'I Was Loving The Way He Was Moving Today': Rich Strike Gallops Two Miles at Belmont - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

‘I Was Loving The Way He Was Moving Today’: Rich Strike Gallops Two Miles at Belmont

Trainer Eric Reed

Saturday was business as usual for Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Rich Strike, who stretched out to two miles in a gallop over the fast main track at Belmont Park in preparation of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) June 11.

The son of Keen Ice had been galloping 1 1/2 miles for the past two days and went the extra half-mile in his first time over a dry Big Sandy.

Trainer Eric Reed watched from the track apron as a calm Rich Strike awaited his turn to step onto the track. With a flock of photographers around him, the chestnut stood quietly beneath the Belmont Park sign at the exit of the tunnel with his regular pony, Stormy, and had his ears forward while he observed the scene. He became a touch excited as he approached the dirt, but never lost his composure and continued without issue under regular exercise rider Gabriel Lagunes.

“He was great,” said Reed, who has been awaiting the chance to observe Rich Strike over a dry track. “The rider said he was moving good and liked it. When he came down the stretch, I was loving the way he was moving today. He can get into his stride and not get distracted here. We went two miles today and tomorrow we'll probably back it up a little bit.”

Reed noted that Rich Strike has matured immensely since he posted his memorable 80-1 victory in the Kentucky Derby.

“We had to stand and wait for the track to open. There were all those horses in the tunnel and he never paid his mind to anything,” Reed said. “The old Richie would have been tougher than that. The pony has given him a lot of comfort. He and Stormy are buddies.”

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