Preakness", said Klarman, whose day job is CEO of the Boston-based hedge fund The Baupost Group. "I was hoping (Cloud Computing) came at him earlier". This whole two weeks in between the Derby and the Preakness is all about just refueling and keeping him healthy and happy.

"We are going to take it race by race with this horse", he said. We're going to see.

The early pace was typical - 23.16, 46.81, 1:11.00 - not fast, not slow, and both horses seemed relaxed down the backstretch. It felt like he was on a loose rein by the time they turned up the backside, That's kind of what we anticipated Classic Empire would do, take it to us, but he just didn't have that reserve today.

That left Always Dreaming trainer Todd Pletcher, whose $338 million in earnings soar past all others, in a situation similar to his first try at this with a Derby victor, in 2010.

"He didn't seem to relish the track, but I don't really think that was it", Pletcher said. The Jockey Club, which governs horse racing in North America, has pretty strict rules for what you can and can't name a horse.

A decision on Cloud Computing running in the Belmont is still up in the air.

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