Preakness Stakes Results
For now, the dream of a Triple Crown winner this year is over. Despite being pegged as a 12-1 underdog, Cloud Computing was a major upset in the 2017 Preakness Stakes as Always Dreaming failed to build on the momentum he established in the Kentucky Derby.
Cloud Computing made his presence known early as he broke third from the gate behind Always Dreaming, a 6-5 favorite, and Classic Empire who had been reduced to 2-1 after opening at 3-1 morning line. The trio hit the first quarter-mile in :23.16. Always Dreaming held the early lead with Classic Empire haunting him on the outside. Term of Art held in fourth despite 45-1 odds.
Nothing changed at the front of the pack as the field hit the far turn having taken the half-mile in :46.81 and clocking in at 1:36.63 after the full mile. With just a handful of lengths left, Classic Empire stormed to the front as the front-running Always Dreaming fell well off the pace despite the urging of John Velazquez.
It looked as though Classic Empire would seize the day, but Cloud Computing burst down the home stretch with a heroic effort to outmuscle his rival and win by a neck with a final time of 1:55.98 over the 1 3/16th mile distance.
At 12-1, Cloud Computing was worth a strong $28.80, $8.60 and $6.00 across the board. Classic Empire delivered $4.40 and $4.00 in second while Senior Investment was a big payday for whomever backed him at 30-1 with a $10.20 payout.
It was a tough pill to swallow for race fans as Always Dreaming trailed all the way back to eighth in the ten-horse field. "I didn't have it. That's it. Not much to say," said John Velazquez. "I knew I was in trouble on the backstretch, when the other horse got to him, almost head-to-head, and engaged him. I knew I didn't have it. That's horse racing."
The day certainly belonged to Cloud Computing, but as a new shooter there will always be a bit of controversy. Trainer Chad Brown acknowledged this by saying, "I'm not going to dispute the fact that I brought in a fresh horse as part of our strategy," Brown said. "Our horse is very talented, too. Classic Empire and Always Dreaming are two outstanding horses and our strategy was, if we were going to ever beat them, let's take them on two weeks' rest when we have six, and it worked."
The results of the 2017 Preakness Stakes have left the Belmont Stakes field up for debate. Even Brown admitted that Cloud Computing may not make the trip to upstate New York. "We really don't know. We were just going to take it race-by-race with this horse. We're going to see," said Brown. "Do I think he's a mile-and-a-half horse? He's never really struck me that way, but I'm not going to rule it out. Let's see how he comes out of it and who is running and get a feel for it. I'll leave it as a possibility right now."
Mark Casse said the same concerning Classic Empire noting that "I would say, seeing him act this way, there is a better chance than there was“ Casse chimed. "But we'll see."
The news on Always Dreaming is undecided with Todd Pletcher and company openly stating that today simply didn’t belong to the Kentucky Derby winner. If Always Dreaming does compete in the Belmont Stakes there will certainly be more intrigue.
For now, however, the moment has been earned by Cloud Computing winning the Preakness. This was actually the colt’s maiden victory after he finished second in the Gotham Stakes and third in the Wood Memorial. It’s unquestionably quite the time for Cloud Computing to have his best performance.