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LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – After pulling off the 80-1 upset win at Churchill Downs last Saturday, Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will not run in the Preakness, but will now focus on the Belmont Stakes later in the month.

Owner Richard Dawson said in a statement through the Maryland Jockey Club:

Our original plan for Rich Strike was contingent on the KY 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 & the condition of our horse, we would give him more recovery time & 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 & win in the Derby it’s very, very tempting to alter our course & run in the Preakness at Pimlico, which would be a great honor for all our group, however, after much discussion & consideration with my trainer, Eric Reed & 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 & Pimlico folks that have reached out to us & very much appreciate the invite.

We wish you all a great race!!!!

Richard Dawson

FOX 56 Sports talked with Rich Strike’s trainer Eric Reed on Wednesday about the next steps. Reed said they were going to be conservative with their approach over the next couple of days saying “it can’t be for the fame or the glory, it has to be for Ritchie, or the road will end soon.”