Keeneland September Yearling Sale graduate Cloud Computing played the role of spoiler at odds of 13-1 when he captured the $1,500,000 Preakness (G1) at Pimlico on May 20, giving trainer Chad Brown and owners Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence their first victory in a Triple Crown race.
A 3-year-old from the first crop of Hill 'n' Dale stallion Maclean's Music, Cloud Computing was a $200,000 yearling purchase by agent Mike Ryan. Bred by Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings and Stretch Run Ventures, the Kentucky-bred is out of the A.P. Indy mare Quick Temper.
All but one of the 10 sophomores that competed in the Preakness passed through the sales ring at Keeneland.
“Cloud Computing was a very good yearling,” said John Sikura, owner and president of Hill 'n' Dale Farm. “I think he progressed more than any yearling we have sold in recent years in the month prior to the sale. He was very correct and moved beautifully. He was composed on the sales grounds and very athletic. He had leg, balance and everything was proportional. I remember saying to our group on the farm that he was our best yearling the week we shipped to Keeneland.
“To breed a classic winner is just so validating to the farm, our staff and our program,” he said. “We have now bred and sold a Preakness winner and Belmont winner (Touch Gold in 1997) at Keeneland. Now we need a Derby winner to complete the loop.”
Javier Castellano, winning his second Preakness, gave Cloud Computing a textbook ride. He settled in third place early in the 1 3/16-mile classic, just behind dueling Kentucky Derby (G1) victor and Preakness favorite Always Dreaming and last year's champion 2-year-old colt Classic Empire, both fellow September Sale graduates.
As Always Dreaming began to weaken midway through the far turn, Classic Empire drew off under strong urging from Julien Leparoux with Cloud Computing in pursuit. Cloud Computing found another gear a furlong from the wire, collaring Classic Empire and then assuming a short lead to win by a head. September Sale alumnus Senior Investment closed stoutly from last to finish third.
Cloud Computing made only three starts prior to the Preakness, all at Aqueduct. Unraced at two, the colt made his career bow in February, breaking his maiden in his first attempt. He then ran second in the Gotham (G3) and third in the April 8 Wood Memorial (G2). The points earned for his graded stakes placings made Cloud Computing eligible to run in the Kentucky Derby, though trainer Chad Brown elected to bypass that race to keep his colt fresh for the Preakness.
Bloodstock agent Mike Ryan is enjoying a stellar Triple Crown run. Ryan and Gerry Dilger, in the name of Santa Rosa Partners, bred Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming.Sikura said Ryan's faith in Hill 'n' Dale stallion Maclean's Music was gratifying. “It is very important to have great judges buying first crop yearlings to validate a freshmen sire in the marketplace. Mike said he thinks Maclean's Music is the next Danzig and has been a great supporter of the stallion.
“I believe Maclean's Music will be a prolific sire and this is just the beginning,” he said. “He had supernatural talent. Unfortunately, his racing career was interrupted by injury just as it began, in a performance that could only be described as astonishing.”
Barbara Banke's Stonestreet bred and campaigned Maclean's Music, who romped by 7 1/4 lengths in his first and only start, a maiden special weight at Santa Anita in 2011 that produced a Beyer speed rating of 114, the highest ever for a first-time starter.
“By all important metrics, he is proving to be an important sire,” said Sikura. “It is particularly rewarding to enjoy this success with a valued partner like Stonestreet.”