The horse entered the Derby at 80-1 odds – the biggest long-shot in the 20-horse field – after only being added to the race when another horse dropped out the day before.
His owners had always planned to skip the Preakness – ending any hopes of a Triple Crown winner this year – in order to rest and prepare perfectly for the Belmont.
“It’s been an incredible ride, we’ve had a lot of fun with it. The horse is just doing superb,” Rich Strike’s owner Rick Dawson told reporters, before talking up his horse’s chances on Saturday.
“We’re not really sure we’ve seen the best of him. We think he’s just improving, so maybe Saturday, we’ll see. If he steps up a little bit, I think he wins this race.”