Cloud Computing wears down Classic Empire for Preakness upset

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

May 20th, 2017

Cloud Computing, one of the "new shooters" in Saturday's $1.5 million Preakness (G1), gunned down a weary Classic Empire in the final yards to claim the second jewel of the Triple Crown at Pimlico by a head, thus giving reigning Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown his first taste of classic success and 2017 Hall of Fame inductee-elect Javier Castellano his second.

Unraced at two and having skipped the Kentucky Derby (G1) two weeks ago, Cloud Computing was plenty fresh for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness after last running in the April 8 Wood Memorial (G2). A distant third in that event, Cloud Computing had won on debut over Aqueduct's inner track on February 11 going six furlongs, and then had run second in the Gotham (G3) before tackling the Wood.

Saving ground in behind Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and Classic Empire, who battled through splits of :23.16, :46.81 and 1:11, Cloud Computing swung out for the drive and took aim at Classic Empire, who had put away Always Dreaming approaching the stretch and had opened up a commanding lead. The early exertion eventually proved costly to Classic Empire as he was run down by the eventual winner in the final strides.

Owned by Seth Klarman's Klaravich Stables and Bill Lawrence, whose primary Derby hope had been multiple Grade 1 Practical Joke, Cloud Computing covered the Preakness distance in 1:55.98 over a fast track on an overcast day in Baltimore. He returned $28.80.

It was 4 3/4 lengths back to Senior Investment, who edged Derby runner-up Lookin at Lee for third. Following Lookin at Lee were Gunnevera, Multiplier, Conquest Mo Money, Always Dreaming, Hence, and Term of Art.

Cloud Computing is the first "new shooter" to claim the Preakness since the filly Rachel Alexandra in 2009, the first Preakness winner since Curlin in 2007 to have been unraced at two, and the first to claim his first stakes win in the Preakness since Shackleford in 2011. This was Castellano's second classic win following his ride aboard Bernardini in the 2006 Preakness.

By Maclean's Music and out of the Grade 2-placed Quick Temper, by A.P. Indy, Cloud Computing was bred in Kentucky by Hill 'n' Dale and Stretch Run V. He sold for $200,000 at the Keeneland September Sale in 2015.

(Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos)