Rich Strike, the longshot 80-to-1 winner of the Kentucky Derby earlier this month, will not run at the 2022 Preakness Stakes on May 21 at Pimlico Race Course.
“Our original plan for Rich Strike was contingent on the Kentucky Derby, should we not run in the Derby we would point toward the Preakness,” the horse’s owner, Rick Dawson, released in a statement.
“Should we run in the Derby, subject to the race outcome and the condition of our horse, we would give him more recovery time and rest and run in the Belmont…
“Or another race and stay on course to run with five or six weeks rest between races.”
It’s clear that a Triple Crown isn’t a priority for Dawson, who made a spell-binding comeback down the home stretch to shock the field at Churchill Downs.
Whatever the formula Dawson and trainer Eric Reed are doing, it’s working. Their horse has exhibited increasing Beyer speed figures in each of his last four races — most notably a 101 at the Kentucky Derby.
“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,” Dawson continued.
“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.”
Rich Strike had significantly shorter odds at 7-1 (h/t CBS Sports) compared to his lofty Kentucky Derby chances, but his exit won’t do much to impact the favorites.
Epicenter is widely regarded as the horse to beat, opening with 3-1 odds.