GI Kentucky Derby favorite and runner-up Epicenter (Not this time) drew eight in a GI Preakness S. nine-horse renewal at the pot draw Monday for the second leg of the Triple Crown, while the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks took the pay. Secret Vow (Arrogate) received four slots for coach D. Wayne Lukas as she attempted to become only the second person to win the Preakness in the past three years and give Lukas a seventh Preakness win. Chestnut was installed as third choice 9-2 on the morning road behind Epicenter and expected speed Vote early (Gunman), who delivered a midfield smash in five posts for coach Chad Brown. The 1 3/16-mile classic will bring in $1.65 million, up from the $1.5 million expected due to the late additions of Fern Circle Stables, Back Racing and Magdalena Racing’s Creative Minister (Creative cause).
“I think that’s ideal,” said Epicenter coach Steve Asmussen. It’s a field of nine horses, lots of runs until the first turn. A couple of fresh horses and we’ll be back in two weeks, I think that’s totally ideal. You could say we’re half as thrilled as the Derby draw, when you go from 20 runners-up to nine. I think that makes it much more profitable for everyone when the post-slot draw takes place. With that said, it’s fun to go head-to-head with Early Vote, I’m a huge fan Gunman [who he trained]. So I’m excited to see him, but obviously worried for Epicenter’s chances in Preakness. ”
Before finishing second in the Derby after shocking winner Rich Strike (Keen Ice), whose decisive connection to the passing of Preakness and the attempt to win the Triple Crown, Epicenter made a dramatic takeover of GII Risen Star S. and GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds. Bettors made him a clear 41-10 favorite in Run for the Roses, where he led until a deep stretch before being overtaken late into his inner ring.
Secret Oath was the convincing winner of one of the latest Oaks releases in recent memory, rallying extensively to score a two-way stretch win. Try to follow in the footsteps of the sly Swiss skydiver (Daredevil), who beat out the Derby winner and eventually the True Horse of the Year (Into Mischief) in the COVID-delayed Preakness 2020, Secret Oath went head-to-head with men, finishing third with a tough ride during the April 9 GI Arkansas Derby in Oaklawn.
Of the four posts, Secret Oath co-owner Rob Mitchell commented, “I think it’s fine. I mean, I’m happier with that than with the posting position [#1] for the Oaks. ”
Early voting by Klaravich Stables, an impressive winner in GIII Withers S. and a close runner-up in the GII Wood Memorial S., had enough points to qualify for the Derby, but was pointed to Preakness instead. for Brown, who won Preakness in 2017 with Cloud Computing (Music by Maclean), the only Classic win of the four-time Eclipse champion coach to date.
“It was amazing,” Brown said of booth number five. “I wanted to be somewhere in the middle, so that would work. I am satisfied with the draw”.
Only three horses from the 20-horse Derby will return to compete for the Prey in Epicenter, who finished in fourth place Simplify (Not this time) and the one who finished in 14th place Jack is happy (Oxbow). Simplified, this winter’s GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain winner of Youth S., made Monday’s railroad the 6-1 fourth pick.
“I have seen the speed going outside. It doesn’t change our strategy,” said coach Antonio Sano. “At first, I thought it wasn’t good, but Johnny W [John Velazquez] is very smart. He will make the decision if he has to go out.”
Entire field, from the rails out with short exercises: Simplify #1 (Velazquez), Creative Minister #2 (Brian Hernandez, Jr. 10-1), #3 Fenwick (CurlinFlorent Geroux, 50-1), #4 The Vow of Secrets (Luis Saez), #5 Early Voting (Jose Ortiz), #6 Happy Jack (Tyler Gaffalione, 30-1), #7 Armagnac (Quality SugarIrad Ortiz, Jr., 12-1), #8 Epicenter (Joel Rosario), #9 Skippylongstocking (Magnifier, Junior Alvarado, 20-1).