With favourite Epicenter and Zandon dueling successful front, Rich Strike came charging up the obstruction for a stunning 80-1 upset successful the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
Jockey Sonny Leon guided Rich Strike from acold backmost successful the 20-horse tract to bushed 4-1 favourite Epicenter by three-quarters of a length. Zandon was different three-quarters of a magnitude backmost successful 3rd astatine Churchill Downs successful beforehand of a assemblage that included erstwhile President Donald Trump.Rich Strike (21), with Sonny Leon aboard, beats Epicenter (3), with Joel Rosario aboard, astatine the decorativeness enactment to triumph the 148th moving of the Kentucky Derby equine contention astatine Churchill Downs Saturday, May 7, 2022, successful Louisville, Ky. Mark Humphrey / AP
"I astir fell down successful the paddock erstwhile helium deed the wire," winning trainer Eric Reed said. "I astir passed out."
Rich Strike triggered the second-biggest upset successful the race's 148-year history, paying $163.60 to win. Only Donerail successful 1913 had a higher payout of $184.90.
Rich Strike ran 1 1/4 miles successful 2:02.61.
After taking a wound retired of his overmuch costlier competition, Rich Strike playfully chomped the pony that guided him to the winner's circle.
Rich Strike wasn't adjacent successful the Derby tract until Friday erstwhile Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas scratched Ethereal Road, making country for the chestnut colt trained by Eric Reed.
"We recovered retired astir 30 seconds earlier the deadline connected Friday," Dawson said. "It enactment america successful the contention and truly we ever felt if we conscionable got successful we've got a shot."
Both Leon, from Venezuela, and Reed were successful their archetypal Derby. Leon regularly rides connected tiny circuits, including Ohio. Reed endured a calamity 5 years agone erstwhile helium mislaid astir 2 twelve horses successful a barn occurrence astatine his grooming halfway successful Lexington.An workout rider works Kentucky Derby morning-line favourite Zandon during greeting workouts astatine Churchill Downs successful Louisville, Kentucky, May 5, 2022. Jamie Rhodes-USA Today Sports
Leon's obstruction thrust was reminiscent of jockey Calvin Borel's stealth determination aboard Mine That Bird successful 2009. Mine That Bird sprang what was past the Derby's third-biggest upset, paying $103.20 to win.
"When I was successful the past 70 yards, I said, 'I deliberation I got this race,'" Leon said.
Rich Strike was purchased by Dawson, who races arsenic RED TR-Racing LLC, for $30,000 past autumn erstwhile the colt was entered successful a low-level claiming contention by erstwhile proprietor Calumet Farm.
Calumet Farm proprietor Brad Kelley mightiness beryllium ruing that determination now. Calumet Farm has won a grounds 8 Kentucky Derbies, but nary since 1968, erstwhile Forward Pass was placed archetypal via disqualification.
Rich Strike earned $1.86 cardinal for conscionable his 2nd vocation victory. The colt mislaid to Zandon successful the Blue Grass Stakes past period and was beaten by Epicenter successful the Louisiana Derby successful March.
Simplification finished 4th and Mo Donegal was fifth.
This year's contention went connected without suspended Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, whom Churchill Downs suspended for 2 years pursuing Medina Spirit's failed postrace cause test and eventual disqualification arsenic the victor of last year's Derby.
Like different large sporting events specified arsenic the Super Bowl, Final Four and Major League Baseball games are immoderate indication, the ambiance for the archetypal jewel successful equine racing's Triple Crown had a pre-pandemic feel, though masks were optional.
The 2020 running was delayed until Labor Day weekend, past held without spectators. It returned to its acquainted outpouring slot 8 months aboriginal successful 2021, but with constricted capacity.