Detailed Pedia

Rich Strike

Rich Strike
SireKeen Ice
DamGold Strike
DamsireSmart Strike
FoaledApril 25, 2019
CountryUnited States
BreederCalumet Farm
OwnerCalumet Farm (until September 2021)
RED TR-Racing (Richard Dawson) (from September 2021)
TrainerJoe Sharp (until September 2021)
Eric Reed (from September 2021)
Record8: 2-0-3
Major wins
American Triple Crown wins:
Kentucky Derby (2022)
Last updated on May 7, 2022

Rich Strike (foaled April 25, 2019) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse that won the 2022 Kentucky Derby, racing at 80–1 odds.

Rich Strike is the second-biggest longshot to have won the Kentucky Derby after Donerail (91–1 odds) in 1913. He was not in the field until Ethereal Road was scratched the day before, with Rich Strike being added from the also-eligible list for the Derby. Owner Richard Dawson found out about the change just 30 seconds before the deadline.


Rich Strike was bred at Calumet Farm in Kentucky and was foaled on April 25, 2019. His dam, Gold Strike by Smart Strike, was the Canadian Champion Three-Year-Old Filly of 2005; he was sired by Keen Ice, best known for defeating American Pharoah in the Travers Stakes. Rich Strike became Keen Ice's first Grade I winner and Calumet Farm's record tenth Kentucky Derby winner.

In September 2021, horse trainer Eric Reed, on behalf of Richard Dawson's RED-TR Racing, bought Rich Strike for $30,000 at a claiming race at Churchill Downs.

Jockey Sonny Leon rode Rich Strike to his victory in the Derby.

Racing career

2021: two-year-old season

Originally trained by Joe Sharp, Rich Strike made his first start on August 15, 2021, in a maiden special weight race at one mile over the turf at Ellis Park. He broke slowly and was never a factor, finishing last.

For his next start, Rich Strike was dropped into a maiden claiming race at Churchill Downs. He broke slowly and raced near the back of the pack down the backstretch, then made a strong move on the turn to take the lead. He drew off down the stretch to win by 17¼ lengths. He was claimed for $30,000 by Eric Reed.

On October 9, Rich Strike was entered in an allowance optional claiming race at Keeneland. He bobbled at the start and had to be steadied entering the first turn after being bumped. He was well back for most of the race but started to close ground in the final furlong to finish third, beaten by 3½ lengths.

Rich Strike made his final start of the year on December 26 in the Gun Runner Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans. He trailed the field through the first three-quarters of a mile before making a mild rally to finish fifth behind Epicenter.

2022: three-year-old season

Rich Strike made his three-year-old debut on January 22, 2022, in the Leonatus Stakes over the all weather surface at Turfway Park in Kentucky. As had become his pattern, he was well back in the early running then made a late run to finish third. Reed later commented that Rich Strike had lost several days of training because of weather. "In the paddock he was a monster and he's never like that," Reed said. "He didn't run terrible but he just wasn't himself."

He turned in a similar performance on March 5 in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes, also at Turfway Park, this time finishing fourth.

For his third start of the year, Rich Strike was entered in the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway on April 2. He was near the back of the field for most of the race but found an inside path in the stretch and closed well to finish third behind Tiz the Bomb.

Kentucky Derby

The third-place finish in the Jeff Ruby gave Rich Strike 20 points on the 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby, which was originally short of the amount required to qualify for the race. At 8:45 a.m. on Friday morning, Reed was informed there were no scratches. However, the last-minute scratch of another horse, Ethereal Road, allowed him to draw into the Derby, and minutes later, Reed took another phone call from chief steward Barbara Borden, asking him if he wanted to run Rich Strike in the Derby. Reed joked that the last-minute notification left him needing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, as he had just been about to enter Rich Strike in another race, the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park. "He's never been better; he loves this track," said Reed. "All week long, I was like, 'He just gets better every day.' He's so happy right now. It's just a blessing to be able to run."

The field for the 2022 Kentucky Derby, held on May 7, was considered one of the deepest in recent memory, with no clear standout. The most highly regarded horses were Epicenter (Louisiana Derby, Risen Star), Zandon (Blue Grass Stakes), and Taiba (Santa Anita Derby). Rich Strike was overlooked at odds of 80-1. He broke poorly from the outside post position and was in eighteenth place after the first half-mile, 17 lengths behind the leaders. He started his move on the final turn while weaving through traffic, first shifting out four horses wide of the rail then back towards the rail. In the stretch, he was checked briefly by a tiring horse but again found racing room and launched a sustained drive to the inside of Epicenter. He drew clear in the final strides to win by three-quarters of a length. A shocked Reed collapsed in the paddock.

It was the first graded stakes win for jockey Sonny Leon, who was commended by Reed for an excellent ride. "You know we had a difficult post but I know the horse," said Leon. "I didn't know if he could win but I had a good feeling with him. I had to wait until the stretch and that's what I did. I waited and then the rail opened up. I wasn't nervous, I was excited. Nobody knows my horse like I know my horse."


Rich Strike race statistics
Date Distance Race Grade Track Surface Odds Field Finish Winning Time Winning
Jockey Ref
Aug 15, 2021 1 mile Maiden Special Weight Ellis Park Turf 4.70 10 10 1:39.52 (14+12 lengths) Ricardo Santana Jr.
Sep 17, 2021 1 mile Maiden Claiming Churchill Downs Dirt 10.30 11 1 1:36.84 17+14 lengths Adam Besschizza
Oct 9, 2021 1 mile Allowance optional claiming Keeneland Dirt 3.70 7 3 1:38.52 (3+12 lengths) Julien Leparoux
Dec 26, 2021 1+116 miles Gun Runner Stakes Black type Fair Grounds Dirt 46.20 7 5 1:44.19 (14 lengths) Ricardo Santana Jr.
Jan 22, 2022 1 mile Leonatus Stakes Black type Turfway Park All weather 8.40 10 3 1:39.70 (3+14 lengths) Sonny Leon
Mar 5, 2022 1+116 miles John Battaglia Memorial Stakes Black type Turfway Park All weather 8.40 10 3 1:39.70 (3+14 lengths) Sonny Leon
Apr 2, 2022 1+18 miles Jeff Ruby Steaks III Turfway Park All weather 26.20 12 3 1:48.60 (5+34 lengths) Sonny Leon
May 7, 2022 1+14 miles Kentucky Derby I Churchill Downs Dirt 80.80 20 1 2:02.61 34 length Sonny Leon


Pedigree of Rich Strike, chestnut colt, foaled April 25, 2019
Keen Ice (USA)
Curlin (USA)
Smart Strike* Mr. Prospector*
Classy 'n Smart*
Sherriff's Deputy Deputy Minister*
Medomak (USA)
Awesome Again Deputy Minister*
Primal Force
Wiscasset Kris S.
Tara Roma
Gold Strike (CAN)
Smart Strike* (CAN)
Mr. Prospector* Raise a Native
Gold Digger
Classy 'n Smart* Smarten
No Class
Brassy Gold (CAN)
Dixieland Brass Dixieland Band
Windmill Gal
Panning For Gold Search For Gold
Apple Pan Dowdy
  • Rich Strike is inbred 3s × 2d to the stallion Smart Strike, meaning that he appears third generation on the sire side of his pedigree and second generation on the dam side of his pedigree. Rich Strike is also inbred 4s × 4s to Deputy Minister, meaning he appears fourth generation twice on the sire side of the pedigree.

This page was last updated at 2022-05-09 19:38 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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