Kentucky Derby Winner Rich Strike to Skip Preakness Stakes; Prepare for Belmont

For the fourth consecutive year, horse racing fans will not bear witness to a Triple Crown winner.

According to the New York Post, Kentucky Derby victor Rich Strike, who won the storied race at 80-1 odds, will not run in next Saturday’s Preakness Stakes. Rather, the horse who captured America’s hearts will instead prepare for the June 11 running of the Belmont.

Owner Rick Dawson addressed the difficult decision Thursday in a press release, saying:

“Our original plan for Rich Strike was contingent on the Kentucky Derby. Should we run in the Derby, subject to the race outcome and the condition of our horse, we would give him more recovery time and rest and run in the Belmont, or another race and stay on course to run with five or six weeks’ rest between races. Obviously, with our tremendous effort and win in the Derby it’s very, very tempting to alter our course and run in the Preakness at Pimlico… However, after much discussion and consideration with my trainer Eric Reed and 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 five weeks. We thank the wonderful Preakness and Pimlico folks that have reached out to us and very much appreciate the invite.”

Rich Strike’s Derby upset returned $163.60 on a $2 wager – the highest since 1913.

You’ll be able to find the latest odds for the Preakness Stakes over on TVG.