Facts, Figure and Quotes from the 142d Preakness Stakes
Cloud Computing Edges Classic Empire
By Dick Downey
Posted May 20, 2017
Photo by Jim McCue
Cloud Computing, a longshot unraced at age two and making only his fourth career start, edged Classic Empire in the shadow of the wire to win the Preakness Stakes.
The upset marked the end of any chance for a Triple Crown winner in 2017. Kentucky Derby winner and 6-5 post-time favorite Always Dreaming faded to an eighth-place finish after setting a contested pace.
Always Dreaming and Classic Empire broke well and ran through the first turn, up the backstretch and into the far turn one-two in very close quarters with Classic Empire to the outside of the pair. The first six furlongs were timed in 23.16, 46.81 and 1:11.00. About midway through the turn, Always Dreaming began to lose ground, and Classic Empire emerged as the leader as the field turned for home.
Meanwhile, Cloud Computing and Javier Castellano sat two and then three lengths off that dueling pair into the second turn.
When Classic Empire was a furlong from the finish line, the race looked like it was his for the taking. But his three-length lead began to evaporate, and suddenly it was a two-horse contest -- just not the two horses most people expected.
As Castellano urged him on, Cloud Computing came on outside of Classic Empire and got up in deep stretch to win by a head. The race was timed in 1:55.98 on a track that was rated fast for the first time of the day. Overnight rain had rendered the track muddy in the morning.
Senior Investment, who was last of 10 going into the far turn, finished third, another 4 3/4 lengths back and one-half length ahead of Looking at Lee, who was last in the early going. Gunnevera was a nose back in fifth. Multiplier finished sixth, followed by Conquest Mo Money, Always Dreaming, Hence and Term of Art.
Cloud Computing, trained by Chad Brown, won for only the second time. He broke his maiden sprinting on the inner dirt track at Aqueduct on Feb.11. Next time out he ran second in the Gotham Stakes and then finished a poor third in the Wood Memorial after breaking slowly and being unable to keep up with winner Irish War Cry and second finisher Battalion Runner. Irish War Cry went on to finish 10th in the Kentucky Derby. Battalion Runner was declared out of the Run for the Roses during Derby week.
The $28.80 win payout for Cloud Computing is the 9th largest in Preakness history. He paid $8.60 to place and $6.00 to show. Classic Empire returned $4.40 and $4.00 to place and show. Senior Investment paid $10.20 to show.
Trainer Chad Brown made his first foray into the Preakness a success. Castellano's decision to take off of Gunnevera, whom he'd ridden in his last five starts, was a winning move. As for Cloud Computing, he became the seventh horse since 1980 that didn't race in the Kentucky Derby to win the Preakness and the third horse to win the Preakness that didn't race at age two. Red Bullet and Bernardini are the other two.
Klaravich Stables and Bill Lawrence own Cloud Computing, who is by Maclean's Music. He's out of the A.P. Indy mare Quick Temper and was bred in Kentucky by Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. and Stretch Run Ventures, LLC. He was purchased for $200,000 at the Keeneland September 2015 Yearling Sale.
After the race, Brown expressed doubt that Cloud Computing would compete in the Belmont Stakes.
Pace Fractions: 23.16, 47.41, 1:11.00, 1:36.63, 1:55.98
Cloud Computing's Fractions: 23.56, 47.86, 1:11.60, 1:55.98. He ran the first quarter-mile in 23.56, the second quarter-mile in 24.30, the third quarter-mile in 23.74, and the final seven-sixteenths mile in 44.38.
Performance Relative to Odds
Best Relative Performance by a Low-Odds Horse: Classic Empire was second at 2-1.
Worst Relative Performance by a Low-Odds Horse: Always Dreaming was eighth at 6-5.
Best Performance by a High-Odds Horse: Cloud Computing won at 13-1.
Worst Performance by a High-Odds Horse: Term of Art was tenth and last at 46-1.
Pimlico announced that a record crowd of 140,327 watched the race. There is no way to verify the claim. They said it broke last year’s record of 135,256, an announcement which at the time was also received with skepticism.
Total handle on Pimlico’s 14-race program was in fact a record $97,168,658, an increase of three percent over the previous record set last year of $94,127,434 and a 14 percent increase over 2015 wagering. In-state handle was up 7.1 percent from 2016 and 10.4 percent from 2015.
