“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,” Owner Rick Dawson of RED TR-Racing said 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 [Rich Strike] is what’s best for our group.”
Zandon, the third-place finisher in the Derby, is pointed toward the Travers Stakes at Saratoga this summer, leaving just two of the top four Kentucky Derby finishers in the Preakness field. Derby runner-up Epicenter (the Preakness morning line favorite) and fourth-place finisher Simplification will get much of the attention, along with Early Voting, who was qualified for the Kentucky Derby but skipped the race.
The middle jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown will also feature six new shooters, a group not known for success in the Preakness. Since 2000, and not including the 2020 Preakness due to the timing of the race, just four new shooters have won the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Nevertheless, there should be a lot of buzz around one of those new shooters, Secret Oath. Fresh off her win in the Kentucky Oaks, she will look to join the six other fillies who have won the Preakness, most recently Swiss Skydiver in 2020. The others were Rachel Alexandra (2009), Nellie Morse (1924), Rhine Maiden (1915), Whimsical (1906) and Flocarline (1903).