Brands (G1) victor faded in the final turn of the Preakness Stakes (G1), all the pre-race talk about a two-horse showdown appeared to be misguided. In his fourth lifetime start, a horse that had never won a stakes race and was coming off a modest performance in the Wood Memorial beat a Kentucky Derby victor and the 2-year-old champion in the Preakness.
But Brown didn't even seem to even contemplate that this was his first Preakness - just another accomplishment for the 2016 Eclipse Award victor as most outstanding trainer who's a rising star in his field.
The Derby victor faded about as badly as a Derby victor can fade, sliding back to eighth.
To pull the upset, Cloud Computing had to run down 2-1 second choice Classic Empire and 6-5 favorite Always Dreaming. "We have been satisfied the last couple of years". "We made a great call".
The Preakness win, in 1 minute, 55.98 seconds, was the second for Castellano, who had the odd experience of riding Bernardini to victory in 2006 after Barbaro broke down earlier in the race.
But Cloud Computing poured it on down the stretch with a charge from the outside to finish in 1:55.98 and clinch his second career victory. That will be June 10 this year. We're so happy to have Javier on this horse. The crowd of 140,327 and wagering total of $94,127,434 were records, bettering the marks set previous year. I have to thank my whole staff. He became the first horse to skip the Derby and win the second leg of the Triple Crown since filly Rachel Alexandra in 2009."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 hard track", winning co-owner Seth Klarman said.
Classic Empire took the fight to the Kentucky Derby victor from the start, and he knocked out Always Dreaming midway on the far turn. He heard Javier Castellano smooching to his colt, a 13-1 long shot named Cloud Computing. He had finished first, second and third - third behind Irish War Cry and Battalion Runner on April 8 in the Wood Memorial. The son of Pioneerof the Nile lost focus and started to wander a bit in the stretch allowing Cloud Computing to make a late run, collaring him at the sixteenth pole and overtaking him in the final fifty yards.
"Running a fresh horse was part of our strategy", Brown said.
"My father was a jockey for 25 years, my uncle, my brother. we grew up all racing, it's very special for us", he said. "Our strategy was if we are going to ever beat them, stick "em on two weeks" rest and we have six, and it worked".
He paced in front of his Kentucky Derby winner's No. 40 stall on Saturday evening, about an hour before the race, chatting on his cell phone as though it was just another day at the office. The duo put up the first quarter in:23.16, the half in:46.81, and the first three-quarters in 1:11 flat. Castellano won for the 2nd time.
"I didn't have it".
There was Always Dreaming, briskly moved into the lead by jockey John Velasquez. Castellano had never even ridden the horse before Saturday. I knew I didn't have it. Classic Empire, who had a miserable trip in the Kentucky Derby and finished fourth, paid $4.40 and $4, while Senior Investment returned $10.20. And, the day after the Preakness marks his 59th birthday. "He ran his butt off and I'm just proud of him". "So I was looking to find a way out, trying to get around tiring horses".
"This horse is so talented".
Always Dreaming simply wasn't good enough. I said, "You know what?" It's obviously disappointing. I was expecting better. "We were going to be aggressive and that's what he did". "Like in the (Sentient Jet) Breeders" Cup (Juvenile, G1), he fought back, but it was too much".
Senior Investment finished third in the Preakness as a 30-1 longshot, and he could turn around and run in the Belmont as well.
Lookin At Lee, the Derby runner-up, was 4th. Brown indicated that it has not been determined whether Cloud Computing will race. He embarrassed himself after the 2014 Belmont Stakes by complaining bitterly about the common practice of entering fresh horses in the later Triple Crown races to ambush the Derby victor. "Brown gave me the opportunity to ride the horse and I'm thankful for that". "I think he just turned around and was a little too quick". I have the best trainer and the best jockey going for me. But he abruptly came up empty when the serious running began and faltered badly. "And I feel he won that race right in that first turn".
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