Early Voting is bound for the Preakness after sharp 5f drill

Early Voting is bound for the Preakness after sharp 5f drill
Photo: Chelsea Durand / NYRA

Under cloudy skies and temperatures in the low-to-mid 60s in the Elmont area on Friday morning, Klaravich Stables’ Early Voting put together his final serious preparations for next Saturday’s Grade 1, $1.5 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.

Trained by Chad Brown, Early Voting breezed under jockey Jose Ortiz to the outside of stable mate Miles D. The pair of stakes winners went three-eighths in 36.40 seconds before completing the five furlong move in 1:00.63 and galloping out six furlongs in 1:13 flat over the fast main track.

“He hit the times just as I wanted and he galloped out super,” Brown said of Early Voting. “If he comes out of the breeze in good shape, then he’s on to Pimlico. Tentatively, I’m thinking of shipping the horse on Tuesday.”

The lightly-raced son of leading second-crop sire Gun Runner will arrive at the Preakness off a narrow defeat in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial on April 9 at Aqueduct, which came following an open-lengths triumph in the Grade 3 Withers two months prior.

Brown and Seth Klarman, proprietor of Klaravich Stables, scored a collaborative victory in the 2017 Preakness Stakes with Cloud Computing, who outdueled 2016 champion 2-Year-old Classic Empire in the stretch to give both connections their first win in an American classic.

Like Cloud Computing, Early Voting also will arrive at the Preakness off the Wood Memorial with only three starts under his belt. Cloud Computing was third in the 2017 Wood Memorial finishing seven lengths behind Irish War Cry.

“There’s a lot of similarities,” Brown said. “They both are lightly-raced, improving horses that are coming out of the Wood and could use a little more time and experience rather than throw them into a 20-horse field in the Derby.”

Peter Brant and Robert V. LaPenta’s Miles D also is slated for a trip to Maryland next weekend and will point to the 1 3/16-mile Grade 3, $300,000 Pimlico Special next Friday.

The 4-year-old son of Curlin has made one start this year, finishing third to multiple graded stakes winner Olympiad in the Grade 3 Mineshaft on February 19 at Fair Grounds Race Course. Last year, he finished second in his Hall of Fame sire’s namesake race at Saratoga en route to a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers the following month. He capped off his sophomore campaign with a victory over Speaker’s Corner in the Discovery on November 17 at Aqueduct. 

“Miles D worked inside, he’s actually a little better outside, but it set it up that way today,” said Brown, who won the 2013 Pimlico Special with Last Gunfighter. “He got a lot of the work this morning. He missed a little time because he got sick before the Oaklawn Handicap, so we missed that race. He should appreciate the distance of the Pimlico Special.”

A $470,000 purchase at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Miles D is out of the Bernardini mare Sound the Trumpets, a half-sister to 2002 Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Storm Flag Flying. Her respective second and third dam are 1995 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner My Flag and undefeated Hall of Famer Personal Ensign.

2022 Preakness Stakes (G1)

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