Early Voting Completes Belmont-Pimlico Ship
BALTIMORE – Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (G1) favorite Epicenter arrived at Pimlico Race Course Tuesday shortly after 2 p.m. following his 10 1/2-hour van ride from Louisville, Ky. Scott Blasi, who oversees Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen’s Churchill Downs division, was on hand to meet the van and unload Epicenter.
Epicenter, and his stablemates for other Preakness Weekend stakes, arrived about 10 minutes after the Chad Brown-trained Preakness contender Early Voting, the Wood Memorial (G2) runner-up.
Maryland Jockey Club oddsmaker Keith Feustle made Epicenter the 6-5 morning-line favorite for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, following his close second place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1) along with impressive victories in the Louisiana Derby (G2) and Risen Star (G2) at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Early Voting is the 7-2 second choice in the field of nine.
Asmussen has won the Preakness twice, with two-time Horse of the Year Curlin in 2007 and Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Rachel Alexandra in 2009. Owner Winchell Thoroughbreds is seeking its first victory in a Triple Crown race.