Everything was laid out perfectly for Classic Empire. The top challenger to Always Dreaming was a compelling value pick at 3/1 on the morning line for Saturday’s 2017 Preakness Stakes; the two thoroughbreds grabbed an early lead, then Classic Empire made a push around the final turn while Always Dreaming (4/5) faded. It was all over but the shouting.

Then Cloud Computing (12/1) shocked the world by closing late and beating Classic Empire by a head. It was a disappointing finish for horse racing fans who were looking ahead to the Belmont Stakes, and either a Triple Crown attempt by Always Dreaming, or the third chapter in his rivalry with Classic Empire. But it was a tremendous result for bettors who saw the potential for Cloud Computing to spoil the party.
 

It’s a Shoot

The connections are almost eerie in retrospect. Cloud Computing was a “shooter” at the Preakness Stakes, having skipped the Kentucky Derby two weeks earlier. The last shooter to win the Preakness was Bernardini in 2006; Javier Castellano was the jockey that day, and he was on top of Cloud Computing as well.

Cloud Computing didn’t go unnoticed at Bovada Racebook, either. The Kentucky-bred colt was a popular choice for filling out exactas and trifectas, having made the podium in each of his three races – including second at the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes, and third at the Grade 2 Wood Memorial. But the victory? That was icing on the cake. It was the first Triple Crown win for trainer Chad Brown, who correctly figured that his best chance of taking down the top two favorites was by saving Cloud Computing for the Preakness. That extra rest produced a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 102.
 

Senior Moment

That wasn’t the only surprise of the day. Senior Investment (30/1) was in last place at the three-quarter call before closing fast and taking third place by a half-length over Lookin at Lee (10/1). As a result, the Preakness trifecta paid out a gigantic $1,097.30 on a $1 ticket. Gunnevera, Multiplier, Conquest Mo Money, Always Dreaming, Hence and Term of Art rounded out the 10-horse field.

With the Preakness in the history books, it’s time to move on to the Belmont on June 10. Odds are pending at Bovada Racebook, as both Brown and Always Dreaming trainer Todd Pletcher decide whether or not to compete. Mark Casse, the trainer for Classic Empire, expects to make the trip to Belmont Park. Stay tuned for more information and odds as they become available.