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It was the biggest upset in the Kentucky Derby in more than 100 years.
Rich Strike wasn’t even supposed to be in the field for the 148th running of the Derby. He had been entered as an alternate by trainer Eric R. Reed and owner Rick Dawson of RED TR-Racing, LLC, and only entered the field on Friday morning when Ethereal Road was scratched.
Even after that, Rich Strike was installed at 80-1 odds, the longest shot in the race, and came into Churchill Downs on a five-race losing streak. Donerail (91.5-1 odds) in 1913 still holds the record for the longest odds to win the race.
And after the most exciting two minutes in sports on Saturday evening, he had won.
Whether you missed it or still can’t quite wrap your mind around it, we’ll take another look at the replay video of Rich Strike’s Run for the Roses win and go over the full finishing order and payouts for this year’s Kentucky Derby.
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By post time for the Derby, Epicenter had been installed as the clear favorite, with Taiba, Zandon and Mo Donegal in the mix, as well. And sure enough, once the horses were off, it appeared that Epicenter and Zandon would jockey for position until the finish line.
However, no one had counted on Rich Strike’s second wind and jockey Sonny Leon expert maneuvering to get his horse in position to win it all.
Starting out of gate No. 21, Leon worked Rich Strike past some slower horses early on and then, when the opportunity presented itself, moved back inside to run up the rail as the frontrunners began to tire out.
On the NBC broadcast, Reed credited Leon with the “greatest ride that I’ve ever seen.”
It was the first Derby win for Reed as well as Leon.
“This is the reason everybody does this,” Reed said with emotion on the NBC broadcast. “We’re not supposed to be here, but I knew this horse loved the track and he’d been training so good all year.”
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Kentucky Derby Results
1. Rich Strike
5. Mo Donegal
6. Barber Road
7. Tawny Port
8. Smile Happy
9. Tiz the Bomb
11. Classic Causeway
13. Crown Pride
14. Happy Jack
16. White Abarrio
17. Charge It
19. Pioneer of Medina
20. Summer of Tomorrow
Kentucky Derby Payouts
Win: No. 21 Rich Strike ($163.60, $74.20, $29.40)
Place: No. 3 Epicenter ($7.40, $5.20)
Show: No. 10 Zandon ($5.60)
Exacta: 21-3 ($1 exacta paid $2,050.60)
Trifecta: 21-3-10 ($0.50 trifecta paid $7,435.35)
Superfecta: 21-3-10-13 ($1 superfecta paid $321,500.10)
Rich Strike and his team netted a cool $1.86 million prize purse. Second-place finisher Epicenter won $600,000, and third-place finisher Zandon took home $300,000.
Placing a $2 bet on Rich Strike to win it all would have netted $163.60, the second-biggest payoff in Derby history after Donerail (where $2 would have net $184.90).
That’s not bad, but what if you had placed a $1 superfecta bet on Rich Strike, Epicenter (4-1), Zandon (6-1) and Simplification (35-1) finishing Nos. 1-4?
Well, you’d be $321,500.10 richer as we speak.
As for Rich Strike, he had just $111,289 to his name in his seven career races coming into Saturday.
Considering he was claimed by Reed on behalf of Dawson for $30,000 after a maiden race last year, we’d say Rich Strike has more than earned his keep.
Final odds via KentuckyDerby.com.