Early Voting sped out of the gate with Jose Ortiz in the irons, stayed within striking distance of early pace-setter Armagnac and made his move around the final turn to capture the 147th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in just his fourth career start and first outside of Aqueduct in New York.
He set off from the No. 5 spot in the gate with 5-1 odds and paid $13.40 to win, $4.60 to place and $3.60 to show.
Kentucky Derby runner up Epicenter came from well off the pace and contended down the homestretch, but took second for the second time in two weeks. He paid $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show. Third-place finisher Creative Minister paid out $4.20 to show.
Trainer Chad Brown and owner Seth Klarman of Klaravich Stables previously teamed up to saddle 2017 Preakness winner Cloud Computing, who had a very similar path to the Pimlico winner’s circle as Early Voting.
After breaking his maiden in his first start last December, the son of 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner won the Withers Stakes (G3) in February and took second in the Wood Memorial (G2) in early April.
Since Klarman is a Baltimore native who grew up just blocks away from Pimlico, pointing the inexperienced colt to the shorter and less populous Preakness just made sense.
So, Early Voting sat out the Kentucky Derby, which saw the second-biggest upset in the race’s history when 80-1 longshot Rich Strike won the 148th Run for the Roses.
Underdog fever swept the Preakness in the wake of such a historic Derby upset, but Fenwick, who opened with 50-1 odds and shot up to 9-1 by post time, finished last.
All eyes now turn to the 154th Belmont Stakes in New York, where Rich Strike will once again be in the conversation.