Cloud Computing Pulls Upset Win At Preakness, Ending Triple Crown Hopes

It helped that Javier Castellano handled Cloud Computing so well.

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.

Always Dreaming finished eighth in the 10-horse field, 13 1/2 lengths adrift, to end his bid at capturing the U.S. equine thoroughbred Triple Crown by sweeping the Derby, Preakness and next month's Belmont Stakes.

The 3-year-olds now head to NY where in three weeks they will contest the Belmont Stakes.

Trained by Chad Brown, Cloud Computing won for the second time in just five career starts. He called his Belmont status "undecided". One eligible for a "one-other-than" allowance or straight "non-winners of two" race, one who did not start as a 2-year-old but by skipping the Kentucky Derby did not run afoul of the Apollo jinx.

His first Preakness entry had become his first Preakness win and a fourth Preakness victor since 2000 to have skipped the Kentucky Derby, all two weeks after another of Brown's charges, Practical Joke, had run fifth as Brown's fourth Kentucky Derby entry.

Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming was looking to keep alive the hopes of completing the famous racing treble, but the favourite was pressured all the way in the 1900m race at Pimlico racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland by the well-supported second-favourite Classic Empire.

Brown, 38, said Castellano followed the plan to perfection, staying behind Always Dreaming before making the late charge.

Todd Pletcher, trainer of Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming, is 0 for 9 in the Preakness. Then, Super Saver finished eighth, while Lookin At Lucky won aboard a new jockey, Martin Garcia. In Kentucky, he had a flawless, front-running trip on a rain-soaked course that bedeviled many of his rivals - Classic Empire in particular.

Cloud Computing returned $28.80 for a $2 win wager.

Trainer Mark Casse said he was surprised he was not more disappointed. "We'll process it for a little while", said Pletcher, whose Derby victor returned to Belmont Park yesterday morning.

Classic Empire also paid a price for putting away Always Dreaming.

"No regrets. I'm a very happy man today". "You've got to let the dust settle a little bit and not let your emotions get involved". "The Preakness was easier on him than the Derby".

Classic Empire was scheduled to return to Casse's base at Churchill Downs on Sunday. "That's kind of what we anticipated Classic Empire would do, take it to us, but he just didn't have that reserve today".

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.

"Julien rode him ideal", he said. "We'll head to Belmont and regroup". "The Belmont is tougher than this because the pace is very much slower. I knew he didn't have it", said Velazquez.

He told a quick story about Klarman who grew up going to the races at Pimlico.

Lookin At Lee once again hit the board picking up minor awards with a closing fourth. "He'll have one work, the Saturday a week out". He said in spite of that, when he was reaching down to grab his stirrup the horse was taking him to where he wanted to be.

Trainer Antonio Sano said Gunnevera bled in the Preakness, where he finished fifth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths.