Richard Dawson, the owner of Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, has announced that his colt will pass on the Preakness and rest up for the Belmont Stakes. The decision is in line with their philosophy of waiting at least 5-6 weeks between races.
“Our original plan for Rich Strike was contingent on the Kentucky 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 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 5 or 6 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, which would be a great honor for all our group. 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 5 weeks.
“We thank the wonderful Preakness and Pimlico folks that have reached out to us and very much appreciate the invite.
“We wish you all a great race!!!!”Richard Dawson
Nice to see an owner and a trainer who are more interested in their horse than in the prestige of competing for the Triple Crown. Or perhaps recognizing that their horse isn’t suited to the shorter distance of the Preakness. Just look how late in the race Rich Strike moved to take the lead. He could easily run out of track.
Not many Derby winners don’t give the Preakness a shot. In 2019, Country House was named the winner of the Derby after Maximum Security was disqualified, but he never raced again. First diagnosed with proximal suspensory ligament desmitis on both front fetlocks,, which progressed to laminitis, ending his racing career. In 1996, Grindstone was retired after the Derby, also after an injury. The last horse who won the Derby and skipped the Preakness because their connections didn’t want him to run two weeks after the Derby was Gato Del Sol in 1982. He went on to finish second in the Belmont.
Will Secret Oath Run?
While Epicenter is expected to be the odd-on favorite for the Preakness, the wild card in the mix is the winner of the Kentucky Oaks, Secret Oath. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas confirmed yesterday that the filly will run.
“The Preakness, I think it’s a decent fit. I think we’re very competitive in there with those horses. I have the greatest respect for some of those horses that ran in the Derby. It will not be easy, but she’ll make the race very interesting,” he added. “I don’t think the (Oaks) was extremely hard on her. They’re all tough, but she was on cruise speed down the backside, and then she made that big run. We wanted a couple of days to see where we’re at, and it looks like we’re in pretty good shape.”D. Wayne Lukas
In the 149 year history of the race, 55 fillies have run in the Preakness, and only six fillies have won.
- 2020 – Swiss Skydiver
- 2009 – Rachel Alexandra
- 1924 – Nellie Morse
- 1915 – Rhine Maiden
- 1906 – Whimsical
- 1903 – Flocarline
Will Secret Oath give the boys a run for the money? The Preakness takes place on May 21st.