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Farewell Triple Crown: Always Dreaming fades in Preakness

Farewell Triple Crown: Always Dreaming fades in Preakness

Chad Brown, who enjoyed a meteoric rise to become the preeminent turf trainer in North America, gained his first Triple Crown victory when Cloud Computing edged Classic Empire by a head in the 142 running of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course.

But jockey Javier Castellano, who rode Gunnevera in the Kentucky Derby, had Cloud Computing in hand and was closing on Classic Empire, the 2-1 second favorite.

There will not be a Triple Crown victor again this year as Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming finished a disappointing eighth in the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes Saturday.

Always Dreaming finished eighth in the 10-horse field, 13 1/2 lengths adrift, to end his bid at capturing the U.S. equine thoroughbred Triple Crown by sweeping the Derby, Preakness and next month's Belmont Stakes.

The 142nd Preakness had been billed as a match race between Always Dreaming and Classic Empire, and it was from the start. "The only thing is, Always Dreaming backed out of the race early. That's kind of what we anticipated Classic Empire would do, take it to us, but (Always Dreaming) just didn't have that reserve". Senior Investment, a 30-1 long shot, finished in third.

The victor of the race, Cloud Computing, skipped the Kentucky Derby. The dark bay, who carried a four-race win streak to Pimlico and was sent off as the 6-5 post-time favorite, vanned back to Belmont Park early Sunday morning.

"Certainly I'm not going to dispute the fact that I brought in a fresh horse as part of our strategy", Brown said. I feel this is for him. By the time they passed Pletcher and much of the crowd of 140,327 the first time, Pletcher thought Always Dreaming seemed to be "dragging" jockey John Velazquez and seemed to be on a "loose rein".

The final race in the Triple Crown series, the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes, will be held June 10 in Elmont, N.Y.

"When I spoke to the ownership after the race (Saturday), we all decided that we wouldn't make any decisions until we got him home and evaluated how he's doing".

"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", Pletcher said.

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 didn't think there was much speed in the race other than Riker", said the veteran rider.

Cloud Computing returned $28.80 for a $2 win wager.

For a couple of kids who grew up just down the street from the racetrack, winning the Preakness with a horse of their own amounts to the dream of a lifetime. "I think we have the best two horses, let's go at it", said Casse.

It was the first career Triple Crown win for Brown. "He ran so hard in the Derby and today just wasn't his day", said Pletcher.

The Preakness was the first time Always Dreaming was running back on two weeks' rest; he had a five-week gap going into the Derby. The Arkansas Derby runner-up was ninth at the start. "He's never really struck me that way, but I'm not going to rule it out", Brown told the Baltimore Sun.

"We didn't have an excuse", said Todd Pletcher, trainer of Always Dreaming. Career-wise, he specializes in "patient long-term investments on behalf of our clients", he said, while of horse racing, he said, "This is gambling".

At that time, Cloud Computing was more than three lengths behind the leader, and that's when jockey Javier Castellano chose to ask his charge to run.

Classic Empire once again hurt himself at the break when, according to the chart, he bobbled leaving the gate.

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