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Preakness 2017


2017/06/01


Jockey Javier Castellano, on Cloud Computing, celebrates after winning the 142nd Preakness Stakes and the second leg of the Triple Crown, Saturday, May 20, 2017, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. (Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Longines)

Cloud Computing, ridden by jockey Javier Castellano, edges past Classic Empire to win the 142nd Preakness Stakes and the second leg of the Triple Crown, Saturday, May 20, 2017, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. (Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Longines)

Cloud Computing, ridden by jockey Javier Castellano, edges past Classic Empire to win the 142nd Preakness Stakes and the second leg of the Triple Crown, Saturday, May 20, 2017, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. (Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Longines)
By Nancy Brannon

The third Saturday in May (20, 2017) marked the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, second leg of racing’s Triple Crown.

This year’s contenders were Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming; Arkansas Derby winner Classic Empire; Cloud Computing; Conquest Mo Money, second in the Arkansas Derby; Gunnevera, seventh in the Kentucky Derby; Hence, 11th in the Kentucky Derby; Lookin At Lee, second in the Kentucky Derby; Multiplier, winner of the Illinois Derby; Senior Investment, sixth in the Kentucky Derby; and Term Of Art.

A strong overnight rain left the Pimlico Race Course track muddy, at least for the first race, but a slight breeze through the day helped dry the track somewhat. The weather was near perfect, with temperatures in the upper 60s under an overcast sky. Excitement was in the air as the crowd wondered if Always Dreaming would win the second leg of the Triple Crown.

As the horses loaded into the starting gate, Classic Empire and Always Dreaming stood side by side. Both broke very well and soon took over the lead in the 1 3/16 mile race. Running one-two early on, the Preakness looked like it would be a match race between the two champions, with Always Dreaming slightly in front.

Meanwhile, Cloud Computing was running third in the inside, biding his time and maintaining just two lengths off the pace-setters. As they headed up the back stretch, it was still Always Dreaming and Classic Empire running side by side, with Always Dreaming only a half length apart. The two of them had been together since the gates opened – and were just noses apart three quarters through the race!

Then Classic Empire took the lead over Always Dreaming. John Velasquez put his horse to a drive, but did not get the response he needed to maintain position. Cloud Computing was still third on the outside, but making his move coming alongside Always Dreaming and still forging ahead!

Coming into the stretch, it was Classic Empire coming for home with a 2 ½ length lead, with Cloud Computing moving into second. Always Dreaming had dropped back through the field. Coming into the final furlong, Classic Empire was still in the lead, but Cloud Computing was coming on strong going for the upset! Cloud Computing drew alongside Classic Empire, coming to the finish just noses apart! A nose ahead, Cloud Computing defeated Classic Empire in the 142nd Preakness Stakes!

Cloud Computing ridden by Xavier Castellano stole the limelight from Arkansas Derby winner Classic Empire and Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming. Senior Investment was third with Always Dreaming finishing near the rear of the field. Jockey Xavier Castellano, trainer Chad Brown, and owners Seth Klarman and William Lawerence celebrated their victory in the winner’s circle.

One of Pimlico’s oldest stakes races, the 93rd running of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes was Friday, May 19, 2017. The race was first run at Pimlico in 1919 as the Pimlico Oaks. The name was changed in 1952 to acknowledge the Maryland state flower. The mile and one-eighth test, for three-year-old fillies is traditionally run the Friday before the Preakness. The Black-Eyed Susan has long been the middle jewel of the traditional filly Triple Crown, which also includes the Kentucky Oaks Stakes (at Churchill Downs) and the Acorn Stakes (at Belmont Park).
 

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