Secret Oath on Track for Preakness, Early Voting Works

Briland Farm’s Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner and homebred Secret Oath continued her training toward the May 21 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course with her typical early-morning gallop May 13 at Churchill Downs under regular exercise rider Danielle Rosier.

The D. Wayne Lukas trained daughter of Arrogate will seek to become the seventh filly to win the Preakness following the most-recent success of Swiss Skydiver in 2020. Swiss Skydiver, trained by Kenny McPeek, was also Churchill Downs based.

Other female winners of the Preakness include Rachel Alexandra (2009), Nellie Morse (1924), Rhine Maiden (1915), Whimsical (1906), and Flocarline (1903).

“If she puts the Preakness on her résumé, it will take her to another level,” Lukas said. “She’ll be thought of as one of the really good ones.”

Following the Preakness, Lukas has a short break from racing planned for Secret Oath prior to scheduled starts this summer in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course.

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Secret Oath is set to have company in Maryland next week from several other Kentucky-based horses in the Preakness, including Kentucky Derby Day allowance optional claiming victory Creative Minister Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) runner-up Epicenter and 2021 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Rattle N Roll .

They’ll be joined by horses from Maryland and invaders from other states, such as the New York-based Early Voting who breezed five furlongs Friday at 1:00.63 at Belmont Park.

Trained by Chad Brown, Klaravich Stables’ Early Voting breezed under jockey Jose Ortiz to the outside of stablemate Miles D . The pair of stakes winners went three-eighths in :36.40 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13 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 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino (G2) April 9 at Aqueduct, which came following an open-lengths triumph in the Withers Stakes (G3) two months prior.

Photo: Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand

Early Voting wins the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack

Brown won the 2017 Preakness Stakes with Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Cloud Computing who outdueledClassic Empire in the stretch.

Like Cloud Computing, Early Voting will also 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 are both 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.”

Another Brown trainee, Derby third-place finisher Zandon , will skip the Preakness and aim for summer races such as the Aug. 27 Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1), owner Jeff Drown told the Star Tribune.

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