Rich Strike, a horse with 80-1 odds and a last-minute entry into the race, won the 148th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, making it one of the biggest upsets and underdog victories in Derby history.
The horse, from trainer Eric Reed and jockey Sonny Leon both in their first Derby wins, was the biggest long shot in Saturday’s Derby as it bested both of the favorites Epicenter and Zandon in the final lengths of the race and a shocking, exciting finale.
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Ahead of Friday, Rich Strike was not even meant to be in the main show but entered when Ethereal Road was scratched. His owner Rick Dawson said on Saturday after the victory that he only knew he would be entered 30 seconds before the deadline for submission on Friday.
“I’m gonna pass out, I’m so happy,” Reed said. “This is the reason everybody does this.”
Rich Strike was the longest shot in this year’s race, though one other horse in history managed to win the Derby with worse odds, but that was way back in 1913 when Donerail won it all with 91-1 odds, though that horse won in a field of just eight horses. In fact, only 1% of all bettors, or just over $500,000 of the nearly $50 million spent on bets for the Derby, predicted the long shot would win.
Rich Strike’s team will take home $1.86 million as part of the $3 million Kentucky Derby purse, and the horse will now move on to compete in the Preakness as part of horse racing’s Triple Crown.