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Rich Strike handlers praised for ‘refreshing’ decision to keep horse out of Preakness

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The decision to keep Rich Strike out of the Preakness after the colt’s historic victory in the Kentucky Derby last week was hailed on Thursday.

Owner Richard Dawson, trainer Eric Reed and others involved in the Derby winner have agreed to rest the horse instead of chasing a triple crown and will keep the thoroughbred out of the second race, opting to wait the Belmont Stakes next month.


Coach Eric Reed holds the trophy after Rich Strike won the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2022 in Louisville.
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action, released a statement praising Dawson.

“We commend the Rich Strike team for putting the welfare of the horse first and choosing not to compete in the 147th Preakness Stakes,” Irby said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Their decision to ‘give him more recovery and rest time’ is refreshing to see, and we have no doubt that Rich Strike will go down in the history books as one of the most famous American racehorses of all. the temperature.

“Furthermore, we were thrilled to learn that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission saw Rich Strike’s blood test results, and that the Kentucky Oaks winner came back clean, free of any illegal drugs, and c “It’s a huge step in the right direction. We hope to see a safe, drug-free Preakness next week in Baltimore.”


Rich Strike handlers praised for ‘refreshing’ decision to keep horse out of Preakness

Jockey Sonny Leon reacts after Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby on May 7, 2022.
(Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

For the fourth consecutive year, there will be no winner of the Triple Crown. Justified was the last winner in 2018. Dawson said their plans still depend on what happens with them at the Kentucky Derby. As the win made it more tempting to run for the Triple Crown, the team decided against it.

“Our original plan for Rich Strike was dependent on the KY Derby, if we didn’t run in the Derby we would point to the Preakness, if we ran in the Derby, subject to the outcome of the race and the condition of our horse, we would give him more recovery and rest time and race in the Belmont, or another race and stay on course to race with 5 or 6 weeks of rest between races,” Dawson’s statement read.

“Obviously with our tremendous effort and victory in the Derby there is a very, very tempting change of course and a run into the Preakness at Pimlico which would be a great honor for all of our group, however, after many many discussions and thoughts with my trainer, Eric Reed and a few others, we’re going to stick with our plan of what’s best for Ritchie is what’s best for our group, and keep running in the Preakness, and pointing to the Belmont in about 5 weeks.

Rich Strike handlers praised for ‘refreshing’ decision to keep horse out of Preakness

Rich Strike wins the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2022.
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

“We thank the wonderful people at Preakness & Pimlico who reached out to us and very much appreciate the invitation.”

Rich Strike was an 80-1 long shot to win the Derby.


The Preakness is scheduled for May 21. The Belmont will take place on June 11.

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