[Source] - Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will bypass the May 21 Preakness Stakes and wait instead for the June 11 Belmont Stakes, both owner Rick Dawson and trainer Eric Reed said early Thursday afternoon.
Reed said the decision came after two days of lengthy discussions between hismelf and Dawson.
"We always want to do whatever is right by the horse," Reed said.
Let me be clear here. The boo is for the sport, just in case there's an injury here or something. If that's the case then yeah, no brainer. But this just ruined the sport. You know what people want to see? A Triple Crown bid. We lose that because Rich Strike isn't running in the Preakness. Yeah those races are still important and matter because it's winning a Triple Crown race, but for the sport? You need the Derby winner at Preakness. You need to see if that Derby race was a one-off or if this horse was just completely undervalued the entire time somehow.
This just sucks. There's nothing like going into the Belmont wondering if there'd be a Triple Crown. Some would say it lost its luster once American Pharaoh did it in 2015 to end the streak and Justify did it then in 2018. But there's still something special about it. There's still something that gets a little more going as you enter the gates at Belmont wondering if there's a historical moment about to be made in a couple of minutes.
This isn't the first time this has happened either. Country House did it in 2019 but that was different. Country House won the Derby by DQ. Rich Strike won, passed drug tests, etc and is passing on it. For a REAL niche sport, you just lost a bunch of viewers for the Preakness.