Rich Strike is not going to run within the Preakness after his main upset to win the Kentucky Derby, preserving horse racing from having a Triple Crown winner for a fourth consecutive yr.
Owner Rich Dawson made the gorgeous announcement Thursday, 10 days earlier than the race in Maryland.
Dawson mentioned he and coach Eric Reed agreed to stay with the preliminary plan for Rich Strike and relaxation him for 5 weeks. Rich Strike, at 80-1, was the most important lengthy shot to win the Derby in additional than a century. Only Donerail in 1913 paid extra to win.
The plan now could be to have Rich Strike able to run within the Belmont Stakes in New York on June 11. Dawson mentioned it was smart for the colt to get further relaxation and never face a brief, two-week turnaround at Pimlico.
“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 mentioned in a information launch. “However, after much discussion and consideration … we are going to stay with our plan of what’s best for Ritchie.
“We thank the wonderful Preakness and Pimlico folks that have reached out and very much appreciate the invite.”
Reed didn’t instantly reply to a message from The Associated Press searching for remark.
Rich Strike was not anticipated to be the morning-line favourite for the Preakness, with Derby runner-up Epicenter and Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath set to be a part of the sector. He might have been the primary Derby winner to not go off because the Preakness favourite at submit time since 2012 once I’ll Have Another gained the primary two legs of the Triple Crown.
With Rich Strike’s shock withdrawal, the Preakness will go on with out the official Derby champion for the second time in 4 years. Country House and disqualified winner Maximum Security skipped the race in 2019.
Bob Baffert-trained Medina Spirit completed third within the 2021 Preakness after testing constructive following the Derby for a substance not allowed on race day. Mandaloun, who was elevated to the 2021 Derby win lengthy after Medina Spirit examined constructive, didn’t run within the Preakness final yr.
Rich Strike’s unimaginable cost previous the leaders down the stretch at Churchill Downs after being initially unnoticed of the Derby area turned one of many largest upsets in sports activities. The homeowners, coach Reed and jockey Sonny Leon had all by no means gained the race.
Adding to the spectacular story, Rich Strike had gained solely as soon as earlier than and had been claimed for $30,000 — pennies in racing and unlikely for Derby-caliber horses.
Neither Reed nor the Maryland Jockey Club instantly responded to messages from the AP searching for remark.
With Rich Strike pointing to the Belmont, the Preakness seems to be a wide-open race amongst horses again from the Derby, doubtlessly together with Zandon and fourth-place finisher Simplification. Trainer Chad Brown, who saddles Zandon, can also be anticipated to enter Early Voting.
Horse racing has had two current Triple Crown winners: American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018. Each was skilled by Baffert, who’s at the moment serving a suspension in Kentucky for medicine violations that’s being noticed in Maryland and elsewhere. Baffert transferred Derby horses Taiba and Messier to former assistant Tim Yakteen.
Neither is predicted to run within the Preakness.
Longtime Baffert pal D. Wayne Lukas confirmed Wednesday that filly Secret Oath would run within the Preakness and determined to select a unique race subsequent Saturday for Ethereal Road — the horse that was scratched to make room within the Derby for Rich Strike. ___
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