Early Voting wins Preakness Stakes
WASHINGTON • Early Voting handed Epicenter another Triple Crown heartbreak on Saturday, holding off the Kentucky Derby runner-up to win the US$1.65 million (S$2.28 million) Preakness Stakes.
Well-rested after sitting out the Kentucky Derby, Early Voting validated the decision by trainer Chad Brown and owner Seth Klarman to skip the first jewel of US flat racing’s Triple Crown.
“They had enough points to run in the Derby and they passed,” said jockey Joel Ortiz. “It’s hard to get an owner to pass on the Derby and they did the right choice by the horse.
“I didn’t think he was seasoned enough to run in that 20-horse field and they proved that they were right today.”
On a sultry evening in Baltimore, where temperatures hit 34 deg C, Early Voting broke smartly out of the fifth post.
He then sat tight as Armagnac took the lead with Epicenter and fancied filly Secret Oath bringing up the rear of the nine-horse field.
Ortiz took Early Voting to the lead on the turn for home and repelled the challenge of Epicenter by 11/2 lengths.
Creative Minister was third.
Secret Oath, trained by six-time Preakness winner D. Wayne Lukas, finished fourth.
“Honestly, I was never worried,” said Brown, who saddled Preakness winner Cloud Computing for Klarman in 2017.
“I thought on the backside, it was going to take a good horse to beat us.” - AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE