With favorite Epicenter and Zandon duels ahead, Rich Strike charged on the railroad for a staggering 80-1 upheaval in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
Jockey Sonny Leon led Rich Strike from the far back in a 20-horse field to beat the Epicenter favorite 4-1 by three-quarters of the length. Zandon was still three-quarters of the length in third place in Churchill Downs ahead of the crowd that included former President Donald Trump.
“I almost fell in the paddock when he hit the wire,” said winning coach Eric Reed. “I almost fainted.”
Rich Strike caused the second-largest upheaval in the 148-year history of the race, paying $ 163.60 for the win. Only Donerail in 1913 had a higher payout of $ 184.90.
Rich Strike ran 1 1/4 miles in 2: 02.61.
After biting off his much more expensive competition, Rich Strike playfully cut the pony, which led him to the winner’s circle.
Rich Strike wasn’t even in the Derby field until Friday when Hall of Fame coach D. Wayne Lucas scratched Ethereal Road, making room for a chestnut foal trained by Eric Reed.
“We found out about 30 seconds before the deadline on Friday,” Dawson said. “It led us to the race, and we really always felt that when we just joined, we had a chance.”
Both Leon of Venezuela and Reed were in their first Derby. Leon regularly rides on small trails, including Ohio. Reed survived the tragedy five years ago when he lost nearly two dozen horses in a barn fire at his Lexington training center.
Leon’s trip on the railroad was reminiscent of Calvin Borel’s 2009 jockey aboard Mine That Bird. Mine That Bird called for third place in the Derby, paying $ 103.20 for the win.
“When I was in the last 70 yards, I said,‘ I think I won this race, ’” Leon said.
Rich Strike was acquired by Dawson, who races as RED TR-Racing LLC, for $ 30,000 last fall when the foal competed in a low-level race by former Calumet Farm owner.
Calumet farm owner Brad Kelly may now object to the decision. Kalumet Farm has won a record eight Kentucky derbies, but none since 1968, when the Forward Pass became the first through disqualification.
For the second victory in his career alone, Rich Strike earned $ 1.86 million. The foal lost to Zandon in the Blue Grass Stakes last month and was beaten by Epicenter in the Louisiana Derby in March.
Simplification took fourth place, and Mo Donegal was fifth.
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Former President Donald Trump has arrived in Churchill Downs to raise $ 75,000 per person for about 18 hours. Its entrance was closed to the general public and the press. He was ushered into a path through a side corridor used by caterers and staff, where his entourage set up an American flag and a Kentucky flag to greet him. Before he arrived, officers stretched the curtains to drive the press and the public away, guarded by FBI agents in camouflage with machine guns.
Whispers of Trump’s arrival passed through the crowd, which retreated for twenty minutes. Some shouted his name: “Trump, Trump, Trump.” Others seem annoyed by the delay.
“It’s funny,” one woman muttered.
Some saw the former president through a brief rupture of the curtains and a roar flew through the crowd.
Some greeted, whistled when the former president was taken to expensive clubs on the upper floors.
Then the curtains parted and everyone went on their way.
Details of Trump’s event, including who in attendance, have not been released.