Rich Strike, the improbable winner of last week’s Kentucky Derby, will not run in the Preakness Stakes on May 21 at Pimlico Race Course, ensuring that there will be no Triple Crown winner this year.
Rick Dawson, Rich Strike’s owner, released a statement Thursday saying they will instead look towards the June 11 Belmont Stakes in order to get more rest and recovery time.
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“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,” Dawson said in a statement. “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.”
The 80-1 long shot stunned the horse racing world last weekend, breezing past favorites Epicenter and Zandon to win the Kentucky Derby. With just two weeks of prep time before the second leg of the Triple Crown, Dawson Reed decided to set their sights on a later date.
Reed did not immediately return a call seeking comment. On Sunday morning, he was asked if he felt an obligation to run in the Preakness.
“My obligation is to Rich Strike first,” Reed said. “And if Rich is ready to go and I think it’s the right thing for him, we’re going to go. Nothing against any of these Triple Crown races, but I don’t get these horses 10 or 12 a year to try to get one of them. I need him around a long time. … I want to go. That’s naturally what we want to do.”
Horse racing’s last Triple Crown came in 2018 with Bob Baffert’s Justify.