After considering a start in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup on March 25, the connections of 2022 Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike have decided not to make the trip to the Middle East.
Owner Rick Dawson said in a Facebook post that details of the travel plans set by Dubai authorities are “unacceptable & not in the best interest of Richie and our team.”
He said the 4-year-old colt, last seen finishing sixth in the Clark (G1), would stay in the U.S. and race five or six times if he remains sound and healthy.
The next start for Rich Strike could come in the listed Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park on March 25, according to the post.
That would return the son of Keen Ice to the site where he broke his maiden and earned Kentucky Derby qualifying points with a fourth-place finish in the John Battaglia Memorial and a third in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3).
Rich Strike took a month-and-a-half break and returned to trainer Eric Reed’s Mercury Equine Center in Lexington, Ky., last month. At the time, Reed told Horse Racing Nation that the Dubai World Cup was plan A but that he definitely had a plan B in mind. He said then that the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) on April 2 might be a good target en route to the Stephen Foster (G1) at Churchill Downs in July.
Reed also was considering sending Rich Strike to Saratoga for the Whitney (G1) on Aug. 5, back to Churchill Downs on Sept. 30 for the Lukas Classic (G2) and then perhaps wrapping up his career Nov. 4 in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita.