05/22/2017 9:43AM

Sparkman: Maclean's Music joins exclusive club with Cloud Computing's Preakness win

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Michael Amoruso
Cloud Computing is a son of Maclean's Music, who won his only start with a 114 Beyer Speed Figure.

In the Darwinian world of Thoroughbred racing, stakes victories are the test of genetic fitness that largely determine whether male racehorses are allowed the chance to pass on their genes. The exceptions like Danzig or Malibu Moon are memorable precisely because of their extreme rarity.

It is too early to determine with certainty whether Maclean’s Music will join those two as successful non-stakes-winning stallions, but the victory of his first-crop son Cloud Computing in the Preakness Stakes will surely give him a golden opportunity.

Maclean’s Music, by Distorted Humor, was bred in Kentucky by the late Jess Jackson’s and Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stables LLC, which purchased his dam, Forest Music, by Unbridled’s Song, privately late in her busy but somewhat checkered racing career. Purchased by Michael Gill for $325,000 at the 2003 Fasig-Tipton Florida sale of selected 2-year-olds in training, Forest Music won her first start by 8 1/2 lengths, but was then thrown into the deepest possible waters for a juvenile filly and finished last behind Halfbridled in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Over the next 18 months, Forest Music ran 14 times for Gill and trainer Mark Shuman, winning five races, including the Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes, the Crank It Up, the Primonetta, and the Spring Fever. Sold privately to Stonestreet after running third in the Grade 2 Genuine Risk, she promptly won the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Stakes for Stonestreet and trainer Steve Asmussen, but was unplaced in two subsequent starts.

A half-sister to stakes winners Shooter, by Dehere, and Ghost Vapors, by Ghostzapper, Forest Music produced stakes winner Kentuckian, by Tiznow. But Maclean’s Music showed far more speed and promise in his only start, which came about a month before Jess Jackson’s death in 2011. Maclean’s Music recorded scintillating splits of 21.24, 43.48, and 55.05 on the way to winning a six-furlong maiden race at Santa Anita by 7 1/2 lengths and earning a 114 Beyer Speed Figure.

The world’s fastest sprinters seldom run that fast. Maidens never do. But Maclean’s Music fractured a splint bone and never fully recovered from the ensuing surgery. He was retired to John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale in 2013. That one demonstration of brilliance and his outstandingly muscular physique impressed breeders, and the fact that he descends from foundation mare Lady Be Good did not hurt.

Maclean’s Music attracted enough mares to sire 81 foals in his first crop, and Cloud Computing is his fifth stakes winner. His offspring California Music (out of You Call That Art, by Royal Academy) was rated the champion imported 2-year-old in Panama last year, and Maclean’s Music has also sired American stakes winners Rockshaw (Wonderful Luck, by Trust N Luck), Classic Rock (A Bit of Pressure, by High Yield), and Made Me Shiver (Tiz News, by Tiznow).

Cloud Computing was bred in Kentucky by Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings Inc. and Stretch Run Ventures LLC (Edward McGhee). He is the fifth foal and third winner out of Quick Temper, an A.P. Indy mare Sikura and John Franks bred out of the tough Grade 1 winner Halo America, by Halo, dam of stakes winner Marino Marini, by Storm Cat.

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Purchased as a weanling at the 2001 Keeneland November breeding stock sale for $290,000 in the name of LML Limited, Quick Temper was just as tough as her mother, running 24 times from ages 2 through 4 for Lexington, Ky., businessman Mark Stanley, winning four times and placing in the Grade 2 Silverbulletday, Grade 3 Arlington Matron, Grade 3 Maple Leaf, and listed Autumn Leaves stakes. Sold back to Sikura and his father-in-law McGhee after her 4-year-old campaign, she ran twice at 5 without adding to her resume.

Quick Temper produced winners Quick Breeze, by Ghostzapper, Quick Indian, by Indian Charlie, and Miss Short Fuze, by Zensational, but Cloud Computing is her only black-type earner. She has a yearling full brother to Cloud Computing, and was listed as sold, in foal to Maclean’s Music, for only $6,000 to Hill ‘n’ Dale Bloodstock at last November’s Keeneland auction.

Cloud Computing is the first Preakness winner and second American classic winner (following 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver) produced by daughters of A.P. Indy, who led the American broodmare sire list in 2015. Cloud Computing is the 16th Preakness winner descending in male line from Mr. Prospector since his son Tank’s Prospect won in 1985, and 13th in the last 20 years. He is the second grandson of Distorted Humor to win the Preakness, following I'll Have Another in 2012.

Cloud Computing is also the first American classic winner descending in tail-female line from the famous American foundation mare Alcibiades (his ninth dam), who is also fourth dam of 1968 Epsom Derby winner and great sire Sir Ivor, by Sir Gaylord.