Finish Position, Name, Finish Margin
1. Cloud Computing
2. Classic Empre, second beaten a head
3. Senior Investment, third, beaten 4 3/4 lengths
4. Lookin at Lee, fourth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths
5. Gunnevera, fifth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths, nose
6. Multiplier, sixth, beaten 5 3/4 lengths
7. Conquest Mo Money, seventh, beaten 6 1/2 lengths
8. Always Dreaming, eighth, beaten 14 lengths
9. Hence, ninth, beaten 14 3/4 lengths
10. Term of Art, tenth, beaten 16 lengths
PREAKNESS STAKES 142 CHART BY POST POSITION
|1||Multiplier||6th||19-1||30-1||J Rosario||B Walsh||Gary Barber, Adam Wachtel & George Kerr||Mark Stansell (KY)||1st IL Derby|
|2||Cloud Computing||1st||13-1||12-1||J Castellano||C Brown||Klaravich Stables Inc. & William Lawrence||Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. & Stretch Run Ventures (KY)||3d Wood Memorial|
|3||Hence||9th||22-1||20-1||F Geroux||S Asmussen||Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley)||Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley) (KY)||11th KY Derby|
|4||Always Dreaming||8th||6-5||4-5||J Velazquez||T Pletcher||Brooklyn Boyz Stables, Viola Racing Stables, St. Elias Stables LLC, Siena Farm and West Point Thoroughbreds, et al.||Santa Rosa Partners (KY)||1st KY Derby|
|5||Classic Empire||2d||2-1||3-1||J Leparoux||M Casse||John C. Oxley||Steven & Brandi Nicholson (KY)||4th KY Derby|
|6||Gunnevera||5th||11-1||15-1||M Smith||A Sano||Peacock Racing Stables LLC (Solomon Del-Valle & Guillermo Guerra)||Brandywine Farm and Stephen Upchurch (KY)||7th KY Derby|
|7||Term of Art||10th||46-1||30-1||J Ortiz||D O'Neill||Calumet Farm||Whisper Hill Farm, LLC (KY)||7th SA Derby|
|8||Senior Investment||3d||31-1||30-1||C Hill||K McPeek||Fern Circle Stables (Paul Fireman)||Dixiana Farms LLC (KY)||1st Lexington Stakes|
|9||Lookin at Lee||4th||9-1||10-1||C Lanerie||S Asmussen||L and N Racing||Ray Hanson (KY)||2d KY Derby|
|10||Conquest Mo Money||7th||10-1||15-1||J Carreno||M Hernandez||Judge Lanier Racing (Tom and Sandy McKenna)||Twin Creeks Farm (NY)||2d ARK Derby|
POST-RACE TRAINER and JOCKEY QUOTES
Chad Brown (Cloud Computing): “It’s unbelievable. A lot of teamwork. It couldn’t happen to greater clients than Seth Klarman and Bill Lawrence. Seth, he got into racing by coming to Pimlico. He was just telling me he remembers coming out as a kid to the infield. He grew up in Baltimore. They are very deserving owners. It’s just unbelievable.”
Javier Castellano (Cloud Computing): “I think I always had a lot of confidence in this horse but I didn’t have the opportunity to ride the horse. Then Mr. Brown gave me the opportunity to ride the horse in the Preakness. It was a great combination, and I am blessed to have the opportunity and enjoy the ride.
“I spoke to Mr. Brown before the race. We had a plan and we were sticking to the plan and it worked out great. We analyzed the race and handicapped the race together, we had a lot of thoughts and put them together and I think that is the most important thing in a relationship. We have a great communication together and I think that is the key to winning the race.”
Trainer Mark Casse (Classic Empire, 2nd): “I thought he ran outstanding. I always worry about him starting because he stumbles a little bit. He won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile going out after it and I said to Julien, ‘Second doesn’t mean anything.”’ I said, ‘Let’s go and try to win this thing.’ It ended up getting us in the end. We were going to be in it, and he said, ‘OK.” We were going to be aggressive and that’s what we did.
“I know his mind tends to wander and I was a little worried about that. I was hoping that horse came to him earlier. He tried to kick back, but we were second best today.”
Jockey Julien Leparoux (Classic Empire, 2nd): “We had a good trip. We got the trip we wanted, outside Always Dreaming. The only thing is, Always Dreaming backed out of the race early, so I got to the lead early, maybe too early. I got to the lead early, and the winner just came at us at the end. He ran a big, big race. No excuses.”
Trainer Ken McPeek (Senior Investment, 3rd): “It was a great race. I was happy with him. He showed me he could compete against these kind and has continued to improve. He’s a really good horse with a huge future and I think we’re just getting started with him. A mile and a half and the Belmont is going to be really up his alley. The two who finished in front of him are obviously really good horses, but maybe if we would have had a little cleaner trip, we maybe could have finished closer. He’s such a big horse, it was pretty obvious he was going to need time to develop, so it's not a big surprise that he’s come along. He’s a really, really smart horse.
