WorldEarly Voting wins the Preakness Stakes : NPR

Early Voting wins the Preakness Stakes : NPR

Jose Ortiz atop Early Voting wins the 147th running of the Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday in Baltimore.

Julio Cortez/AP

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Julio Cortez/AP

Jose Ortiz atop Early Voting wins the 147th running of the Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday in Baltimore.

Julio Cortez/AP

Early Voting is the winner of the 147th Preakness Stakes, the second stop of the Triple Crown series, at the legendary Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Epicenter, who had been favored to win, took a close second.

Epicenter, who also had been favored to win the Kentucky Derby, came into the race on Saturday with 6 to 5 odds while Early Voting had 7 to 2 odds.

It was the second Preakness win for owner Seth Klarman. “Winning once was like the dream of a lifetime and winning twice is beyond belief,” he said.

He and his trainer, Chad Brown, decided not to race Early Voting in the Kentucky Derby, favoring more rest for the horse. They will likely sit out of the Belmont Stakes in June.

“We thought he needed a little more seasoning, the extra rest would help him. He’s pretty lightly raced, only three races before today,” Klarman said after the race. “As it turned out that was the right call because the pace in the Derby was kind of suicidal. So he would have probably not done that well. So we wanted to do right by the horse and we are so glad we waited.”

The run for the Triple Crown kicked off in Kentucky earlier this month with an enormous upset. The underdog Rich Strike came from behind to win at the last minute at an 80 to 1 longshot.

But there was no chance for a Triple Crown winner this year as Rich Strike’s owner decided not to race at the Preakness, instead concentrating on preparing for the Belmont Stakes in June. A Triple Crown win requires winning all three races.

Unlike in Kentucky, there were only nine horses in Saturday’s race, not 20.

At last year’s race, Rombauer outshined top contenders Midnight Bourbon and Medina Spirit, an upset for the 11 to 1 horse.

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