An intriguing field of nine, including eight Kentucky-breds, are set to clash in the 147th running of the $1.5 million Preakness S. (G1) at Pimlico on Saturday, May 21. Topping the field are Kentucky Oaks (G1) victress Secret Oath, who is taking on the boys, and morning-line favorite Epicenter, runner-up to Rich Strike in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
A homebred for Robert and Stacy Mitchell’s Briland Farm, Secret Oath defeated her rivals by two lengths in the Oaks last time out for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Facing males is nothing new for Secret Oath who finished a determined and troubled third in the Arkansas Derby (G1) in April. She won both the Honeybee S. (G3) and the Martha Washington S. against her own sex by open lengths at Oaklawn Park earlier this season.
The Kentucky-bred daughter of Arrogate is out of the Quiet American mare Absinthe Minded. A winner in five of eight starts, Secret Oath has amassed earnings of $1,295,417. She will break from post position No. 4 and will be ridden by Luis Saez who was aboard her for the first time in the Oaks.
Kentucky-bred Epicenter has been installed as the 6-5 morning-line favorite for Winchell Thoroughbreds and trainer Steve Asmussen. The bay son of Not This Time out of the Candy Ride (ARG) mare Silent Candy has done little wrong in his career, having won four of seven and placed in two others for earnings of $1,610,639.
Epicenter won the Louisiana Derby (G2) and the Risen Star S. (G2) earlier this year at Fair Grounds and finished second in the Lecomte S. (G3). A determined runner-up to Rich Strike in the Derby last time out, Epicenter will once again by ridden by Joel Rosario. Winner of the Gun Runner S. at two, Epicenter was bred in the Bluegrass by Westwind Farms.
Joining the Preakness fray is Klaravich Stables’ Early Voting, winner of the Withers S. (G3) in February. Trained by Chad Brown, Early Voting most recently finished second—beaten just a head by Mo Donegal in the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct—and bypassed the Derby in favor of the Preakness.
Bred in Kentucky by Three Chimneys Farm, Early Voting was a $200,000 Keeneland September Sale graduate in 2020. The dark bay or brown colt is by Gun Runner out of the Tiznow mare Amour d’Ete. Early Voting owns a record of 3-2-1-0 and has banked $321,500. Jose Ortiz has the mount.
Rounding out the Kentucky-bred contingent are Creative Minister (Creative Cause-Tamboz, by Tapit), Fenwick (Curlin-Make the Sun Shine, by Malibu Moon), Happy Jack (Oxbow-Tapistry, by Tapit), Armagnac (Quality Road-Kitty Wine, by Lemon Drop Kid), and Skippylongstocking (Exaggerator-Twinkling, by War Chant.