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The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown but this year any chance of a thoroughbred winning all three events has been nixed.
Rich Strike’s handlers announced last week that the Kentucky Derby winner will not go forth with the Preakness Stakes, opting to give the colt some rest ahead of June’s Belmont Stakes.
Epicenter, the runner-up in the Kentucky Derby, gallops during a morning workout ahead of the Preakness Stakes Horse Race at Pimlico Race Course, Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Rick Dawson, the owner of RED TR-Racing who owns the colt, released a statement, saying their plans were always contingent on what was going to happen with them at the Kentucky Derby. While the win made things more tempting to race for the Triple Crown, the team decided against it.
“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,” Dawson’s statement read.
“Obviously, with our tremendous effort & win in the Derby it’s very, very tempting to alter 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.”
Rich Strike leads Epicenter and Zandon in the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, May 7, 2022, in Louisville, Kentucky. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
The absence of Rich Strike, who was an 80-1 longshot to win the Kentucky Derby, means that Epicenter is back in the fold as the favorite to win the race.
Epicenter comes into the Preakness with 6-5 odds to win. The Steve Asmussen-trained horse finished second in the Derby, and drew the No. 8 post for the Preakenss.
Fenwick, a 50-1 shot per Horse Racing Nation, is hoping to ride the same wave as Rich Strike.
“I think there’s three or four horses to outrun in here, personally, and I’m way behind them,” Fenwick’s trainer Kevin McKathan said earlier in the week. “Steve’s horse (Epicenter) is obviously the bullet going in. Tami Bobo’s horse, Simplification, runs hard every time and then Wayne’s filly, she’s special, so you have to outrun her. And the rest of them, they’re there and we’ve got to put up with them.”
There were only nine horses ready to go for the Preakness.
Preakness entrant Fenwick is cleaned up after working out at Pimlico Race Course, Wednesday, May 18, 2022, in Baltimore. Fenwick has a 50-1 shot of winning the race. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Here’s what to know about the event.
Who is racing and what are the odds?
1). Simplification (John Velazquez) 6-1
2). Creative Minister (Brian Hernandez Jr.) 10-1
3). Fenwick (Florent Geroux) 50-1
4). Secret Oath (Luis Saez) 9-2
5). Early Voting (Jose Ortiz) 7-2
6). Happy Jack (Tyler Gaffalione) 30-1
7). Armagnac (Irad Ortiz Jr.) 12-1)
8). Epicenter (Joel Rosario) 6-5
9). Skippylongstocking (Junior Alvarado) 20-1
How to watch?
Where: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland
When: May 21, 2022
Projected post time: 6:45 p.m. ET