Early Voting overcame sweltering heat to win the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on Saturday, in a muted Triple Crown race that went off without Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike.
With 2017 Belmont winner Jose Ortiz aboard, Early Voting settled in behind early leader Armagnac before wresting control of the affair around the far turn from the outside.
Kentucky Derby runner-up Epicenter once again settled for second and Creative Minister finishing third.
“This is a huge race. It’s a dream come true,” Ortiz said through tears after the race. “We always knew he was very talented.”
The 1-3/16-mile race carried on under punishing conditions, the temperature hovering near 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2°C).
The second leg of the famed American thoroughbred racing triumvirate carried on without the possibility of a Triple Crown winner this year. The Derby’s shock winner pulled out, his owners citing the quick turnaround to Baltimore.