Cloud Computing ensured there will be no Triple Crown winner this year after a thrilling come-from-behind victory at the 2017 Preakness Stakes on Saturday.
Now, with three weeks before the Belmont Stakes, the spotlight will be on Cloud Computing to see if he can repeat his feat from Pimlico at the test of the champion.
Here's how Cloud Computing's victory looked, followed by what can be gleaned from it heading into Belmont:
NBC Sports @NBCSports
MAJOR UPSET: Cloud Computing wins @PreaknessStakes! https://t.co/dHcxkRIjTQ2017-5-20 22:57:05
The biggest question looking ahead to the Belmont is whether or not Cloud Computing will compete, which trainer Chad Brown said after the Preakness isn't a guarantee, per BloodHorse.com's Jeremy Balan:
Jeremy Balan @BH_JBalan
Asked about the Belmont, Chad Brown said he "doesn't know" about Cloud Computing. Also said he doesn't seem like a 1 1/2-mile horse.2017-5-20 23:33:49
Let's operate under the assumption Cloud Computing will give the final leg of the Triple Crown a shot.
The Preakness Stakes was Cloud Computing's first race since the Wood Memorial on April 8 after his team opted to skip the Kentucky Derby. He started from the second post position and was given the fourth-best odds to win at 14-1, per OddsShark.com.
What started as a two-horse race between the top two contenders, Always Dreaming and Classic Empire, eventually developed into Cloud Computing chasing down Classic Empire on the final stretch for the narrow victory.
The six-week gap between races for Cloud Computing is notable for how the race ended. His trainer Chad Brown offered a simple explanation for skipping the Kentucky Derby.
"The horse has a run a lot in a short period of time," Brown said on April 18, per Jason Frakes of the Courier Journal. "I don't want to overwork him."
Cloud Computing ran three races in a span of eight weeks from February 11 through April 8. Always Dreaming and Classic Empire were coming off the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago and both horses ran three races between February 4 and May 6.
After his horse's victory, Brown admitted the time off was a calculated piece of strategy.
"I'm not going to dispute the fact that we brought in a fresh horse -- that was part of our strategy," he said, per CNN's Steve Almasy.
It showed coming down the final stretch, as Always Dreaming fell off the pace and ended up finishing eighth. Classic Empire was able to remain in second place, but he did run out of steam and left an opening that Cloud Computing took advantage of.
Cloud Computing's winning time of 1:55.98 was the fastest at the Preakness since California Chrome in 2014 (1:54.84).
The Belmont is as much a test of endurance as it is pure speed. The Preakness plays well for a speed horse because it's the shortest Triple Crown race at 9.5 furlongs.
At 12 furlongs, the Belmont Stakes can put a horse through the wringer. Combine that with only having three weeks to prepare, Cloud Computing doesn't seem likely to pull off back-to-back victories.
With Brown acknowledging he doesn't see his horse as being ready to handle the 1.5 miles at Belmont, if he even takes part in the race, this looks like the second-straight year in which three different horses will win the three Triple Crown races.