Long shot Rich Strike wins the 148th Kentucky Derby


In a jaw-dropping upheaval that made the crowd roar, Rich Strike won the 148th race of the Kentucky Derby Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

The horse entered the competition with an odd of 80-1, the largest long shot in the 20 horse range. Rich Strike started derby week as an alternative and was not added to the field until Friday when another horse withdrew from the race.

“We came here for a prayer,” coach Eric Reed said during a post-match press conference. “Anyone in this area can strike a bolt of lightning.”

Jockey Sonny Leon aboard Rich Strike.

When the horses entered the final leg of the race, Rich Strike was in the middle of the pack, but he overtook the leading runners and betting favorites Epicenter and Zandon in the closing seconds of the race.

Epicenter and Zandon finished second and third respectively.

Reed said his team went to Louisville a few days before the derby, while still in alternate state, to prepare for the possible scenario in which the horse would be competing. Rich Strike began training “against all odds, no one thought we could get in,” Reed said.

Friday, one day before the race, the match officials announced another horse, Ethereal Road, was out and Rich Strike was in.

Rich Strike, with Sonny Leon on board, beats Epicenter to the finish.

“I couldn’t even breathe,” Reed said.

“This is… why everyone does it. Because we shouldn’t know we’re here, but I loved this horse on the track and he trained so well all year, “he said after the race. This is Reed’s first winning horse in the derby.

The Venezuelan jockey Sonny Leon riding his first kentucky derby, led Rich Strike to a surprise win and a winner’s purse of $ 1.86 million.

“I was excited,” said Leon of his emotions before the race. “Nobody knows my horse like I know that horse.”

Rich Strike is owned by RED TR-Racing, LLC, according to the derby place.

Dubbed the “greatest two minutes in sport” – a nod to its approximate running time – the Derby is the first coveted US horse racing race triple crown, which also includes the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

Inside the ‘most exciting 2 minutes in sport’

The next leg of the Triple Crown will take place in Baltimore, Maryland on May 21.

The competition was open this year without coach Bob Baffert, which was banned by Churchill Downs for two years after Medina Spirit, which crossed the line first last year, then tested positive for a banned substance. Spirit Medina died unexpectedly in December

Baffert said an ointment used to treat dermatitis may have caused the positive test.

The opening runner-up in that race, Mandaloun, was announced the winner.