In the days leading up to the 146th running of the $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1), usracing.com is profiling the contenders. The 1 3/16-mile second leg of the Triple Crown is May 15. Profiles will be updated with post positions and odds following the draw on Monday, May 10.
By Richard Rosenblatt
Trainer Chad Brown’s one and only victory in a Triple Crown race came in the 2017 Preakness (G1), when Cloud Computing won by a head over Classic Empire at 13-1 odds.
The four-time Eclipse Award winning conditioner is back for another shot with Crowded Trade (and Risk Taking), a work in progress who skipped the Kentucky Derby (G1) after a third-place finish in the Wood Memorial (G2) on April 3.
Brown is one of the nation’s top trainers and wouldn’t pick this spot for his lightly raced (three career starts) son of More Than Ready chestnut colt unless he thought he was ready for a big effort.
Plus, there are many similarities between Cloud Computing and Crowded Trade – both won their 6-furlong debuts at Aqueduct; both ran second and then third in the Gotham (G3) and the Wood, both have Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables as an owner, and Javier Castellano rode Cloud Computing and is set to be aboard Crowded Trade.”
Said Brown: “When you look at the two horses the only difference is that at this stage of their development, I was more certain that Cloud Computing could get the distance than Crowded Trade. But I wouldn’t be surprised if this horse was able to do it, as well.”
Crowded Trade looks like he runs best from off the pace, a running style that could work out with Derby winner Medina Spirit and stablemate Concert Tour – the expected favorites – likely to be up front. In the Wood, he got off to a slow start, and that may have compromised his chances in a race won by 72-1 shot Bourbonic, with Dynamic One second.
“It didn’t help, and it may have cost him the race,” said Brown. “Hopefully, he breaks cleaner this time.”
Trainer: Chad Brown
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Owner: Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables
Career record: 3-1-1-1
Career earnings: $179,000
Best Equibase speed figure: 105
Pedigree: More Than Ready-Maude, by Jump Start
Running style: Off the pace
Notes: Crowded Trade and stablemate Risk Taking both worked 5 furlongs on Saturday at Belmont Park in 1:01.76 … In addition to Cloud Computing, Brown also sent out Good Magic in the 2018 Preakness, where he finished fourth in the fog behind Justify … As for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness distance, Brown said “The distance is definitely a question mark, but he seems like a horse that’s improving.” … With 40 Derby qualifying points, Crowded Trade could have made the Derby, but Brown said, “We specifically sat out the Derby to try to give him a little bit more time in between starts and try a slightly shorter distance than the Derby (1 ¼ miles).” … Castellano is 2-for-8 in the Preakness, winning aboard Bernardini in 2006 and Cloud Computing in 2017.
Over the years while working at The Associated Press, Rich Rosenblatt became a familiar name to legions of the horse racing fans and industry insiders with his award-winning articles on horse racing and his stories from the backstretch.
In addition to being an astute observer of sports, Rosenblatt is the co-author of The All-American Chili Cookbook. His work has been seen in just about every publication in the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine.