Early Voting wins 147th edition of Preakness Stakes

BALTIMORE — Early Voting stopped the hard-charging favorite Epicenter from winning the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, confirming the decision to skip the Kentucky Derby and aim for the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Early Voting trailed behind the leaders for much of the race before taking the lead around the final corner. He finished 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Epicenter, who finished second as he did in the Derby.

The Preakness was run without Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, after his owner prioritized extra rest over the chance of winning the Triple Crown.

Early Voting, which went 5-1, gave trainer Chad Brown his second Preakness victory. It is also owned by Klaravich Stables, who won the race in 2017 with Cloud Computing.

Jockey Jose Ortiz won the Preakness for the first time. He had never finished higher than fourth in four previous mountains in the race.

Early Voting finished first in a field of nine horses, including filly Secret Oath and three coming back from running in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago.

Early Voting, a son of Gun Runner, won for the third time in four career races to take the $900,000 winner’s share of the $1.65 million purse.

“He got off,” assistant coach Baldo Hernandez said this week. “He’s in good shape.”

He was in good shape to handle some adverse weather conditions. The 147th running of the Preakness took place in near-record heat and temperatures soared into the 90s by the time the horses entered the starting gate.

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