Derby winner Rich Strike won’t race at Preakness

Longshot Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will not enter the Preakness Stakes to chase a Triple Crown.

Owner Rick Dawson released a statement Thursday saying his horse will skip the May 21 Preakness to get more rest and recovery time ahead of the Belmont Stakes on June 11.

Dawson admitted that racing in the Preakness was “very, very tempting,” but said he and trainer Eric Reed are “going to stay with our plan of what’s best for Ritchie.”

“We thank the wonderful Preakness & Pimlico folks that have reached out to us & very much appreciate the invite,” Dawson’s statement concludes. “We wish you all a great race!!!!”

At 80-to-1 odds, Rich Strike and jockey Sonny Leon stunned the horse racing world with last Saturday’s victory at Churchill Downs over favorites Epicenter and Zandon.

The second- and third-place finishers are not yet committed to the Preakness Stakes.

Fifth-place Derby finisher Mo Donegal is considered unlikely to race under trainer Todd Pletcher, and sixth-place finisher Barber Road is not running.

That leaves trainer Antonio Sano’s Simplification, coming off a fourth-place finish at the Kentucky Derby, as one of the likely favorites at the Preakness.

The 13th and most recent Triple Crown winner was Justify in 2018.

–Field Level Media

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