Early Voting Wins Preakness Stakes at 5-1 Odds

2022 Early Voting Winner Preakness Stakes

  • Early Voting, who went off at 5-1 odds, won The Preakness Stakes on Saturday at the Pimlico Race Course.
  • Betting favorite Epicenter came in second to become the first colt to finish second in both the Derby and Preakness since 2012.
  • Rich Strike, who won the Kentucky Derby as an 80-1 underdog, did not race on Saturday to prepare for June 11’s Belmont Stakes.

Rich Strike’s owners drew flak for his decision to let the Kentucky Derby winner skip Saturday’s second leg of the Triple Crown. On Saturday, the colt who won the race proved those critics wrong.

Early Voting, who went off at 5-1 odds at the best horse racing betting sites, gave owner Seth Klarman and trainer Chad Brown their second Preakness Stakes win after Cloud Computing in 2017 and validation for their patience in preparing the colt for the race they wanted him to win.

Horse Who Won Preakness Didn’t Race in the Derby

Rich Strike, who shocked the world when he won the Kentucky Derby at 80-1 odds, did not race in The Preakness Stakes because his owners felt that the time between the Derby and Saturday’s race wasn’t enough to give him enough rest to win the Belmont Stakes on June 11th. On the other hand, Early Voting did not race in the Kentucky Derby so that he could concentrate on winning in Pilmico. The gambit paid off.

Trainer Chad Brown and owner Seth Klarman both felt that Early Voting needed a little more seasoning and that the extra rest by skipping the Kentucky Derby would help him. Klarman pointed out that his colt was lightly raced with only three races under his belt. Their patience was rewarded on Saturday.

Early Voting stalked the leaders for much of the race before moving ahead in the final turn. Like a seasoned thoroughbred, he held off the late charge by betting favorite Epicenter to win by 1 ¼ length. The initial plan was for jockey Jose Ortiz not to wait and take him to the lead. But when Armagnac jumped out to the lead, Ortiz settled down Early Voting who had plenty left in the gas tank before the finish line.

First Horse Since 2012 to Finish 2nd in Kentucky Derby and Preakness

While odds on favorite Epicenter came up short of winning the race on Saturday, he still made it to the history books as the first horse since Bodmeister in 2012 to be the runner-up in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. But despite the accolade, it was another frustrating finish for the Steven Asmussen-trained colt.

At the Kentucky Derby, Epicenter had the lead but was passed by Rich Strike at the end. On Saturday at Pilmico, he had a strong finish but his late challenge wasn’t enough to come from behind and beat Early voting. A 6-5 favorite to win the Preakness, Epicenter was in 7th place at the ¾ mile mark but he passed everyone except Early Voting.

Epicenter’s slow start and the traffic that came with it left him with too much distance to make up. Also, the race’s opening fraction of 24.32 seconds wasn’t fast enough to tire the early leaders just as we saw with the fast pace that the Kentucky Derby started with. Despite the setback, Epicenter has finished first or second in seven consecutive races.

Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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