|Foaled||April 25, 2019|
|Owner|| Calumet Farm (until September 2021)|
RED TR-Racing (Richard Dawson) (from September 2021)
|Trainer|| Joe Sharp (until September 2021)|
Eric Reed (from September 2021)
| American Triple Crown wins:|
Kentucky Derby (2022)
|Last updated on May 7, 2022|
Rich Strike (foaled April 25, 2019) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse that won the 2022 Kentucky Derby, racing at 80–1 odds.
Rich Strike is the second-biggest longshot to have won the Kentucky Derby after Donerail (91–1 odds) in 1913.He was not in the field until Ethereal Road was scratched the day before, with Rich Strike being added from the also-eligible list for the Derby. Owner Richard Dawson found out about the change just 30 seconds before the deadline.
Rich Strike is a chestnut colt with a white blaze and two white socks on his hind legs. He was bred at Calumet Farm in Kentucky and was foaled on April 25, 2019.His dam, Gold Strike by Smart Strike, was the Canadian Champion Three-Year-Old Filly of 2005; he was sired by Keen Ice, best known for defeating American Pharoah in the Travers Stakes. Rich Strike became Keen Ice's first Grade I winner and Calumet Farm's record tenth Kentucky Derby winner.
In September 2021, horse trainer Eric Reed, on behalf of Richard Dawson's RED-TR Racing, bought Rich Strike for $30,000 at a claiming race at Churchill Downs.
Jockey Sonny Leon rode Rich Strike to his victory in the Derby.
Originally trained by Joe Sharp, Rich Strike made his first start on August 15, 2021, in a maiden special weight race at one mile over the turf at Ellis Park. He broke slowly and was never a factor, finishing last.
For his next start, Rich Strike was dropped into a maiden claiming race at Churchill Downs. He broke slowly and raced near the back of the pack down the backstretch, then made a strong move on the turn to take the lead. He drew off down the stretch to win by 17+1⁄4 lengths. He was claimed for $30,000 by Eric Reed.
On October 9, Rich Strike was entered in an allowance optional claiming race at Keeneland. He bobbled at the start and had to be steadied entering the first turn after being bumped. He was well back for most of the race but started to close ground in the final furlong to finish third, beaten by 3+1⁄2 lengths.
Rich Strike made his final start of the year on December 26 in the Gun Runner Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans. He trailed the field through the first three-quarters of a mile before making a mild rally to finish fifth behind Epicenter.
Rich Strike made his three-year-old debut on January 22, 2022, in the Leonatus Stakes over the all weather surface at Turfway Park in Kentucky. As had become his pattern, he was well back in the early running then made a late run to finish third.Reed later commented that Rich Strike had lost several days of training because of weather. "In the paddock he was a monster and he's never like that," Reed said. "He didn't run terrible but he just wasn't himself."
He turned in a similar performance on March 5 in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes, also at Turfway Park, this time finishing fourth.
For his third start of the year, Rich Strike was entered in the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway on April 2. He was near the back of the field for most of the race but found an inside path in the stretch and closed well to finish third behind Tiz the Bomb.
The third-place finish in the Jeff Ruby gave Rich Strike 20 points on the 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby, which was originally short of the amount required to qualify for the race. At 8:45 a.m. on Friday morning, Reed was informed there were no scratches.However, the last-minute scratch of another horse, Ethereal Road, allowed him to draw into the Derby, and minutes later, Reed took another phone call from chief steward Barbara Borden, asking him if he wanted to run Rich Strike in the Derby. Reed joked that the last-minute notification left him needing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, as he had just been about to enter Rich Strike in another race, the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park. "He's never been better; he loves this track," said Reed. "All week long, I was like, 'He just gets better every day.' He's so happy right now. It's just a blessing to be able to run."
The field for the 2022 Kentucky Derby, held on May 7, 2022, was considered one of the deepest in recent memory as there were multiple highly regarded horses but no clear standout. The top horses included Epicenter (Louisiana Derby, Risen Star), Zandon (Blue Grass Stakes), and Taiba (Santa Anita Derby).Rich Strike was overlooked at odds of 80-1. He broke well from the outside post position and settled into the back of the pack where he was in eighteenth place after the first half-mile, 17 lengths behind the leaders. During this time Summer is Tomorrow and Crown Pride battled up front starting the race off with an extremely fast pace. He started his move on the final turn while weaving through traffic, first shifting out four horses wide of the rail then back towards the rail. In the stretch, he was checked briefly by a tiring horse but again found racing room and launched a sustained drive to the inside of Epicenter. He drew clear in the final strides to win by three-quarters of a length. A shocked Reed collapsed in the paddock.
It was the first graded stakes win for jockey Sonny Leon, who was commended by Reed for an excellent ride. "You know we had a difficult post but I know the horse," said Leon. "I didn't know if he could win but I had a good feeling with him. I had to wait until the stretch and that's what I did. I waited and then the rail opened up. I wasn't nervous, I was excited. Nobody knows my horse like I know my horse."
After the Derby, on May 12, owner Dawson announced the horse would not run the Preakness Stakes on May 21, noting that while running the race was "very tempting", the team would stick with its original plan of passing on the Preakness after racing the Derby and entering the Belmont Stakes, thus giving up the chance to become the first Triple Crown winner since Justify in 2018.
|Aug 15, 2021||1 mile||Maiden Special Weight||Ellis Park||Turf||4.70||10||10||1:39.52||(14+1⁄2 lengths)||Ricardo Santana Jr.|
|Sep 17, 2021||1 mile||Maiden Claiming||Churchill Downs||Dirt||10.30||11||1||1:36.84||17+1⁄4 lengths||Adam Beschizza|
|Oct 9, 2021||1 mile||Allowance optional claiming||Keeneland||Dirt||3.70||7||3||1:38.52||(3+1⁄2 lengths)||Julien Leparoux|
|Dec 26, 2021||1+1⁄16 miles||Gun Runner Stakes||Black type||Fair Grounds||Dirt||46.20||7||5||1:44.19||(14 lengths)||Ricardo Santana Jr.|
|Jan 22, 2022||1 mile||Leonatus Stakes||Black type||Turfway Park||All weather||8.40||10||3||1:39.70||(3+1⁄4 lengths)||Sonny Leon|
|Mar 5, 2022||1+1⁄16 miles||John Battaglia Memorial Stakes||Black type||Turfway Park||All weather||8.40||10||3||1:39.70||(3+1⁄4 lengths)||Sonny Leon|
|Apr 2, 2022||1+1⁄8 miles||Jeff Ruby Steaks||III||Turfway Park||All weather||26.20||12||3||1:48.60||(5+3⁄4 lengths)||Sonny Leon|
|May 7, 2022||1+1⁄4 miles||Kentucky Derby||I||Churchill Downs||Dirt||80.80||20||1||2:02.61||3⁄4 length||Sonny Leon|
Keen Ice (USA)
| Curlin (USA)|
|Smart Strike*||Mr. Prospector*|
|Classy 'n Smart*|
|Sherriff's Deputy||Deputy Minister*|
|Awesome Again||Deputy Minister*|
Gold Strike (CAN)
| Smart Strike* (CAN)|
|Mr. Prospector*||Raise a Native|
|Classy 'n Smart*||Smarten|
|Brassy Gold (CAN)|
|Dixieland Brass||Dixieland Band|
|Panning For Gold||Search For Gold|
|Apple Pan Dowdy|
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