The Preakness Stakes 2017 results are in, and Cloud Computing pulled off the upset.
The horse — which didn’t even compete in the Kentucky Derby — had a furious finish to overtake Classic Empire at the very end. Always Dreaming, the Kentucky Derby winner and favorite going into Saturday’s race, held a lead through the first half of the race but fell back into the pack as it reached the final stretch.
The Preakness Stakes results were a huge win for Cloud Computing trainer Chad Brown and jockey Javier Castellano.
Classic Empire finished in second, with Senior Investment coming in third, and Lookin at Lee in fourth.
The win was so unexpected that there was a rush of people to the internet afterward to learn about Cloud Computing, and SI.com filled in some of the details about his name’s origin.
“But what is ‘cloud computing’? According to a quick internet search, it is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.
“This is a very 2017 name for a race horse.”
Before the Preakness Stakes 2017 results were in, there was close to unanimous consensus that Always Dreaming was the far-and-away favorite to win the race and move one step closer to the Triple Crown. Always Dreaming had dominated the Kentucky Derby, jumping out to a strong start and ending on an even stronger finish to blow away the field.
But there were many contenders going into the Preakness Stakes, including the one-time Kentucky Derby favorite, Classic Empire. Many experts even picked Classic Empire to win in the upset.
“Slammed by McCraken at the start of the Derby, he gamely rallied to finish fourth but came out of the race looking like a heavyweight fighter, with cuts and a swollen eye,” Melissa Hoppert wrote in the New York Times. “With a clean trip, he is the big threat to Always Dreaming.”
Always Dreaming had another huge advantage coming into the race — jockey John Velazquez, considered to be the best in a generation, PhiladelphiaInquirer noted.
In the Kentucky Derby, it was Velazquez who kept Always Dreaming out of trouble in the first turn. As the Inquirer pointed out, Velazquez made a subtle, but brilliant move to keep Always Dreaming off the rail so he had room to accelerate through the finish without being blocked.
“Johnny was able to make his way to the outside,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “To me, that was the technical part of the race, where he was able to kind of become the stalker instead of being on the inside and then be pressured the whole way.”
— Spa Infield Goose (@SaratogaGoose) May 20, 2017
And Always Dreaming went into the race free from distractions. As Heather Dinich of ESPN reported, there was a noticeable lack of interest in the horse and trainer before the race, which could have been Pletcher’s strategy for race day.
“The security guards near the Stakes Barn where Always Dreaming is hanging out just told me this has been the quietest Preakness ever as far as foot traffic near the Derby winner’s barn. They think it’s because he has been here all week and trainer Todd Pletcher has been interviewed every day. There’s nothing left for him to say, a little more than two hours before the race.”
But in the end, it was the long-shot Cloud Computing that pulled off the victory.
BREAKING: CLOUD COMPUTING WINS THE PREAKNESS! pic.twitter.com/liAkuIxDwX
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 20, 2017
Beyond Always Dreaming and Classic Empire, there was a closely packed field with Looking at Lee coming in at 8-1 odds and Conquest Mo Money at 9-1 odds.
The full Preakness Stakes 2017 results and payouts can be found here.
[Featured Image by Rob Carr/Getty Images]