The lineup is set for the second leg of the 2022 Triple Crown following Monday's post draw for the Preakness Stakes.
Kentucky Derby runner-up Epicenter will be running near the outside of the nine-horse field after drawing the No. 8 gate.
Preakness Stakes Post Positions
2. Creative Minister
4. Secret Oath
5. Early Voting
6. Happy Jack
Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will be notable by his absence at Pimlico. He pulled off one of the most improbable victories in Derby history when he surged past Epicenter, the betting favorite going into the race, down the final stretch.
Rich Dawson, owner of Rich Strike, announced the colt wouldn't run in the Preakness, citing the quick turnaround between the races. He acknowledged it was "very, very tempting" to chase history but confirmed the team's focus was on the Belmont Stakes.
As a result, Epicenter will be denied his opportunity for a measure of revenge.
The winner of the Risen Star Stakes and Louisiana Derby is the strongest horse in this year's Preakness field. Trainer Steve Asmussen has guided two horses to victory in this event, though his most recent triumph was more than a decade ago (Rachel Alexandra in 2009).
Secret Oaks is only 10 days removed from a victory in the Kentucky Oaks, an improvement from her third-place showing in the Arkansas Derby. The filly figures to be the stiffest competition for Epicenter.
Early Voting and Simplification round out the top contenders.
Early Voting will be well-rested at Pimlico. The colt hasn't run since the Wood Memorial on April 9, where he finished second behind Mo Donegal. Simplification is battle-tested after having entered four graded stakes races already this year.
Secret Oaks and Early Voting getting drawn next to each other should make for a fun head-to-head battle in Saturday's sprint.
The post time for the Preakness Stakes is tentatively set for 7:01 p.m. ET.