Rich Strike blew everyone away with the second-largest upset in Derby’s 148-year history, defeating 4-1 favorite Epicenter and Zandon at the front. Anyone looking for a return to regularity in the Kentucky Derby received a breath of excitement Saturday at Churchill Downs when an 80-1 long stretch came charging up the rail to win.
Who Is Rich Strike?
Rich Strike (foaled April 25, 2019) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the Kentucky Derby in 2022 despite having odds of 80 to 1.
After Donerail (91–1 odds) in 1913, Rich Strike is the second-largest longshot to win the Kentucky Derby. He didn’t enter the race until Ethereal Road was withdrawn the day before, and Rich Strike was added from Derby’s also-eligible list. Richard Dawson, the owner, learned of the modification 30 seconds before the deadline.
Who Rode Rich Strike?
Sonny Leon rode Rich Strike. Sonny Leon Jockey was born in Venezuela in 1990. After winning the 148th edition of the Run for the Roses in 2022, Sonny soared into popularity.
Who Is The Owner Of Rich Strike?
Rich Strike’s owner, Rick Dawson of Edmond, Oklahoma, has been a regular at the off-track gambling spot and restaurant on Memorial Road for years. Rich Strike stunned the world Saturday by winning the Kentucky Derby at 80-to-1 odds.
By three-quarters of a length, the chestnut colt defeated Epicenter, Zadnon came in third, three-quarters of a length behind the winner.
What Happened In Kentucky’s Race?
“When he hit the wire, I almost slipped and fell in the paddock,” said winning trainer Eric Reed. “I was going to pass out.”
$163.60 was given by Rich Strike. Only Donerail, which paid $184.90 in 1913, had a larger payout.”What a weird Derby,” trainer Kenny McPeek said of his horses’ eighth and ninth-place finishes.
Rich Strike can’t actually make the Derby until Friday, while Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas scratched Ethereal Road to make way for the stallion with only two previous victories.
Rich Strike founder Rick Dawson stated, “We learned that out 30 seconds before the time limit on Friday.” “It got us in the game, and we always believed if we just stepped in, we’d have such an opportunity.”
Rich Strike covered 114 kilometers in 2:02.61 minutes. He chowed down on the pony leading him to the winner’s circle after eating a piece out of his much more expensive rival.
“After Epicenter’s effort, I can’t believe it,” said losing manager Steve Asmussen, who now is 0-for-24 in the Derby. “The horse that just came in defeated me.” Sonny Leon and Rich Strike only had two horses to win in the initial stages. Leon eventually got his horse between both the horses and to the inside fence. Rich Strike made a clever pass in the straight to get around Messier and then went to the fence to pick off Epicenter and also Zandon.
“I think I got this race,” Leon stated as he approached the last 70 yards. Both Leon and Reed, both from Venezuela, were competing in their first Derby.
Reed’s training school in Lexington, Kentucky, suffered a horror 5 years earlier when several more horses died in a barn fire. He questioned whether the fire was a hint that he should retire from sports.
Reed recounted, “Folks I haven’t spoken in years, people I hadn’t met in person in years, my closest friends were there in the early hours to pick me up.” “It made me realize there’s so much goodness out there, and I just decided I wasn’t going to let it drag me away.”
Leon rides on some of the country’s tiniest circuits, where the horse meat is cheap and the purse money is small.
However, he competed against senior riders like Joel Rosario on Epicenter and Mike Smith on Messier.
Leon’s rail journey recalled Calvin Borel’s sneaky approach aboard Mine That Bird in 2009. Mine That Bird caused Derby’s third-largest upset at the time, winning for $103.20.
Reed had no issue with the bookies disregarding his colt, whose success had no doubt encouraged small boys all around the world.
“He should have been 80-1,” Reed remarked, considering his short trainer, rider, and stable. “And thus lightning can hit anyone in this profession.”
Rich Strike was acquired for $30,000 by Dawson, who competes as RED TR-Racing LLC, last autumn when his previous owner entered him in a low-level claiming race.
Brad Kelley, the head of Calumet Farm, may now regret his decision. Calumet Farm had a remarkable eight Kentucky Derby victories, but nothing since 1968, when Forward Pass was disqualified from first place.
Rich Strike’s first stakes win netted him $1.86 million. Mo Donegal was sixth, and Simplification was fifth.
For the first time in three years, Churchill Downs reopened to maximum capacity on the first Saturday in May, including former President Donald Trump.
The end conclusion, though, was further turmoil for America’s greatest horse race.
In 2019, the winner, Maximum Security, was expelled after 22 minutes for meddling, while the runner-up, Country House, wore a red rose garland.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no fans were authorized on the track in 2020, and the race was rescheduled to September.
Medina Spirit, last year’s champion, was eliminated after failing a post-race drug test, leading in six-time Derby title holder Bob Baffert‘s two-year suspension at Churchill Downs. The 2021 Derby resumed its regular slot on the schedule, with a capacity of around 52,000 people.
The alcohol was flowing freely once more. On a foggy and unusually cool Saturday, cigar smoke curled in the air, and fans paraded in their enormous hats, floral-print skirts, and seersucker suits.
Rich Strike then came crashing down the fence, and chaos ensued.
Reed had given Dawson a picture of the colt stretched in his straw-covered cage with his handlers sitting over him, all of them napping, a few days before. “I think our horse is cool and ready to run,” Reed typed.
“If we can wake him up,” Dawson replied. Have they ever? Dawson grinned and added, “I feel like the happiest man alive.”
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