CROWDED TRADE NEEDS PREAKNESS “STEP UP”
Four years after securing his first victory in a Triple Crown race in the Preakness Stakes (G1), trainer Chad Brown is aiming Crowded Trade for Pimlico Race Course’s signature event on May 15.
Cloud Computing, a 13-1 long shot co-owned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, won the 2017 Preakness by a head over Classic Empire. Klaravich is the sole owner of Crowded Trade, who has been on course for the Preakness since finishing third in the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct on April 3.
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Brown said Wednesday by phone from Saratoga Springs, N.Y. that Crowded Trade is scheduled to work this weekend, probably on Saturday, weather permitting.
“Assuming he works well, I’m planning on coming to Pimlico and trying the Preakness,” Brown said.
Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano is booked to ride the colt in the Preakness.
Brown’s only other Preakness starter was Good Magic, who ended up fourth in a tight finish of the memorably fog-shrouded 2018 running won by eventual Triple Crown champion Justify.
Crowded Trade is a work in progress for Brown, the four-time Eclipse champion trainer. After breaking his maiden going six furlongs Jan. 28 at Aqueduct, the son of More Than Ready finished second by a nose to Weyburn in the Gotham (G3) before going on to the Wood.
“He’s got to step up off his last race and prove he can get the distance,” Brown said. “In both of his last starts, as we have stretched him out, he has come up a little short through the stretch. He makes a good move and he sort of hung a little bit both starts. The distance is definitely a question mark, but he seems like a horse that’s improving.”
Although Crowded Trade had enough qualifying points to make it into the field, Brown opted to skip the 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Derby (G1) and wait for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness.
“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,” Brown said. “As of right now, we’re still following that thought process to give it a try.”