The 147th Preakness Stakes is one of the most hyped horse races in the world. As one of the three top tourneys to look out for in the prestigious Triple Crown, the crowd was shocked to see another upset unfold as Early Voting emerged as the winner for the said race.
Despite not being one of the hot placers in the Kentucky Derby, Early Voting clocked out the win and proved that he can come up with a huge shocker that the fans did not expect. His finish at the first place earned him a lot of praise especially with a 5-1 odds stacked on him.
The crowd at Pimlico Race Course was left stunned by the strong finish from Early Voting. He was not one of the clear picks to begin with, which shows why there were a lot of different reactions when he won. The win also leaves Early Voting a clear option for mass integration in horse player interactive games as well.
The finish also makes Early Voting one of the top picks to win in the coming final leg of the Triple Crown, which is the Belmont Stakes.
Jose Ortiz’s big win
Jockey Jose Ortiz was pleased to see that Early Voting’s training finally paid off. This win in the Preakness Stakes is the first for the jockey. He did not expect it to begin with, so it came off as a huge challenge for him to sustain his push in the race all day long.
‘It is a huge race. It’s a dream come true and it’s amazing to share this moment with my family, my mom, my dad. I know they’re watching me’, Ortiz said.
It is one of the best for Ortiz’s wins since 2017, which was the time when he rode Tapwrit to close out the win in the Belmont Stakes for first place. He took the Eclipse Award as the sport’s top rider and even topped the field with a total earnings of $27 million. Now he is on the pace to come up with a bigger ride in the next one.
Early Voting was also eligible for the Kentucky Derby, but was pulled out of the Churchill Downs and aimed for the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans. Still, it was a big win to remember for Ortiz, and he knows that success is plausible with the horse. This means a lot for Early Voting’s possible push to win in the final and third leg of the Triple Crown.
Beating top pick Epicenter
Epicenter was the projected winner in most mock races, however, it seems that analysts failed to consider the chances of winning for Early Voting. The odds were not that far from the actual result but then it is the second time in a row that there was an upset in the Triple Crown.
For starters, Epicenter was the runner up at the Kentucky Derby. Being the runner up for the second time around is going to be a frustrating experience, especially with the race being one of the high stakes events of the season.
Early Voting’s win only proves that the upsets are not new to the Triple Crown. The horse was leading the charge with a 3 ½ length lead at the eighth pole and only had Epicenter as the serious threat when he managed to cut the margin in the final furlong before coming short for the win.
Rich Strike’s absence
One of the biggest factors that played a huge role in the win by Early Voting was the absence of Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike. Only three Thoroughbreds from the first Derby joined the races at Pimlico, and owner Rick Dawson said the horse needed more rest.
‘Obviously, with our tremendous effort & win in the Derby it’s very, very tempting to alter our course and run in the Preakness’, he said. ‘We are going to stay with our plan and pass on running in the Preakness, and point toward the Belmont in approximately five weeks’.
Known as the Test of Champions, the Belmont Stakes is set for June 11 with a 1 ½ mile run. It is the longest of the three high profile races and will have bigger stakes. Rich Strike’s move to skip the Preakness Stakes also means that there will be no new Triple Crown winner for 2022.
It is one of the biggest twists for the Triple Crown series so far, and Rich Strike’s preparation for the Belmont Stakes means that there is going to be a tight finish with a lot of expectations from the horse at this point.
On top of that, most analysts expect a showdown from both Early Voting and Rich Strike, which should be fun to watch even for those who do horse player interactive betting. This is why the stakes are even higher with the final leg in play.