Early Voting holds off Epicenter to win Preakness Stakes

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Early Voting held disconnected hard-charging favourite Epicenter to triumph the Preakness Stakes connected Saturday, validating the determination to skip the Kentucky Derby and purpose for the 2nd limb of the Triple Crown.

Early Voting stalked down the leaders for overmuch of the contention earlier moving into the pb astir the last turn. He finished 1 1/4 lengths up of Epicenter, who was 2nd conscionable similar successful the Derby.

“I was ne'er worried,” Early Voting trainer Chad Brown said. “Once we had a bully target, I really preferred that. We were good to spell to the lead, but I thought down the backmost broadside it was going to instrumentality a bully equine to bushed us. And a bully equine did tally up connected america adjacent the ligament and it was astir the lone 1 that could tally with us.”

The Preakness was tally without Kentucky Derby victor Rich Strike aft his proprietor prioritized other remainder implicit the accidental astatine winning the Triple Crown. Early Voting could person tally successful the Derby, but Brown, and proprietor Seth Klarman of Klaravich Stables, opted for immoderate other rest, too.

“That’s precise hard to get an proprietor to walk connected the Derby, and they did the close choice,” said jockey Jose Ortiz, who won the Preakness for the archetypal time. “The horse, I don’t deliberation helium was seasoned capable to tally successful a 20-horse tract and they proved that they were close today.”

Early Voting, who went disconnected astatine 5-1, gave Brown his 2nd Preakness victory. Cloud Computing, the champion successful 2017, is besides owned by Klaravich Stables.

“Cloud Computing was a erstwhile successful a beingness and present I person a doubly successful a lifetime,” said Klarman, who grew up 3 blocks from Pimlico Race Course and was celebrating his 65th birthday. “Really hard to judge it could’ve happened.”

Early Voting won the contention successful 1:54.54 and paid $13.40, $4.60 and $3.60. Epicenter paid $2.80 and $2.40, and Creative Minister was 3rd and paid $4.20.

“Disappointed,” Epicenter trainer Steve Asmussen said. “He conscionable had excessively overmuch to overcome.”

Early Voting finished archetypal successful a tract of 9 horses, which included filly Secret Oath and 3 who came backmost aft moving successful the Kentucky Derby 2 weeks ago. Early Voting, a lad of Gun Runner, won for the 3rd clip successful 4 vocation races to instrumentality the $900,000 winner’s stock of the $1.65 cardinal purse.

“He got the clip off,” adjunct trainer Baldo Hernandez said this week. “He’s successful bully shape.”

He was successful bully capable signifier to grip immoderate adverse upwind conditions. The 147th variation of the Preakness took spot successful near-record vigor with the somesthesia soaring to 90 erstwhile the horses entered the starting gate.

Klarman said it would beryllium improbable Early Voting runs successful the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes connected June 11 due to the fact that of questions astir whether the colt tin grip the distance.

Early Voting had nary occupation with 1 3/16 miles successful the Preakness.

“It’s conscionable beauteous erstwhile a program comes together,” Brown said.

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