BALTIMORE — Early voting delayed favorite Epicenter’s win at the Preakness Championship Saturday, confirming the decision to skip the Kentucky Derby and aim for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
The early voting was behind the leader for most of the race before moving into the lead in the final round or so. He led Epicenter by 1 1/4 in length, who finished second like in the derby.
Preakness is running without the Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike as his boss prioritizes extra rest over a chance to win the Triple Crown.
Early Voting won 5-1, giving trainer Chad Brown his second win for Preakness. He is also owned by Klaravich Stables, which won the competition with cloud computing in 2017.
Jockey Jose Ortiz won the Preakness for the first time. He had never finished better than fourth in the previous four races.
Early voting took first place out of nine horses, including Mares Secret Oath and three horses who returned from a Kentucky Derby race two weeks ago. Early Voting, the son of Gun Runner, won for the third time in four professional races, taking a $900,000 share of the $1.65 million prize pool.
“He’s on leave,” assistant coach Bardo Hernandez said this week. “He’s in good health.”
He is in good shape and can handle some rough weather conditions. The 147th Preakness race was held in near-record heat, with temperatures soaring into the 90s as the horses entered the starting gates.
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