Rich Strike, the longshot horse who won the 148th Kentucky Derby last Saturday, will not compete in the upcoming Preakness Stakes on May 21.
His owner Rick Dawson released a statement Thursday afternoon, which cited Rich Strike’s need for rest as the reason for pulling him from the Preakness. He said that the plan now is for Rich Strike to run in the Belmont Stakes.
Dawson said his team never planned for the horse to run in both the Derby and Preakness. Rich Strike was a late entry to the Derby field, joining the day prior to fill a vacancy created when Ethereal Road exited the lineup.
Rich Strike, an 80-1 underdog, emerged victorious. Dawson said that led his team to consider changing their plans, but they ended up keeping them.
“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,” Dawson wrote.
By withdrawing from the Preakness, Rich Strike gives up the opportunity to achieve the Triple Crown. The honor is earned by a horse that wins the Derby, Preakness, and Belmont all in a single year.