Rich Strike, the winner of the 148th annual Kentucky Derby as a massive underdog, will not run in the upcoming Preakness Stakes, owner Rick Dawson said Thursday.
After shocking the field last Saturday at Churchill Downs, surging down the home stretch to secure the victory, many expected Rich Strike to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. According to Dawson, however, it was always the plan to sit this one out, opting to wait for the Belmont Stakes.
“Obviously, with our tremendous effort and win in the Derby, it’s very, very tempting to alter our course. … 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,” Dawson said in a statement.
Rich Strike started the day at the Kentucky Derby with 99-1 odds, dropping to 91-1 by mid-afternoon that day. At the starting gate, the horse’s odds dropped to 80-1. It was the second-longest shot to win in Derby history, according to the NBC broadcast.
Rich Strike wasn’t even supposed to race in Kentucky
According to ESPN sports betting analyst Chris Fallica, also known as “The Bear,” there had been 143 Triple Crown runners sent off at odds of 80-1 or higher. Of those, 33 finished last and five didn’t finish at all.
Only five were able to finish within the top three, with Donerail the only other horse to win with such long odds. The 91-1 shot won the Derby in 1913 and set a new track record.
Epicenter, the post-time favorite, finished second, while Zandon wasn’t far behind in third. Simplification and Mo Donegal rounded out the top five.
Rich Strike wasn’t even supposed to be in the initial race. The Eric Reed trainee made the also-eligible list after several horses defected in the weeks ahead of the Kentucky Derby. Longshot Ethereal Road scratched Friday morning, and Rich Strike drew into the field. This was Reed’s first appearance in the Kentucky Derby.
All eyes on Preakness Stakes
The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. While no horse will have a shot at the prestigious series this year after Rich Strike’s decision to pull out, there’s still much to look forward to at the Preakness Stakes on May 21.
The second leg of the Triple Crown will take place in front of full attendance at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. As of Thursday morning, the only three horses confirmed to be running in the race are Epicenter, Simplification and Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath.
The rest of the Preakness field should be official by early next week.
More on Maryland horse racing
Laurel Park’s spring meet ends on Sunday, May 8. Pimlico’s annual meet begins on Thursday, May 12, and ends on Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day).
The Preakness, of course, is an event onto itself. More than 100,000 people venture to the track known as Old Hilltop for a day of racing and celebration.
The party includes a music festival in the infield. This year’s headline acts are Marshmello and The Chainsmokers. The latter performance will be included in NBC’s live broadcast from Pimlico. More acts may be added as the event draws closer.
Watch and wager from anywhere in Maryland
Mobile sports betting is currently illegal in Maryland. However, advance-deposit wagering on horse racing is legal in the state. You can watch and wager on Maryland horse racing, including the Preakness Stakes, on your computer, tablet, or phone.
In addition to an online service and an app, TVG also has a pair of television networks. TVG and TVG2 are available through cable providers and the Watch TVG app. That app can be downloaded to Amazon, Apple TV, and Roku devices.
Other ADW platforms include TwinSpires, 1/ST BET, and NYRA Bets. You can also watch live horse racing on “America’s Day at the Races,” shown on the Fox Sports family of networks and the New York Racing Association YouTube channel.