‘Early Voting’ takes Preakness win, won’t race in Belmont

It was the first Preakness win for jockey Jose Ortiz

BALTIMORE (AP) -Early Voting captured the Preakness on Saturday, holding off hard-charging favorite Epicenter to win by 1 ¼ lengths at Pimlico.

Early Voting stalked behind the leaders for much of the race, moving into the lead around the final turn.

He finished 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Epicenter, the runner-up in the Kentucky Derby. Early Voting went off at 5-1 and gave trainer Chad Brown his second Preakness victory.

It was the first Preakness win for jockey Jose Ortiz.

Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike remains on track to race in the Belmont Stakes on June 11.

Trainer Eric Reed tells The Associated Press the plan is “absolutely” still to run Rich Strike in the final leg of the Triple Crown. Rich Strike looked good breezing and galloping at Churchill Downs on Saturday about 12 hours before Early Voting won the Preakness.

But there won’t be a showdown between the Derby and Preakness champions. Early Voting’s owner and trainer has confirmed that the colt will bypass the Belmont.

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