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Free Rose wins Del Mar Derby; Avenge wins Mabee at Del Mar

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DEL MAR, Calif. — Free Rose won the $250,000 Del Mar Derby for 3-year-olds by a half-length Sunday at Del Mar.

Ridden by Norberto Arroyo Jr., Free Rose ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:47.70 and paid $25.80, $12.80 and $8.60 at 11-1 odds. Trained by Richard Baltas, Free Rose went to the front in the stretch and hung on for the narrow victory in the Grade 2 race.

Ralis returned $6.80 and $5.60, while Dressed in Hermes was another nose back in third and paid $8.20 to show.

Blackjackcat, the 3-1 favorite, finished sixth in the 14-horse field.

The victory, worth $150,000, increased Free Rose’s career earnings to $314,760, with four wins in 11 starts.

In the $200,000 John C. Mabee Stakes for older fillies and mares, Avenge held on in the closing yards to defeat 12-1 shot Finest City by a head.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, Avenge ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:48.82 and paid $17.60, $10.60 and $7.60 at 7-1 odds. Trained by Richard Mandella, the 4-year-old filly took command in the upper stretch after running in a stalking second position behind pacesetter Gloryzapper in the early stages.

Finest City returned $12.80 and $8.60, while Elektrum was another half-length back in third and paid $4.60.

Sobradora Inc, the 2-1 favorite, and Havanna Belle finished in a dead heat for fifth.

The victory, worth $120,000, increased Avenge’s career earnings to $291,996, with five wins in 11 starts.

Rafael Bejarano rode three winners on the card to close within one of leading rider Prat, who has 37 winners going into the last day of the summer meet on Monday.

Cloud Computing wins Preakness Stakes, ends Always Dreaming’s Triple Crown bid

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The bid for the Triple Crown is over.

Cloud Computing won the 142nd Preakness Stakes in 1.55.98, successfully ending Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness favorite Always Dreaming’s Triple Crown run and upsetting multiple favorites.

Classic Empire and Always Dreaming bolted out in front early, splitting the lead multiple times in the first ½ mile, but Cloud Computing made a late run for trainer Chad Brown’s first Preakness win and jockey Javier Castellano’s second Preakness win.

Classic Empire finished second, Senior Investment finished third, and Always Dreaming finished outside the top 5.

Cloud Computing did not run in the Kentucky Derby, but came into the race with 14-1 odds.

Brown is not the only one who has a special connection to this win. Seth Klarman, one of Cloud Computing’s owners, is a Baltimore-native that grew up watching horse racing at Pimlico. The trainer also revealed that the strategy was to wait behind Always Dreaming and make a late move for the lead.

Always Dreaming ran away from the competition in four consecutive victories this year, winning by a combined 23 ¼ lengths, but could not outmatch Cloud Computing down the stretch. Two years ago, American Pharoah became the first horse to sweep the Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 37 years, earning a Triple Crown win.

Contributing: Associated Press

2017 Preakness Stakes: Eddie Olczyk makes his picks

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Not sure who to pick this afternoon at the Preakness? Eddie Olczyk has your back. Here are Eddie’s picks: 

Race 8: 2-4-6

Race 9: 5-4

Race 10: 2-10-6-3

Race 11: 2-5

Race 12: 7-10-4-3

Race 13: 5-4-9-10-1

Coverage of the 2017 Preakness Stakes begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, which you can stream here.