There will be no Triple Crown winner in 2022.
Rich Strike owner Rick Dawson announced on Thursday that his horse will not be racing in next weekend's Preakness and will next run in June at the Belmont Stakes.
"Our original plan for Rich Strike was contingent on the Kentucky Derby," Dawson said in a statement. "Should we not run in the Derby, we would point toward the Preakness, should we run in the Derby, subject to the race outcome and the condition of our horse, we would give him more recovery time and rest and run in the Belmont, or another race and stay on course to run with five or six weeks' rest between races."
Dawson acknowledges that the 80-to-1 underdog's victory at Churchill Downs made him consider changing the plan.
"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," Dawson continued, "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."
The 2022 Preakness is set for May 21 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
Justify was the most recent of the 13 horses that have won the Triple Crown with its victory coming in 2018.