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Kentucky Derby Winner Rich Strike Won't Race In The Preakness

The horse's owner said they will use the time for Rich Strike to rest before the Belmont Stakes next month.

Sonny Leon rides Rich Strike at the Kentucky Derby
Mark Humphrey / AP
SMS

Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will not run in the Preakness.

Owner Rich Dawson made the stunning announcement Thursday, 10 days before the race in Maryland. It means there will not be a Triple Crown winner for a fourth consecutive year.

80-1 Shot Rich Strike Races To Huge Upset In Kentucky Derby

80-1 Shot Rich Strike Races To Huge Upset In Kentucky Derby

Rich Strike wasn’t even in the Derby field until Friday when Ethereal Road was scratched, making room for the colt trained by Eric Reed.

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Dawson said he and trainer Eric Reed agreed to stick with the initial plan for Rich Strike and rest him for five weeks. Rich Strike, at 80-1, was the biggest long shot to win the Derby in more than a century. Only Donerail in 1913 paid more to win.

The plan now is to have Rich Strike ready to run in the Belmont Stakes on June 11. Dawson said it was best for the colt to get extra rest and not run back in two weeks at Pimlico.

Rich Strike was not expected to be the morning line favorite for the Preakness, with Derby runner-up Epicenter and Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath set to be part of the field. With Rich Strike’s surprise withdrawal, the Derby champion has not run in the Preakness in 2019 or 2021. The races we’re run out of order in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.