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

Classic Empire faltered as well, his three-length lead swallowed up by Cloud Computing who won at the wire. Brands victor Always Dreaming broke sharply from post four and appeared to be moving comfortably beneath John Velazquez as a record crowd of 140,327 buzzed with excitement. He hovered like a hummingbird, seemingly waiting for the right moment to burst into flight.

By the top of the stretch, everyone knew, and Classic Empire set out alone.

It stayed that way through the clubhouse turn, along the backstretch and into the far turn.

It was not until the last sixteenth of a mile that Leparoux realized he had company.

The horse beat 13-1 odds.

The victor, Cloud Computing, skipped the Kentucky Derby and was far fresher than Always Dreaming.

We will have more on the 2017 Preakness Stakes soon! Belmont Park's long stretch run has been known to cause huge problems for runners who spend too much energy in the in the first part of the race, as it allows come-from-behind horses ample time to get up to speed and nail the leaders. "Classic Empire and Always Dreaming are two outstanding horses, and our strategy was if we are ever going to beat them, let's take them on when they have two weeks' rest and we have six, and it worked".

Lanerie - a third-generation horseman who began galloping horses at age 9 and was riding at Acadiana's famed bush tracks before old enough to get a jockey's license - was seeking his first Triple Crown race victory. Cloud Computing covered the 1 3/16 miles of the $1.5 million Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown in 1:55.98 and paid a handsome $28.80 to win, $8.60 to place and $6.00 to show.

"We didn't have an excuse", said Todd Pletcher, who trains Always Dreaming. "Do I think he's a mile-and-a-half horse?"

"Today is a special day", Castellano told broadcaster NBC just after the race. "Coming into the Preakness, I thought if something would happen with Always Dreaming that I had a legitimate chance to win". He'd won his first four by a combined 23¼ lengths. Cloud Computing officially won by a head over Classic Empire and 4 3/4 lengths over Senior Investment.

He said Classic Empire might have run out of gas because he was too concerned with Always Dreaming.

"Of course", he said.

"We have had a great relationship for a long time now, and we have won a lot of races together", Pletcher said.

Casse, had been eager for this race after the Derby, where everything that could have gone wrong did. The colt, who was named the best 2-year-old last year, had a hard trip in the Derby - starting with a collision out of the gate - but still finished fourth.

That congested start, along with a sloppy track, was what helped derail Classic Empire in the Derby.

But Always Dreaming was not up to the task. It was hit first loss in five starts this year.

Amid all the hype, amid all the anticipation, another possible Triple Crown bid ended in a way no one expected. "This is our first Preakness try", the 38-year-old trainer said. After finishing a disappointing third in the Holy Bull in early February, he developed hoof problems as well as a disdain for training.

Always Dreaming's primary ownership is comprised of Brooklyn Boyz Stables and Teresa Viola, whose Brooklyn-born husband Vincent owns the NHL's Florida Panthers.

While everyone was expecting a NY kind of story given Always Dreaming's owners from Brooklyn and a trainer based at Belmont, it actually turned out to have a Baltimore feel to it. Cloud Computing's other owner, Seth Klarman, grew up three blocks from Pimlico. But on the final turn, Classic Empire took the lead.

"I used to say to Chad, 'Hey, maybe I want to win that one more, '" Lawrence said. The colt could have gone on to the Derby, but the trainer and owners thought it was wise to pass on running in a 20-horse race with such an inexperienced horse. His horses typically skip the Preakness in order to focus on the Belmont.

Cloud Computing has local connections.

Klarman, also a Cornell graduate, and a Boston-based investment-firm honcho, had grown up "three blocks from here", in his telling, and had "started out as a teenager handicapping", and "enjoying the puzzle of trying to figure out who might win a race".

At this point we need to explain The Reg's sudden interest in horseflesh: it's because we can't make stuff like this up. Then in 2001, he relocated to New York and joined the New York State racing circuit.

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