Kentucky Derby Winner Rich Strike Arrives at Belmont

Rich Strike on the Belmont training trackCoglianese

GI Kentucky Derby upsetter Rich Strike (Keen Ice) arrived in New York by van from Kentucky at 1 a.m. Wednesday to prepare for the GI Belmont S. June 11.

With exercise rider Gabriel Lagunes up, Rich Strike visited Belmont's dirt training track at 9:30 a.m. with the accompaniment of outrider Juan Galvez and his pony Stormy, making two laps the wrong way round.

“He settled down a lot the second time round. A lot of that was trying to get him used to the pony. You could see the farther he went the better he accepted the pony,” trainer Eric Reed said. “I think by the end of the week they'll be good buddies and on race day he needs a buddy. He'll sleep the rest of the day. I know he's tired, he just doesn't show it.”

Going forward Rich Strike will school in the paddock in the morning before training on the main track.

“He's so routine oriented. We're in a new place, so we can set his routine here and in two days, he'll be fine,” Reed said.

Reed said if Rich Strike continues to move forward their long-term target would be the GI Runhappy Travers S. Aug. 27 at Saratoga.

“The owners always wanted to run him in the Travers and I think it's a good spot for him,” Reed said. “If all the horses are freshened and ready that could be a heck of a field in the Travers with Epicenter, Zandon, Early Voting and whoever comes out of this race. It could be a great, great race.”

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