After skipping the Kentucky Derby (G1), Early Voting was a fresh horse entering the 147th Preakness Stakes at Pimilico on Saturday, May 21. His winning performance in the 1 3/16-mile test reinforced the decision made by his connections to bypass the Derby and point instead for the Preakness. In an impressive effort, Early Voting took down top prize in the second leg of this year’s Triple Crown, giving Kentucky-breds a sweep of the first two races following Rich Strike’s win on the First Saturday in May.
Ridden by Jose Ortiz for owner Klaravich Stables and trainer Chad Brown, Early Voting tracked the early pace set by Armagnac. Early Voting moved to the pacesetter in hand to engage around the far turn and secured command as he straightened away for the stretch run. He gamely kicked 3 ½ lengths clear of the field in the stretch and under a vigorous ride from Ortiz, Early Voting prevailed over a rallying Epicenter to score by 1 ¼ lengths after drifting toward the inside rail in the late stages. Early Voting stopped the clock in 1:54.54.
“I’ve lived my adult life in Boston, but it’s an incredible experience to come back to my hometown and have a chance to compete at this level, it’s one of the highlights of a career owning racehorses. Really extraordinary feeling,” said Seth Klarman of Klaravich Stables. “Our plan was to consider going for the lead, and it looked like to me he broke a tiny bit slower than the horse just inside. I’m not sure. But he looked like he was coasting, and then the seven horse just went, and Jose followed Chad’s instruction, which was ‘take the lead if they’ll give it to you, but if somebody really wants it, let them go.’”
It was the second Preakness win for both Klaravich Stable and Chad Brown who teamed to win the 2017 Preakness with Cloud Computing. It was the first win in the race for Ortiz.
“We were prepared to go to the lead,” related Brown. “Especially the way the track was playing all day. It would have been foolish not to plan on going to the lead, and certainly not take anything away from the horse. Jose has been instrumental, along with my staff, particularly my New York-based staff in the winter. They did a terrific job.”
Bred in Kentucky by Three Chimneys Farm, Early Voting is a son of Gun Runner out of the Tiznow mare Amour d’Ete. Early Voting is the fifth Grade 1 winner for his sire. The dark bay or brown colt was a $200,000 graduate of the 2020 Keeneland September Sale. Now a winner in three of four lifetime starts, Early Voting captured the Withers S. (G3) at Aqueduct in February and finished second, beaten a neck by Moe Donegal, in the Wood Memorial (G2).