Early Voting has been crowned the winner of the 2022 Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
Early Voting had 5-1 odds to win the race after beginning in the fifth post position.
Epicenter, the early favorite with 6-5 odds, came in second and Creative Minister finished third.
Armagnac, the biggest longshot in the Preakness, held the lead for most of the early portion of the race but did not have the pace to see it through as the final turn arrived. Early Voting took the lead with 3/4 miles left as Epicenter made a big stride from the far left side.
Epicenter, though, just didn’t have enough in the tank to overlap Early Voting and lost by a length and a half. Epicenter was also the runner-up in the Kentucky Derby a few weeks prior.
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The win marked jockey Jose Ortiz’s first Preakness win. Before this result, his only other Triple Crown win came in the 2017 Belmont Stakes when he was the jockey for Tapwrit.
“It’s a dream come true,” an emotional Ortiz said immediately after the race. “And it’s amazing to share this moment with my family, my mom, my dad, I know they’re watching me.”
Following the Preakness is the Belmont Stakes, slated for June 11. It is the third jewel of the Triple Crown and is traditionally called “The Test of the Champion.” Measuring 1 1/2 miles, it is a much longer race than the previous two jewels and requires disciplined stamina and endurance to win.
As for Early Voting’s status for that race, owner Seth Klarman is not sure if the horse will participate, citing the need for more “seasoning.” Klarman said he will have a discussion with trainer Chad Brown before taking the next step.
Rich Strike, the winner of the 2022 Kentucky Derby, is expected to return for the Belmont Stakes after sitting out of the Preakness.