Trainer Chad Brown on Monday said he is "leaning towards passing" the Kentucky Derby with Cloud Computing, a decision that has implications regarding the potential field for the May 6 Derby at Churchill Downs.
Cloud Computing currently sits 20th on the Derby points list, pending a decision by the connections of Conquest Mo Money as to whether to supplement for $200,000 and run.
Cloud Computing most recently finished third in the Wood Memorial, only the third start of a career that began on Feb. 11. Brown said Cloud Computing would have his first work since that race this weekend.
"The horse looks great, but he is lightly raced," Brown said. "We haven't made a final decision yet, but we're leaning towards passing and pointing to the Preakness or even a summertime campaign. We'll see what he's ready for right now."
Brown and the owners of Cloud Computing, Seth Klarman and William Lawrence, have one certain starter in the Derby in Practical Joke, who was second in the Blue Grass in his final prep. Brown said Practical Joke would work this weekend at Keeneland, then move over to Churchill Downs and have his final work there. Joel Rosario has the mount.
Assuming Cloud Computing skips the Derby, that would provide an opportunity for Untrapped, currently 21st on the points list, to get in. He finished sixth in the Arkansas Derby on Saturday.
Currently 22nd on the points list is Lookin At Lee, third in the Arkansas Derby. Steve Asmussen trains both Untrapped and Lookin At Lee and on Monday said both remain under consideration for the Derby.
Several riding assignments are pending for the Derby, most notably runners trained by Asmussen and Todd Pletcher, both of whom potentially will juggle multiple entries. Pletcher's lone confirmed assignment is John Velazquez on Always Dreaming.
One assignment finalized Monday was with Irap, who won the Blue Grass with Julien Leparoux. In light of Classic Empire winning the Arkansas Derby and moving on to the Derby, Leparoux will remain with Classic Empire. Irap will be ridden by Mario Gutierrez, reuniting him with trainer Doug O'Neill and owner Paul Reddam, the team that won the Derby with I'll Have Another in 2012 and Nyquist last year.
* The winning Beyer Speed Figure of the Sunland Derby, won by Hence, has been adjusted to 97 from its original 93, according to Andrew Beyer. Irap and Conquest Mo Money, second in the Arkansas Derby, both exited the Sunland Derby.