Rich Strike: Preakness Stakes won’t be in the cards for the Kentucky Derby winner

“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,” the statement said.

Jockey Sonny Leon seems as surprised as anyone by Rich Strike's long-shot Kentucky Derby win

Dawson said it was “very, very tempting” to race in the Preakness after their Derby win, adding it “would be a great honor.”

“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,” the statement said.

The 147th Preakness Stakes will be run on May 21 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.

If Dawson’s strategy goes according to plan, Rich Strike will return to the race track June 11 for the 154th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.