Rich Strike Prepares for Possible Start in G3 Ben Ali

April 5, 2023

Rich Strike ahead of his historical victory in the Kentucky Derby (Coady Photography)

Keeneland Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky.— RED TR-Racing’s 2022 Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Woodford Reserve winner Rich Strike continued his preparation for his return to the races by working 5 furlongs in 1:01.20 over a fast track early Wednesday morning with Carlos Enriquez aboard at Keeneland.

“I thought he worked good and finished strong,” trainer Eric Reed said. “We are looking here (for the $300,000 Ben Ali-G3 going 1 3/16 miles on April 22) or Oaklawn (for the $1 million Oaklawn Handicap-G2 going 1 1/8 miles the same day). We want to get the first one out of the way and then the ($1 million) Stephen Foster (G1 on July 1). We’ll see how they come up.”

Rich Strike had a two-month break after completing his 2022 campaign in the Clark (G1) Presented by Norton Healthcare at Churchill Downs and returned to the work tab at Reed’s Mercury Equine Center in Lexington on Jan. 21. Rich Strike had two works at Mercury and five at Turfway Park prior to his Wednesday morning drill here.

Reed initially had looked at the Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park on March 25 as the return spot for Rich Strike, “but he nicked a quarter (hoof area), and we didn’t want to take chance that he might hit himself coming out of the gate.”

Reed has outlined a lighter schedule for Rich Strike in 2023 with the goal to get to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 4. Rich Strike finished fourth behind champion Flightline in last year’s Classic, which was run at Keeneland.

“After the Foster, we are looking at either the Whitney (G1) or the Pacific Classic (G1) then back to Churchill for the Lukas Classic (G2) then the Breeders’ Cup,” said Reed, who plans to give Rich Strike another work here toward the end of next week.

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