Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence’s Cloud Computing, 20th on the Kentucky Derby (G1) points list, will not line up at Churchill Downs but instead await the May 20 Preakness S. (G1). That decision had been expected, and trainer Chad Brown made it official on Saturday.
Connections are already represented in the Derby by the more accomplished, and experienced, Practical Joke. Last year’s Champagne (G1) and Hopeful (G1) winner, he has finished second in both the Fountain of Youth (G2) and Blue Grass (G2) this term.
Cloud Computing, in contrast, didn’t debut until February, and followed up with creditable placings in the Gotham (G3) and Wood Memorial (G2). The Derby shaped as too much, too soon for the promising sophomore. Pointing for the Preakness makes sense, as he’ll encounter a relatively smaller field at Pimlico than the 20-horse war at Churchill Downs.
With Cloud Computing’s defection, Untrapped now gets into the main body of the Derby field. His stablemate from the Steve Asmussen barn, Lookin at Lee, moves a step closer as the new number 21 on the points list. The next “bubble” horses are Sonneteer and Royal Mo.
On the opposite coast, the Triple Crown update was a tragic one. Don Alberto Stable’s homebred Reach the World, a rallying fourth in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), was fatally injured in a morning work at Santa Anita.
According to the Blood-Horse’s Jeremy Balan, the Bob Baffert trainee sustained an irreparable sesamoid fracture while working in company with stablemate American Anthem. Reach the World was gearing up for the Preakness and Belmont S. (G1), where he figured to enjoy the distance as a son of Tapit and the Galileo mare Reach the Stars.
The gut-wrenching loss came just one day after Don Alberto had purchased Derby contender Battle of Midway in partnership with WinStar Farm. Battle of Midway narrowly beat a hard-charging Reach the World in an allowance two starts back, and the rivals were second and fourth in their Santa Anita Derby rematch.
Don Alberto also owns the dazzling Unique Bella, who was the prohibitive favorite for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) before being sidelined by a shin issue.