Rich Strike thrilled the horse racing world last weekend when the 80-to-1 longshot made an epic run to win the Kentucky Derby. The big question since then has been whether or not the horse will be able to become the first to win the Triple Crown since Justify in 2018.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 8, 2022
Turns out, the answer is no because owner Rick Dawson has announced that Rich Strike will not run in the Preakness Stakes.
According to The Daily Racing Form, the horse will rest up and focus on preparing for the Belmont Stakes.
“Our original plan for Rich Strike was contingent on the Kentucky Derby. Should we not run in the Derby we would point toward the Preakness,” Dawson said in a statement. “Should we run in the Derby, subject to the race outcome and the condition of our horse, we would give him more recovery time.
“Obviously, with our tremendous effort and win in the Derby it’s very, very tempting to alter our course and run in the Preakness at Pimlico, which would be a great honor for all our group. However, after much discussion and consideration with my trainer, Eric Reed, and a few others, we are going to stay with our plan of what’s best for Ritchie is what’s best for our group, and pass on running in the Preakness, and point toward the Belmont in approximately five weeks.”
It’s an unusual move for any Kentucky Derby winner to ship the chance to win the Triple Crown, but Rich Strike is also an unusual winner. The colt wasn’t even supposed to be part of the Derby field but joined the race the day before when Ethereal Road scratched.