Just days after Rich Strike’s improbable upset win in the Kentucky Derby, owner Rick Dawson announced that the horse would not compete in the upcoming Preakness Stakes. Rich Strike’s withdrawal from Preakness on May 21 will end the horse’s chances at going for the Triple Crown.
Rich Strike’s spectacular victory in the Derby, in which he surged out of mid-pack to win at 80-1 odds, created a somewhat unforeseen scenario. The horse was not even listed to participate in the race 24 hours beforehand.
The choice to skip the Preakness was made in the interest of rest and recovery for the horse, Dawson said.
“Obviously, with our tremendous effort and win in the Derby it’s very, very tempting to alter our course & run in the Preakness at Pimlico, which would be a great honor for all our group,” Dawson said. “However, after much discussion & consideration with my trainer, Eric Reed & 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 5 weeks.
“We thank the wonderful Preakness & Pimlico folks that have reached out to us & very much appreciate the invite.”
Future plans for Rich Strike were always contingent on what happened at the Kentucky Derby, The original one, which the trainers are sticking to, is to give the horse rest and recovery ahead of the Belmont Stakes on June 11.
Rich Strike becomes the first Kentucky Derby winner to not compete in the Preakness since 2019, when Country House did not enter after being awarded the Derby win following the disqualification of Maximum Security.
With Rich Strike skipping Preakness, Justify will remain the most recent horse to have won the Triple Crown, doing so in 2018.
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