Rich Strike will not run in Preakness, awaits Belmont

Rich Strike will not run in Preakness, awaits Belmont
Photo: Jessica Morgan / Eclipse Sportswire

Rich Strike, 80-1 long shot winner of the 2022 Kentucky Derby, will not run in next week's Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of racing's Triple Crown. 

Recent Derby winners to miss the Preakness include Country House, who in 2019 was elevated to victory via the disqualification of Maximum Security. He exited the race with an illness and would never race again.

Last year, Mandaloun crossed the wire second in the Derby and did not run in the Preakness. Then in February, Mandaloun was awarded the win by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission after Medina Spirit was disqualified due to a failed drug test.

In 1996, Grindstone emerged from his Derby win with a leg injury and never raced again. 

The last healthy Derby winner to bypass the Preakness was Spend A Buck in 1985. He was instead lured to the Jersey Derby by a $2 million bonus. 

Rich Strike's co-owner Rick Dawson announced the decision in a statement released on Thursday:

"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. 

"We thank the wonderful Preakness & Pimlico folks that have reached out to us & very much appreciate the invite. 

"We wish you all a great race!!!!"

The decision has at least one supporter. John Fradkin, co-owner of 2021 Preakness winner Rombauer, posted his opinion on Twitter:

2022 Preakness Stakes (G1)

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