Rich Strike wins 148th Kentucky Derby – CBS Tampa

Louisville, Ky. (CW44 News At 10 | CNN) – In a stunning surprise that had the crowd screaming, Rich Strike won the 148th race of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday.

The horse entered the race with odds of 80-1 – the highest chance in the 20 horse field. Rich Strike started the derby week as an understudy and wasn’t added to the field until Friday when another horse dropped out of the race.

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“We came here in prayer,” coach Eric Reed said during a post-race press conference. “Anyone who’s in this business, lightning can strike.”

As the horses entered the final stretch of the race, Rich Strike was in the middle of the pack, but he passed favorites and bettors Epicenter and Zandon in the final seconds of the race.

Epicenter and Zandon finished in second and third place, respectively.

Reed said his team went to Louisville a few days before the derby, still in alternate status, to prepare for the possible scenario that the horse would be in the race. Rich Strike began training “against all odds, no one thought we could get in,” Reed said.

On Friday, the day before the race, officials announced that another horse, Ethereal Road, was out and Rich Strike was in.

“I couldn’t even breathe,” Reed said.

“This is… the reason everyone does it. Because we weren’t supposed to be here, but I knew this horse loved the track and has been training really well all year,” he said after the race. This is Reed’s first derby winning horse.

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Venezuelan jockey Sonny Leon, driving his first Kentucky Derby, led Rich Strike to surprise victory and the prize pool of $1.86 million.

“I was excited,” Leon said of his pre-race emotions. “No one knows my horse like I know this horse.”

Rich Strike is owned by RED TR-Racing, LLC, according to the derby website.

Dubbed “the best two minutes of the sport” – a reference to its approximate race time – the Derby is the first race in the coveted Triple Crown of US horse racing, which also includes Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

The next round of the Triple Crown will be held in Baltimore, Maryland on May 21.

The competition opened this year without head coach Bob Baffert, who was banned from Churchill Downs for two years after Medina Spirit, who crossed the finish line first last year, tested positive for a banned substance. Medina Spirit died unexpectedly in December.

Baffert said an ointment used to treat dermatitis may have caused the positive test.

The initial runner-up in that race, Mandaloun, was announced the winner.

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