Baltimore Native's 'Gamble' Pays Off In Preakness Win

Ross Houston
May 24, 2017

The dream of another Triple Crown victor has again gone by the wayside, and there are no assurances that Always Dreaming or Cloud Computing will go to NY to compete in the Belmont Stakes June 10.

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.

An emotional Castellano said winning a second Preakness - he claimed the 2006 edition with Bernardini - was dedicated to his family.

Cloud Computing is just the third victor in the 142-year history of the Preakness not to run as a 2-year-old.

Other closers looking to pounce are Gunnevera (10th in the Derby), Hence (11th in the Derby) and new shooters Multiplier, Senior Investment and Term of Art. I don't say you learn to deal with it, especially in races like this. "First of all I thank God for the opportunity, and Mr. Brown gave me the opportunity to ride the horse and I'm thankful for that". It's going to be his birthday tomorrow.

When I lived in Louisville, Mark's late father Norman always kept me up-to-date about the future of horse racing in Florida. I know it's huge for him and I'm so excited for him. We knew he had a lot of courage and the hope was that the pace would set up, up front, and it did. "I'm happy for him and the horse".

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.

Classic Empire dueled withAlways Dreaming throughout most of the race before taking the lead turning for home. That obviously wasn't an option this year, with Always Dreaming vying for the Triple Crown.

Always Dreaming trainer Todd Pletcher, despite winning seven Eclipse Awards, remains winless in the Preakness with his nine starters dating to 2000.

Most believed if it wasn't another happy day for Always Dreaming, it would be a statement day for Classic Empire, the two-year-old champion and Arkansas Derby victor, who did well to squeeze a fourth-place finish out of a bumper-car trip two weeks ago at Churchill Downs.

Cloud Computing is your 2017 Preakness Stakes victor after coming from the back of the pack to catch Classic Empire on the final leg of the race. Always Dreaming was eighth. "Coming into the Preakness, I thought if something would happen with Always Dreaming that I had a legitimate chance to win". He was there, but it wasn't like he was dragging Johnny there, actually. Velazquez and Leparoux played the hands they were dealt with but when they turned over the cards, somebody else pulled in the pot. Classic Empire was well ahead and had put away his top rival. (Cloud Computing) ran a big, big race.

The finish was epic and will be remembered for a patient ride by Javier Castellano and an excellent training job by Chad Brown for a couple of hedge fund financiers.

"Certainly, I'm not going to dispute the face that I brought in a fresh horse as part of our strategy", Brown said.

Even with Always Dreaming's dominance this year, eight of the past 12 Derby winners did not win the Preakness.

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