We'll never know if Rich Strike could have won the Triple Crown. That's because the Kentucky Derby-winning colt didn't participate in the Preakness Stakes last month, ensuring that Justify (2018) would remain the most recent horse to win all three of the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
However, Rich Strike could go 2-for-2 at Triple Crown events he has competed in. He'll be back in action on Saturday when this year's Belmont takes place in Elmont, New York.
When Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby, he was an 80-1 longshot that stormed through the field late and overtook several top betting favorites to capture the victory. At the Belmont, he'll have shorter odds now that he's proved himself to be a strong competitor.
Here's everything else you need to know heading into the 2022 Belmont Stakes.
2022 Belmont Stakes Info
Date: Saturday, June 11
TV: Coverage will air from 5-7 p.m. ET on NBC, with post time set to take place during that window.
Post Positions: The draw for post positions is set to take place Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET.
Rich Strike is the only horse that has an opportunity to win two Triple Crown races this year. Early Voting, the colt that skipped the Kentucky Derby before winning the Preakness, won't be in the Belmont field, instead preparing for the Travers Stakes.
However, some strong horses could prevent Rich Strike from winning the Belmont, including several that have also competed in either the Derby or Preakness.
Mo Donegal and Barber Road finished fifth and sixth, respectively, at the Kentucky Derby, ending up just outside of the money. They could fare better at the Belmont, where they have a chance at winning.
Creative Minister finished third at the Preakness behind only Early Voting and Epicenter—the latter was also the runner-up at the Kentucky Derby. After that solid showing, Creative Minister could be among the top contenders to win the Belmont.
Another horse that raced the Preakness and will be back in action for the Belmont is Skippylongstocking, who finished sixth at Pimlico Race Course.
But many eyes will be on Rich Strike, considering people will be eager to see whether he can win another top event after surprising everybody as a longshot at the Kentucky Derby. Will he again have a late burst that pushes him to victory at Elmont Park?
Rich Strike is already there to prepare for the Belmont, and trainer Eric Reed indicated that the colt is doing well leading up to the race.
"He's definitely enjoying himself and came back really perky," Reed said, per an NYRA news release (h/t Horse Racing Nation). "He's appreciating everything."
In eight career races, Rich Strike has only two wins, and both came at Churchill Downs. And he had finished third or worse in each of his five races prior to the Kentucky Derby.
Still, if Rich Strike performs like he did in the Derby, he will be victorious at Elmont Park, especially because there's no clear-cut favorite in this year's Belmont field.