There will not be a Triple Crown winner in 2022.
The connections of Rich Strike, who won the Run for the Roses at 80-1 odds on May 7, have decided not to run the long shot in the Preakness Stakes on May 21.
The decision was announced on Thursday.
Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike to bypass the Preakness Stakes and point to the Belmont, per owner Rick Dawson in statement. pic.twitter.com/PkSuW5DNmP
— Alicia Hughes (@AHughesMedia) May 12, 2022
The original plan was for Rich Strike to run in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes if he did not get into the Kentucky Derby.
However, that changed when he scratched into the Derby the day before the race and shocked the sports world by winning as the longest shot in the field.
The connections believe that Rich Strike is better suited to running in the Belmont after five weeks of freshening rather than trying to come back in two weeks in the Preakness, which at 1 3/16 miles is a sixteenth shorter than the Kentucky Derby.
The Belmont, which will be run on June 11, is contested at 1 1/2 miles.
A Kentucky Derby winner not running in the Preakness is rare. There was the instance of Spend a Buck winning the Run for the Roses in 1985 and passing on the second leg of the Triple Crown to run for a bloated purse in the Jersey Derby.
Recent Kentucky Derby winners that did not run in the Preakness:
2022: Rich Strike
2021: Mandaloun * (I know, it’s complicated)
2019: Country House *
1985: Spend a Buck
1982: Gato Del Sol
* 1st via DQ
— Joaquin Jaime (@TVGJoaquin) May 12, 2022