Roughly 12 hours before his peers were set to take to the Pimlico main track for the GI Preakness S., RED-TR Racing's GI Kentucky Derby upsetter Rich Strike (Keen Ice) returned to the worktab, breezing a half-mile in a strong :47.20. With rider Gabe Lagunes in the irons, the chestnut broke off aggressively with an opening quarter-mile in :22.80 and he galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.60.
Immediately following his stunning 80-1 upset beneath the Twin Spires, connections fully intended on pressing on to the Preakness, but it was announced May 12 that the colt would bypass the second jewel of the Triple Crown and would be trained up to the GI Belmont S. June 11.
“Skipping the Preakness was still one of the toughest decisions I had to make as a trainer,” said trainer Eric Reed, who stood alongside owner Rick Dawson for the work. “I just don't think he would've been mentally ready to run against those horses again.”
Reed indicated that Rich Strike would head to New York as soon as next week, but has elected to keep the colt in Barn 17 on the Churchill backstretch until May 31. Tentative plans call for Rich Strike to breeze again Monday, May 30.
“He does so well here I just didn't want to change anything yet,” Reed said. “He'll get eight or nine days at Belmont to gallop and get used to the surface.”
— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) May 21, 2022