Rich Strike is an American Thoroughbred racehorse that won the Kentucky Derby in 2022. He was an offspring of Smart Strike and Keen Ice. In the Derby, Rich Strike won a whopping 80-to-1 odds.
Sonny Leon rode him to victory in the Kentucky Derby
Rich Strike rode to victory in the Kentucky Derby (G1), which took place on the first Saturday in May. He beat the 20-horse field by a score of three-quarters of a length.
The Derby is the first leg of the Triple Crown. The second leg is the Preakness Stakes, which takes place on May 21.
Rich Strike was a late addition to the field. He was the 17th horse midway through the race. His slot was one of the worst in the field, but the jockey and the horse were more than capable of delivering the goods.
Leon and Rich Strike did a few things the right way. They stayed near the front, avoided checking Messier and were able to keep the pace going. When the final turn came, Leon led Rich Strike toward the rail. Using that move, he delivered the biggest splash in the Kentucky Derby.
He also demonstrated the most successful horse move of all. By passing Zandon and Epicenter, Rich Strike moved to the lead and finished well ahead of the other two contenders.
Keen Ice is a son of Smart Strike
Keen Ice is a son of Smart Strike, who has also sired Gold Strike and Danzig. Both these horses have proven to be fine sires of sires. He has a strong track record, including wins in graded stakes races.
Keen Ice has earned over $3 million in his career. A number of his juveniles have won in graded stakes events, and he has finished in the top three in two Breeders’ Cup Classics. But he hasn’t yet been able to break the world on fire. In fact, he finished fourth in the 2016 Classic and seventh in the 2015 version.
Keen Ice hasn’t made the most of his opportunity to break the world on fire, but he’s still on the road to becoming one of the best second season sires in the country. Several of his young horses have won black type races, and he has a few promising juveniles on the way.
One of the few races Keen Ice hasn’t won was the Donn Handicap. After finishing sixth in the race as a four-year-old, he sat out for six months. However, he bounced back to win the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park.
He missed out on the Preakness to prepare for the Belmont Stakes
Rich Strike has skipped the Preakness Stakes in order to prepare for the Belmont Stakes. The owner, Rick Dawson, reportedly decided that it was in the best interests of the horse to skip the second leg of the Triple Crown. He believes it’s too soon for Rich Strike to make the race over two weeks after his Derby victory.
Rich Strike is one of eight horses scheduled to run in the Belmont Stakes, which will be held June 11. This is the longest of the three Triple Crown races and is nicknamed the Test of the Champion. It will be held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.
Rich Strike, the Kentucky Derby winner, will skip the Preakness in favor of preparing for the Belmont. But his connection and trainer have a more pragmatic reason. They believe it’s not wise for an 80-1 longshot to make the race over a month after his Derby win.
There have been several longshots that have missed the Preakness, including Spend a Buck, who won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont in 1985. Another longshot, Country House, did not contest the Preakness in 2019, despite having won the Kentucky Derby.
He’s resting on a farm in the bluegrass
If you’ve been following Rich Strike’s story, you’ve probably seen some divisive comments on social media. While he’s been credited with a 101 Beyer Speed Figure for his Kentucky Derby win, his trainer has had to defend his behavior and philosophies. He’s also been called a “savage” in the horse racing community.
It’s no secret that Eric Reed has been devastated by tragedy. Five years ago, a barn fire swept through his Lexington, KY training center, leaving nearly two dozen horses dead. After a year of mourning, he decided to get back into the saddle. This time, he was able to earn his first graded stakes win as a trainer.
Despite the tragedy, Reed said he was not surprised to see Rich Strike run well. He had been a fan of the colt’s workouts on the dirt and thought he had the speed to finish in the top five.
Rich Strike won his first race at seven. In his only other starts, he finished third at Turfway Park in the Jeff Ruby Steaks in April. Before that, he had been a runner for Joe Sharp.