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Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will pass on Preakness Stakes

The long shot Derby winner passes on the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Jockey Sonny Leon aboard Rich Strike is paraded in the winner’s circle after winning the148th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 7th, 2022, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The owner of the 2022 Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike have chosen not to enter the horse in the Preakness Stakes.

Here’s the full statement from Rich Dawson, owner of the 81-1 long shot winner at Churchill Downs on May 7th.

“Our original plan for Rich Strike was contingent on the KY Derby, should we not run in the Derby we would point toward the Preakness, should we run in the Derby, subject to the race outcome & the condition of our horse, we would give him more recovery time & rest and run in the Belmont, or another race and stay on course to run with 5 or 6 weeks rest between races.

“Obviously, with our tremendous effort & 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, 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.”

The fact this is done in the best interest of the house is a good thing for the industry, especially considering what happened to last year’s “winning” trainer Bob Baffert. And with the incredible close of Rich Strike at the Run for the Roses, the 12 furlongs of the Belmont Stakes in five weeks might be the perfect place to show his closing pace again.