Early Voting leaves little in doubt in Preakness Stakes victory
The tandem of trainer Chad Brown and Klaravich Stables earned their second Preakness S. (G1) win after Early Voting finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of 6-5 favorite Epicenter in the second leg of the Triple Crown.
The three-year-old son of Gun Runner, who went off as the 5.70-1 third choice, broke out of post 5 toward the front of the pack. Tracking early pacesetter Armagnac, Early Voting made a move around the final turn and drew off to win the 1 3/16-mile race at Pimlico.
Early Voting paid $13.40 to win, $4.60 to place, and $3.60 to show.
Epicenter, out of Steve Asmussen’s barn, came from well off the pace to finish second in the 147th running of the Preakness after losing by three-quarters of a length to 80-1 Rich Strike in the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 7.
In third was Creative Minister, who rallied but was no match for the top two finishers. The Kenny McPeek pupil beat out Kentucky Oaks (G1)-winning Secret Oath, who came home fourth for six-time Preakness-winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Brown and Klaravich Stables first won the Preakness in 2017 with Cloud Computing, who earned enough points to qualify for that year’s Kentucky Derby but was withdrawn from consideration by his connections to focus on the Preakness.
Brown followed suit with Withers S. (G3) hero Early Voting and opted to skip the Derby despite qualifying for the Run for the Roses. Jockey Jose Ortiz retained the mount and earned his third win in four starts with the colt, whose only loss was a neck second to Mo Donegal in the Wood Memorial (G2).
Rounding out the order of finish were Skippylongstocking, Derby fourth-place finisher Simplification, Armagnac, Happy Jack, and Fenwick.