Early Voting held off Epicenter in the final stretch to capture the 147th running of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.
The Kentucky Derby winner, Rich Strike, skipped the race. He had launched a rail skimming, swerving stretch run to win at odds of 80-1 and made his everyman trainer and jockey and owner — Eric Reed, Sonny Leon and Rick Dawson — overnight sensations.
But Dawson and Rich Strike decided their colt needed more than two weeks rest and chose to skip the Preakness to run in the Belmont Stakes on June 11th.
Early Voting, who won with a time of 1:54.54 and 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Epicenter, had skipped the Kentucky Derby and it paid off.
The lightly raced colt gave his trainer, Chad Brown, and owner, Klaravich Stables Inc., their second victory in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.
The trainer and owner followed a similar path to win the 2017 Preakness.
Epicenter was also the runner-up in the Kentucky Derby.
Early Voting’s jockey, Jose Ortiz, won the Preakness for the first time. He had never finished higher than fourth in four previous mounts in the race.
The temperature when the nine horses entered the gate at Pimlico Race Course hovered around 90 degrees, nearly a record.