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EXPLAINER: How Rich Strike won the 148th Kentucky Derby

When trainer Eric Reed got the text that Ethereal Road was out of Derby 148, he asked: "What just happened?" Turns out, history was about to happen.

Associated Press

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Published: 1:51 PM EDT May 8, 2022
Updated: 3:45 PM EDT May 8, 2022

One of the biggest upsets in racing history happened Saturday in the Kentucky Derby, when Rich Strike shocked the establishment by running past everyone and winning the first leg of this year’s Triple Crown series.

Those who bet $2 to win on Rich Strike got $163.60 in return. Not bad for about two minutes of work. For jockey Sonny Leon, trainer Eric Reed and owner Rick Dawson, the result was life-changing. 

Leon was racing Friday at a little-known track in Cincinnati called Balterra Park. Reed’s biggest win before Saturday was with a filly called Satans Quick Chick in a Grade 2 race nearly 12 years ago. Dawson, a half-hour or so after the Derby, rhetorically asked a question to anyone within earshot.

“What planet is this?” Dawson said.

Indeed, it’s a whole new world that he’s part of now. And a 3-year-old colt that was much closer to last place than first for most of the race Saturday made it all happen.