Last Updated on May 8, 2022 11:02 am by Erwin Noguera
The first race of the triple crown of the United States, the Kentucky Derby, has already finished. This was the first Kentucky Derby since last year’s doping fiasco. Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby on May 01, 2021, at Churchill Downs. But, a week later, legendary trainer Bon Baffert learned that a drug test sample from Medina Spirit tested positive for elevated levels of an anti-inflammatory steroid called betamethasone.
Now for this 2022 race, we had 3 clear favorites to take the win which we detailed in our preview article but as all sports are exciting and surprising we had a big surprise in this race where one of the horses least likely to win took the victory, Rich Strike.
An amazing feat
Rich Strike just accomplished a movie feat in the 2022 Kentucky Derby. This was the return of the public to Churchill Downs after two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and we were able to enjoy the biggest surprise since 1913 and the second biggest of all time in the history of this race. A horse that was not even in the race on Friday, but thanks to the withdrawal of Ethereal Road opened the door to the Carrera de las Rosas.
Not only was he not among the favorites, but he was also the least likely to win with 80/1 betting lines. It seemed that the prognosis was going to come true as he entered the final stretch in the middle of traffic, behind the leaders and favorites. However, the Venezuelan Sonny León found a lane attached to the rail and went back to write a story that will be talked about forever in world racing.
With only 1 win in 7 races in his career, Rich Strike had an (odds) of 80/1 going into the race. This is the second biggest upset of all time; only after the Donerail victory in 1913 when his options were at 91/1.
Rich Strike came in last place into the first corner of a race that had an impressive and extremely fast pace at the start, with 45.36 seconds in the first half-mile.
The group of horses was very compact until entering the final stretch of the race. Epicenter, the betting favorite, entered with command of the action, with Zandon being his main pursuer, but Rich Strike appeared, who had almost 5 horses ahead and passed them on the left to take the Kentucky Derby. This was the first win for the Venezuelan León and his trainer, Eric Reed, who mentioned that they were 30 seconds away from not being able to enter the horse after withdrawing from Ethernal Road.