Jockey Channing Hill (Senior Investment, 3rd): “The race went the way I expected. I got a little stopped around the first turn when Asmussen’s horse (Hence) got the jump on me. I had to step on the brakes a little bit. Halfway down the lane, he showed his heart. I couldn’t be happier with this colt. He’s got a legitimate chance to win the Belmont. See you in New York.”
Trainer Steve Asmussen (Lookin At Lee, 4th): "Lookin At Lee keeps trying. Fourth in the Preakness, second in the Derby, he’s still trying. I think the circumstances today were ideal for these (Derby) horses to come back, if at all possible, a beautifully cool day. Whether or not they relished the going, I was very glad to see the racetrack get in as good a shape as it did for the running of the Preakness, considering how it looked the last few races Friday.
“Watching the race today from Always Dreaming, I was surprised. I felt that, watching his performance in the Derby, that there was a better chance of beating him here in two weeks — because of him being lightly raced and the spacing — than in the Belmont. But just like horse racing always, it’s never about one horse. It’s about all of them.”
Jockey Corey Lanerie, (Lookin At Lee, 4th): “I thought the track suited him better for the Derby, being a little more sealed maybe. But I was back there where I thought I would be, and when I called on him, he was there. We just didn’t get it done. At the three-eighths pole, I was hoping to grind them down and that they would come back to me. I didn’t have the charge I had at Churchill. Even from the gate, to me, he just didn’t travel as well over the track.”
Trainer Antonio Sano (Gunnevera, 5th): “No excuses. It just wasn’t his race.”
Jockey Mike Smith (Gunnevera, 5th): “I had a great trip. He lost his action at about the half-mile pole for some reason. Other than that I had a great trip.”
Trainer Brendan Walsh (Multiplier, 6th): “He finished good and he ran a decent race. He tried hard, so it’s hard to be disappointed with him. It looked like he needed more ground. He did get a little stuck down there (on the rail). He had a horse outside him. I thought there would be a lot more space with 10 runners, but there was a horse down on him the whole way and he never really got a break or really got a chance to get out of there. Joel said when he got rolling, he really rolled home for him and he said he finished up great.”
Jockey Joel Rosario (Multiplier, 6th): “It was a good trip, but I got stopped a little. I’m not saying I would have won the race, but maybe third.”
Trainer Miguel Hernandez (Conquest Mo Money, 7th): “I was a little disappointed with the race. I thought he would be more in the race, but it was a little too fast for him. He ran two times already from the outside post, so that didn’t bother him. My ride tried to put him in the race, but it didn’t work out. I think he could go to the Belmont.”
Jockey Jorge Carreno (Conquest Mo Money, 7th): “My horse broke a little slow. My horse just didn’t respond down the stretch. He did try but today wasn’t his day.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher (Always Dreaming, 8th): ““No (the pace wasn't too fast). Classic Empire held on for second. He probably went pretty ambitiously at us and maybe cost himself the race. But we didn’t have an excuse. We were in the position we expected to be and I think the turnaround was a little too quick. He ran so hard in the Derby and today just wasn’t his day. He didn’t seem to relish the track, but I don’t really think that was it. It was just that he put so much into the Derby that it wasn’t meant to be.
“I was a little concerned coming by the wire the first time. He was there, but it wasn’t like he was dragging Johnny there, actually. It felt like he was on a loose rein by the time they turned up the backside, That’s kind of what we anticipated Classic Empire would do, take it to us, but he just didn’t have that reserve today.
“Initially, it looks like he came back well. We’ll savor the Derby victory.”
Jockey John Velazquez (Always Dreaming, 8th): “He just got beat. I didn't have it. That's it. Not much to say. 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. He didn't have it.
“Look at the horse that was next to me (when asked if the pace was too fast).”
Trainer Steve Asmussen (Hence, 9th): “You know, Hence disappoints. Maybe it’s the stage more than anything else."
Jockey Florent Geroux (Hence, 9th): “He ran even but he just didn’t have any punch in the end. I had a great trip, saved ground but did not have any run.”
Trainer Doug O’Neill (Term of Art, 10th): “I thought Jose had him in a perfect spot and then around the 3/8ths pole he said a horse came over on him a little bit and Term of Art overreacted a little bit, sucked out of it and dropped out of the race; then he came on a little bit in the end. He’s still a champ in our mind. I love this horse. He’s a talented horse and one of these days he is going to put everything together and he is going to be a big-time horse.”
