Always Dreaming captured the country’s attention two weeks ago, and his aggressive running style seemed perfectly suited for the shorter Preakness, especially against a green horse like Cloud Computing that entered the race with only three starts. Classic Empire returned $4.40 and $4. That decision paid off for Brown, last year’s Eclipse victor as top trainer.
Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming stands outside a barn as he is washed after a workout at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Thursday, May 18, 2017.
Always Dreaming and Classic Empire jumped in market order and were one-two nearly throughout in front of a record crowd of 140,327. Horse racing fans around the nation were shocked as Cloud Computing, lead by jockey Javier Castellano, pulled into first place at the last second of the 2017 Preakness in Baltimore.
It was the first Triple Crown classic win for Brown-in his first Preakness start-and first for Cloud Computing’s owners.
As a 3-year-old, however, Classic Empire has not had the same success. In addition to Always Dreaming, second-place finisher Lookin At Lee, fourth-place finisher Classic Empire, seventh-place finisher Gunnevera and 11-place finisher Hence are in Baltimore.
Trainer Steve Asmussen said Lookin At Lee, second in the Derby and fourth in the Preakness, will head to NY on Sunday morning to prepare for the Belmont. “You’ve got to let the dust settle a little bit and not let your emotions get involved”. If we win 20 percent of time, that’s pretty good.
Castellano, who will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame this summer, said the victory held great meaning for his family.
The wise guys said the Preakness was a two-horse race – and that’s precisely the way it unfolded for three-quarters of a mile Saturday at Pimlico Race Course.
Wednesday’s Preakness draw placed the rivals side-by-side in the starting gate – Always Dreaming in the No. 4 post position; Classic Empire at No. 5.
Cloud Computing’s Preakness win also made him the first grade 1 victor for Hill “n” Dale stallion Maclean’s Music. Empire jockey Julien Leparoux said afterward he didn’t really want the lead at that point but was forced to go by the feel that Always Dreaming was beginning to falter.
“We didn’t have an excuse”, said Todd Pletcher, trainer of Always Dreaming.
“Today is a special day”, Castellano told broadcaster NBC just after the race. He continued to valiantly fight on after taking the race to favored Always Dreaming early and often. Today’s big win brings his career record to 4: 2-1-1 with total earnings of $1,071,000.
Senior Investment, the victor of the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, ran a surprising third.
Cloud Computing caught Classic Empire in the final strides to win the Preakness in an upset.
“This is a very 2017 name for a race horse”. Our strategy was that if we were ever going to beat them, let’s take them on when they’ve had two weeks rest and we’ve had six.
Afterward, the 38-year-old was non-committal on whether Cloud Computing would run the Belmont Stakes in three weeks’ time. He came into the Preakness after a six-week break.”It just didn’t work out in the Wood”. We analyzed the race.
Seth Klarman grew up three blocks from Pimlico Race Course, going to the betting windows as a teenager to learn the horse-racing game. He turns 60 on Sunday.
Trainer Chad Brown was even-keeled after the race, doling out credit to everyone who was a part of the horse’s team.
Such measured thinking is typical of Klarman, said William Lawrence, his partner in owning Cloud Computing.
Lookin At Lee, the Derby runner-up, was fourth. Conquest Mo Money was the logical choice.