2022 Preakness Stakes odds: Rich Strike will not run at Pimlico, dashing Triple Crown hopes

Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will not run in the Preakness Stakes.
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The vast majority of Kentucky Derby winners are subsequently favored to win the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown two Saturdays later, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore. Rick Strike won this year's Derby at 80/1 odds, the second-biggest upset in the history of the Run for the Roses. Rich Strike was not favored in Baltimore, though, and was an even bigger long shot to complete the Triple Crown -- but now that point is moot as he will not run in the Preakness.

Rick Dawson, Rich Strike's owner, released a statement saying his group will instead look toward the June 11 Belmont Stakes in order to get more recovery time. Trainer Eric Reed said the decision came after two days of lengthy discussions between himself and Dawson. The owner noted the original plan was contingent on the Derby and that if Rich Strike hadn't run that race, he would have been pointed toward the Preakness.

"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 honor for all our group," Dawson said in the statement. "However, after much discussion and consideration 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."

Last week, Reed was asked if he felt an obligation to run in the Preakness as the Derby winner: "My obligation is to Rich Strike first. And if Rich is ready to go and I think it's the right thing for him, we're going to go. Nothing against any of these Triple Crown races, but I don't get these horses 10 or 12 a year to try to get one of them. I need him around a long time. … I want to go. That's naturally what we want to do."

It's fairly unusual for a Derby winner to skip the Preakness for rest reasons and not due to injury or illness, but it will be the second year in a row it has happened. The 2021 Derby winner, Mandaloun, did not race in the Preakness or Belmont Stakes. Medina Spirit, who originally won last year's Derby but was placed last after a positive drug test, did run the Preakness and finished third.

The sportsbooks are resetting the odds as we speak, but Rich Strike had been a 7/1 fourth favorite at Pimlico behind Epicenter (3/1), Secret Oath (11/2) and Early Voting (6/1). Epicenter was second in the Kentucky Derby and has been confirmed for the Preakness. So has Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath. A decision on Derby third-place finisher Zandon is pending.

Who wins the Preakness Stakes? And which underdog is a must-back? Join SportsLine now to see Jody Demling's picks for the Preakness Stakes, all from the expert who nailed 10 Derby-Oaks doubles and 9 of the last 17 Preakness winners, and find out.

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