Derby Future Pool 6
Late TC Nominations
Jeff Ruby Steaks day
Dubai World Cup
Kentucky Derby Points
Although the likes of Arabian Knight and second favorite Forte are uppermost in the minds of Kentucky Derby fans, it will be hard for anyone betting on last year's race to ever forget the 2022 Kentucky Derby winner, Rich Strike. The +8000 rank outsider was given an implied probability of 1.2% to win, having been entered into the race at the last minute from the also-eligible list due to Ethereal Road's withdrawal the day before.
Trained by Eric Reed, Rich Strike had only been given seven competitive races prior to his entry into Derby Day. Reed admits his training farm weren't expecting him to run at Churchill Downs, but state steward Barbara Borden called Reed on the Friday morning to invite him to draw Rich Strike into the Derby.
Reed then frantically hatched a plan for the race along with jockey Sonny Leon. Their initial view was to try to claim an inside rail position and aim to shorten the race distance. Reed couldn't believe his eyes as Rich Strike powered into the turn and stormed through the middle of a cluster of 12-14 horses to run clear and become one of the most popular winners in recent Kentucky Derby memory.
It's been a long, arduous road to glory for Reed. His training stables were struck by a fire in 2016, destroying part of his barns and killing multiple thoroughbreds. In fact, just a third of his stable survived the fire. Reed had to wait seven long years for some kind of divine retribution. The victory in the 2022 Derby saw Rich Strike bag $1.86m. He had the second-longest odds of any Kentucky Derby champion in history, with only long shot Donerail winning with bigger odds way back in 1913, running at +9100.
Rich Strike's connections opted not to enter him into the Preakness Stakes, with a view to running him again in the Belmont Stakes, maintaining his normal racing cycle. He started the race as third favorite at +400, but never managed to display the kind of running power on show at Churchill Downs. So much so that Reed said he "wasn't the same horse" post-race.
Now and again, the stars align for an unfancied horse to have their moment in the sun and May 7, 2022 was surely Rich Strike's.
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