There won’t be a Triple Crown chase this spring.
Kentucky Derby champion Rich Strike will not play at the May 21 Preakness in Baltimore, owner Rick Dawson announced Thursday. He said the horse will be focused on competing in the Belmont Championship on June 11.
In a statement, Dawson said: “Obviously, with our huge effort and victory in the Derby, it was very, very tempting to change our course and run at Preakness in Pimlico, and it was very, very good for all of our teams. It’s a huge honor to say that.” “However, after much discussion and consideration with my coach Eric Reed and a few others, we’re sticking to our plan of what’s best for Ritchie and what’s best for us. Team best and keep running at Preakness and point to Belmont in about five weeks.”
Despite the odds at 80-1, Rich Strike won the Derby last weekend. It was the second-biggest upset in game history.
The news that Rich Strike didn’t make it to Preakness came a day after it was announced that his jockey Sonny Leon had been suspended for careless riding in the Ohio State race before the Kentucky Derby.
His agent told The Associated Press that the four-day suspension won’t affect his ability to compete in next week’s Preakness, recently announced by stewards at Thistledown Racecourse in Ohio. They claim that Leon, 32, “deliberately and actively” drove his horse One Glamorous Gal to block other horses in the final race on April 27.
The Venezuelan jockey has been suspended five times since September for a total of 32 days, according to Courier Daily. Three of the penalties were for careless riding.