Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will not compete in the Preakness Stakes, colt owner Rick Dawson said Thursday. Opting out of the race means there will be no possible Triple Crown champion this year. Dawson announced the decision in a statement from the Maryland Jockey Club, saying the team’s original plan was to run Rich Strike in the Preakness rather than the Kentucky Derby.
Long-shot Rich Strike was an alternate for the Derby and was elevated to the field when Ethereal Road was scratched the day before that race. Said Dawson, “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 pass on running in the Preakness and point toward the Belmont in approximately five weeks.”
Rich Strike overcame 80-1 odds to win the 2022 Derby last Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Trainer Eric Reed said after the race that Rich Strike’s chances were “real good” to win the second leg of the Triple Crown, but later admitted he needed to work with the horse before committing to the Preakness.
The 2022 Preakness Stakes is expected to start at 6:50 p.m. EDT May 21 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, airing on NBC. The Belmont Stakes, the final jewel of the Triple Crown, will be held on June 11 at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.
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