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Horse dies at Cheltenham Festival; shock in feature race

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CHELTENHAM, England — The second day of the Cheltenham Festival was marred by the death of a horse in the first race Wednesday.

Consul De Thaix, which was trained by Nicky Henderson and owned by J.P. McManus, suffered fatal injuries after falling at the sixth-last fence in the Novices’ Hurdle.

Jockey Mark Walsh avoided serious injury despite being thrown off his mount but he will not ride again this week at the most prestigious jumps meeting in British horse racing.

“The last information I received was that he was being assessed for a concussive head injury,” clerk of the course Simon Claisse said of Walsh.

Consul De Thaix is the first death of this year’s festival after seven horses were killed last year at Cheltenham.

In the day’s feature race, there a shock when 11-1 shot Special Tiara won the Queen Mother Champion Chase and 2-9 favorite Douvan finished seventh. Special Tiara beat Fox Norton by a head, while Sir Valentino was third.

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.