Jockey Jose Ortiz (Term of Art, 10th): “I put him in the race. I was sitting great right behind the horse that won the race. He didn’t give me any kick.”
WINNING CONNECTIONS TRANSCRIPT
THE MODERATOR: We welcome you and say congratulations. Mr. Klarman, your thoughts as Javier was leading your horse past Classic Empire and across the finish line today.
SETH KLARMAN: It was unbelievably exciting. Grew up three blocks from here. Was a big fan of racing from a kid and came to the Preakness many, many times. Never imagined I'd own a horse, let alone be the winner of the Preakness. Chad had a brilliant plan to bring the horse here and a brilliant plan for how the race was going to be run. And we sat exactly where we wanted to. Javier executed just perfectly on Chad's plan and here we are right now.
Q. When did you realize you had a special horse that could do this?
SETH KLARMAN: I think if people have seen his first race, when he was maiden, he broke relatively poorly and made an amazing move on the outside. And he looked like he had no chance to win, and he won that race. And Chad and I discussed after the race how special he was.
We took the risk of moving him up into a stakes race (indiscernible) going long in the second race of his life, and he ran a fabulous second. So we knew we had a special horse. And of course I'm not a horseman but Chad is. And when Chad said this horse can do special things, we put him on the trail to Triple Crown-type races.
Q. Can you talk about growing up here and being a race fan, what got you into racing? And how much different is it from what you do for a living and why are you here today?
SETH KLARMAN: I started out as a teenager handicapping, enjoying the races, enjoying the athletic performances and enjoying the puzzle of trying to figure out who might win a race.
As an adult, I was offered the opportunity to participate in a small partnership and gradually became an owner about 25 years ago. And this is the culmination of 25 years of hard work and learning and trying to figure this game out.
Q. How much different is this than what you do in your regular life?
SETH KLARMAN: In my regular life I'm a long-term value investor. So we make patient long-term investors on behalf of our clients.
This is gambling. This is a risky undertaking. This is not at all unlike what I do in the rest of my life, but it does provide one of the highest levels of excitement that a person can have. It's really been a thrill and this is the highlight of our career so far as thoroughbred owners.
Q. Do you have any regrets not running in the Kentucky Derby?
SETH KLARMAN: No regrets. I think possibly some of the reason that we won today was because we were patient and didn't throw an inexperienced horse against a 20-horse field in the Derby on a very difficult track. So I think that's actually why we're here today.
I've also learned in life that you don't look back with a lot of would-have, could-have, should-have, that we made a great call and we're ecstatic today and we'll worry about the future, not the past. So thank you for the question.
Q. Javier, you didn't run in the Kentucky Derby. What made you so confident to win today?
JAVIER CASTELLANO: Well, I think I have a lot of confidence with the horse. I never had the opportunity to ride the horse, you can see. But the way I saw it at races and the analysis, and Mr. Brown give me the opportunity to ride a horse. I'm thankful for that, and it was a great combination.
We have a good clip in the past and the last couple of years we've been very successful. And (indiscernible) and tried to make the best choice. And first of all, he gave me the opportunity to ride the horse in the Preakness, and I took it from there. And it worked out great. I think it was a great combination, and I've been blessed to have the opportunity. And I think we just enjoy the ride.
Q. Javier, was it your strategy to get to the rail and go?
JAVIER CASTELLANO: Well, I spoke to Mr. Brown before the race. We have a plan. We sticking with the plan. It worked out great. We analyzed the race. We handicapped it together. We had a lot of talks. So we put it together, and I think that's the most important thing in a relationship when we have a great communication. I think it was a key to win the race.
Q. Chad, when did you have a sense that this horse could win today?
CHAD BROWN: Well, we always liked this horse as a two-year-old. He got injured up at Saratoga. He was one of our first two-year-olds to run actually. He showed a lot of talent right away. Ironically him and Practical Joke were identified as Seth and Bill's horses as two of the best in the crop. And Practical did well and this horse got hurt.
So we rested him, and Seth and Bill have always been extremely patient with their horses, no rush and whatever is best for them we do. We knew he was good right away. How did we know he was this good, Preakness good? I'd say in his second start, in the Gotham, when he was kind of chasing a fast pace and then made another run in the lane, he just never quit.
We huddled up and said this horse is really special and he can go that far. How do we get to the Derby? And it just didn't work out in the Wood. We just ran out of time. Looking back on it, it was a bit of a speed buyer's track that day, and he was one of the only horses that closed ground really.
