Derby victor Always Dreaming fades to eighth in Preakness

Paola Ditto
Mag 29, 2017

"I think he's going to be tougher to beat than I thought he would be going into the Derby". "Down the backside, he just felt like he wasn't taking him there the same way he had taken him there in the Kentucky Derby and the Florida Derby and the other two races that he'd ridden him in".

In the early phase of the home stretch, it was clear that Cloud Computing had a ton of work to do. He called his Belmont status "undecided". The final time in the 1 3/16 mile race over a track rated fast was 1:55.98.

A victor of 4,450 career races and the 1981 Eclipse Award as outstanding apprentice will review key races on the Triple Crown trail and the road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships, providing his thoughts leading into the race, insights about what happened during the running of the race and key takeaways from the outcome. "We're thrilled with the result".

"Our horse is very talented too".

"We were in the position we expected to be and I think the turnaround was a little too quick", said Always Dreaming trainer Todd Pletcher.

Pletcher was still struggling to find an obvious explanation for Always Dreaming's poor performance Saturday, but acknowledged that he was concerned with what he was seeing early in the race. "We just ran out of time", Brown said. "I kind of process through it and say, 'What would I have done differently if I could?' I don't know if there's anything I could have changed". Classic Empire looked to have the race won at the turn, but Cloud Computing found some extra resources from somewhere, drew level and managed to take the race by a nose.

Cloud Computing pulled off an upset win in the Preakness Stakes.

"Best dirt trainer in the country", Lawrence, the co-owner, whispered to Brown in the winner's circle. The lone exception came in the Sir Barton Stakes two races before the Preakness when the victor came from dead last.

"We got the trip we wanted, outside Always Dreaming", Leparoux said. We just didn't get it done.

I have known the Casse family for nearly four decades and I really wanted to see them win a big one. He was just telling me he remembers coming out as a kid to the infield. Classic Empire has three victories against Lookin At Lee, including this year's Arkansas Derby. "You could see Julien (Leparoux) getting after him, like come on, come on, we're not done". "What you get is circumstances, the things that are out of his control, the track condition and pace scenario". We're so happy to have Javier on this horse. Instead, he gunned his colt around the far turn, squared his shoulders into the stretch and galloped his horse down the rail as if he were a sure thing.

The win for Always Dreaming was his third of this year and his third under the care of mega-trainer Pletcher. He won at 13-1 odds and becomes just the third non-Kentucky Derby runner to win the Preakness since 2000.

That left Always Dreaming trainer Todd Pletcher, whose $338 million in earnings soar past all others, in a situation similar to his first try at this with a Derby victor, in 2010.

The Klaravich Stables entry, having not raced in six weeks, had enough to run down Classic Empire and edge him at the line.

This year, the Belmont Stakes could be a bigger deal in Japan than in North America. Classic Empire paid $4.40 for second and completed the $2 exacta of $98.40.

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