Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will not take part in the Preakness Stakes. Owner Rich Dawson made the stunning announcement Thursday, 10 days before the race. This means that there will be no Triple Crown winner for the fourth year in a row.
Dawson said he and coach Eric Reed agreed to stick to the original plan for Rich Strike and rest him for five weeks. Rich Strike, 80-1, was the biggest long stroke to win Derby in more than a century.
The plan now is to get Rich Strike to run at Belmont Stakes on June 11. Dawson said it was best for the donkey to get some extra rest and not run again in the two weeks at Pimlico.
“It was very, very tempting to change our course and run at Preakness di Pimlico, which would be a huge honor for all of our group,” Dawson said in a statement. “However, after much discussion and deliberation, we will stick to our plan of what is best for Ritchie.”
Rich Strike is not expected to be the favorite for Preakness, with Derby Epicenter runners-up and Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath set to be part of the field. He will become the first Derby winner not to be a post-Preakness favorite since 2012, when I’ll Have Another won the first two legs of the Triple Crown.
With Rich Strike’s surprise withdrawal, Preakness will go without an official Derby champion for the second time in four years. Country House and disqualified winner Maximum Security missed the race in 2019. Mandaloun, who was elevated to a 2021 Derby victory shortly after Medina Spirit failed a doping test, also did not run at Preakness.
Incredible attack from Rich Strike passing the leaders under a stretch at Churchill Downs became one of the biggest distractions in sport. Its owner Reed and jockey Sonny Leon have all never won a race.
With Rich Strike pointing to Belmont, Preakness appears to be a wide open race with horses returning from Derby, potentially including Zandon and a simplification of the fourth-place finisher. Coach Chad Brown is also expected to enter Early Voting.
80-1 Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will not compete for Triple Crown | Preakness Bet
Source link 80-1 Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will not compete for Triple Crown | Preakness Bet