The 148th Kentucky Derby has arrived once again, and the winner of 2022's race has delivered a record-setting victory. Rich Strike rode away with the victory on Saturday and became one of the biggest upsets in the race's history by finishing 80-1.
"THE LONGEST SHOT HAS WON THE KENTUCKY DERBY! RICH STRIKE HAS DONE IT!" the call from the race made clear. The run to close the race saw Rich Strike blast up the rail while still about 10 lengths behind the leader, with the horse quickly closing in to take the finish line. And unlike past years, there was no doubt about it.
Rich Strike wins the Kentucky Derby!! pic.twitter.com/K5HVvxt0G7— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) May 7, 2022
According to the Courier Journal, Ethereal Road was scratched from the race by trainer D. Wayne Lukas. This allowed Rich Strike to enter the race in the 20th position, then take the win in remarkable fashion.
The horses will now move on to the second leg of the Triple Crown in Maryland with The Preakness Stakes. The Belmont Stakes will drop a few weeks later, creating a lofty path for Rich Strike to attempt and become the latest winner of the prestigious racing title.
Another first for Rich Strike is its status as trainer Eric Reed's first Derby starter. The horse entered the race with an astounding 1-0-3 record in seven career starts, making its Derby appearance the kind of anomaly you just don't see every year. Reed set out the strategy for the race after the entrance was made official.
"Get a good break and work over to the inside," Reed said, according to The Courier Journal. "Start picking them up midway on the backstretch and then pass them all before the finish line."
If you watch the race, that is exactly what happens. The horse seems to have a rocket strapped to its back as it maneuvers up the railing. For comparisons, scratched favorite Ethereal Road had a record of 1-1-1 across its seven starts and would've been Lukas' 50th Derby entry.
Rich Strike wins the Derby and immediately starts trying to eat the other horses. pic.twitter.com/hFJ5jOy1z4— Shannon The Dude (@ShannonTheDude) May 7, 2022
As for Rich Strike, the horse was clearly very amped after the stunning victory. As shared on social media, the horse began biting at the steward's pony while being led away following the victory. Either the horse is part zombie or it has a painful way of showing how excited it is to be a winner.
Hopefully it doesn't mean the horse is set for controversy like we've seen in recent years because it's time for some harmless stories. Don't Milkshake Duck the horse!