LOS ANGELES • The surprise Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will not compete in this Saturday's Preakness Stakes due to the quick turnaround.
This means there will be no chance for a Triple Crown champion this year.
Rich Strike won last weekend's "Run for the Roses" at the second-longest odds in the race's 148-year history, despite starting from the dreaded Gate 20 and being entered for the race only the day before.
"Obviously, with our tremendous effort and win in the Derby, it's very, very tempting to alter our course and run in the Preakness at Pimlico, which would be a great honour for all our group," said Rich Strike's owner, Rick Dawson, in a statement.
"However, after much discussion and consideration with my trainer, Eric Reed, and 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 five weeks."
A horse must win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont in the same year to be heralded the Triple Crown champion.
Animal rights activists applauded Dawson's decision to put the horse's welfare first.