After that it really wasn't a hard decision. We had the points and we got together and we just really zeroed in on this race, and thankfully it worked out.
Q. Chad, a lot of trainers wait a lifetime to get a Triple Crown win. You got yours in your first try.
CHAD BROWN: Well, I'll tell you, it's not quite like that. I feel like it's been a lifetime for me, really. Because you've got to put a lot of time in.
And I've been training now for 10 years. We've run four horses in the Derby. This is our first Preakness try. But I personally put a lot of time, and my staff's put a lot of time in. When you add the time as an assistant trainer, for two great trainers, it feels like I've been doing it forever, really.
So I don't take it for granted. I know I'm young. But you have to have an incredible team of people that share a common goal. And everyone has to have the same drive as me. And I feel I have that with my team -- an outstanding jockey to work with like Javier and supportive owners that are patient.
This horse worked hard and needed a lot of care and patience. It all came together. I feel like it was a lot of work and well deserved by everybody.
WILLIAM LAWRENCE: I whispered to Chad in the winner's circle, best dirt trainer in the country, which is a little joke. People think he can only train turf trainer.
Q. What are your plans for tomorrow in terms of are you going to be at the stakes barn? And when do you plan on shipping him out?
CHAD BROWN: The horse is scheduled to leave tomorrow. We had lined that up ahead of time. And we're probably going to get back to our home base in New York. The tough part about this job is I have a lot of other horses and right now, luckily, good horses that need care and attention and training. And it's great to win. And we'll really enjoy it, but I've got to get back to work tomorrow.
Q. Timeframe on that?
CHAD BROWN: Not yet. We'll figure it out.
Q. Chad, you've had success. You were Eclipse Award-winning trainer last year. Is there a level of success that this brings you winning a Triple Crown race that maybe the others did not?
CHAD BROWN: Absolutely. Such a rare race, Triple Crown race, and a huge part for me, for our team, for our clientele.
And another personal note, I was thinking about this in the winner's circle there, I've always praised my mentor Bobby Frankel who taught me so much. And it just seems like he's won every race but the Derby and Preakness, really. This is the only race that eluded him in his unbelievable career.
I feel this is for him, at least from my viewpoint. And without his mentorship I certainly wouldn't be here.
Q. (Question off microphone)
CHAD BROWN: It sure did. And the first thing was getting a clean break. Here's a horse that's only run three times and two of them he broke bad.
It's Javier's first time riding the horse. I made him aware of that. What helps in situations like this is that we have good chemistry. He's ridden a lot of top horses for me and ridden them well. We work well together.
When I relay information about a horse or a plan, he knows just what I'm talking about and he can get it done. And that's big. Once he got a spot early, we figured the race can be won or lost in that first turn. And I feel he won that race right in that first turn.
Q. The Belmont, the next big Triple Crown race, your plans to --
CHAD BROWN: We really don't know. We were just going to take it race by race with this horse. We're going to see.
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. And I'll leave it as a possibility right now.
Q. Mr. Lawrence, would you like to see your horse go to the Belmont?
WILLIAM LAWRENCE: Yeah, we'd like to see it but only if it's the right thing for the horse. This horse ran a couple of races three weeks apart.
We all were pretty much in agreement that while it would be great to run in the Derby, I guess it helped that we had another horse run the Derby, put in a nice performance, we're not going to hurt the horse. There's plenty of big races ahead.
We trust Chad and feel very confident in him. He'll let us know how the horse is doing and his team. They're working there every day. We're not there in the barn every day. I think we're pretty good about making suggestions but following Chad's lead. If he says go, we'll go. If he says no, we're not going to go.
Q. Mr. Lawrence, the actual acquisition of the horse as a yearling, what went into that decision?
WILLIAM LAWRENCE: Mike Ryan bought it for us. Chad will remember more. We're very lucky. We own a lot of horses, and putting all the pieces backwards and where they were. But again the point person for everything we're doing is Chad. And he's involved from -- we want him to know the horses he's going to get and make sure he's happy with them. Because, again, him and his team are putting a lot of hours and a lot of work into developing these horses. You may know a little more.
CHAD BROWN: I'd say about three or four years ago we added Mike Ryan to help me identify these horses. And he found this horse. We work well together in the sales (phonetic).
He looks at these horses and I'll come in and look at them, figure out what works for us. We work together. But he deserves the credit for finding this one. And his career speaks for itself. He's been doing it a long time. We're happy to have him on our team scouting for us.
THE MODERATOR: On behalf of the Maryland Jockey Club, congratulations.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports