Kentucky Derby Winner Rich Strike's Owner Makes Big Decision on Horse's Future

Rich Strike won the 2022 Kentucky Derby this past weekend, and now the question is what's next for the horse? In a surprising move, Rick Dawson, the owner of Rich Strike announced that the horse won't compete in the upcoming Preakness Stakes, meaning there's no chance Rich Strike will win the Triple Crown. However, Rich Strike will likely compete at the Belmont Stakes on June 11. 

"Obviously, with our tremendous effort and 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," Dawson said on Twitter. "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.

As mentioned by CBS Sports, the plan was to always rest Rich Strike and compete in the Belmont Stakes, the last race of the Triple Crown, Preakness Stakes is set to take place on May 21. Rich Strike becomes the first Kentucky Derby winner to not compete in the Preakness since 2019. At that time, Country House didn't enter the race after winning the Derby following the disqualification of Maximum Security. The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Justify in 2018. 

Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby on 80-1 odds. The horse is the second-biggest longshot to have won the Derby after Donerial (91-1) odds in 1913. Shortly after the race, Dawson told reporters he wasn't sure if Rich Strike would go for the Triple Crown. "It will be great to have a Triple Crown battle with Epicenter and Zandon (the two horses that finished second and third in the Kentucky Derby)," Dawson said," per Yahoo Sports.

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"I can't say until we get Rich Strike another day or two on the track. The vets have went over him head to toe and said he came out of the race just perfect, so all that part's great. Now, we are going to see how sore he is and how he feels. If he is full of life and ready to run, we may make a run to Maryland and see what we can do."