Trainer Eric Reed speaks on Rich Strike’s stunning Derby win; beating the odds 80 to 1

Rich Strike (21), with Sonny Leon aboard, beats Epicenter (3), with Joel Rosario aboard, at the...
Rich Strike (21), with Sonny Leon aboard, beats Epicenter (3), with Joel Rosario aboard, at the finish line to win the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)(Mark Humphrey | AP)
Published: May. 8, 2022 at 6:20 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -The morning after the Rich Strike’s stunning Kentucky Derby win, trainer Eric Reed took it all in.

Reed spoke Sunday morning to share how he was feeling the morning after his win.

He stood outside barn 17 full of pride with his first winning Derby horse Rich Strike by his side.

”I am happy,” Reed said. “I am happy for my crew.”

The 3-year-old thoroughbred ridden by jockey Sonny Leon started from the outside gate, entering the race at 80-1 odds.

Rich Strike completed the track in 2.02.61. According to Churchill Downs, the upset is second only to Donerail’s win at 91-1 in 1913.

“It is sinking in now,” Reed said. “I am just so proud of this horse and all my guys. I don’t know what I can say other than it is just an absolute miracle.”

The champion horse was not even planned to run. Strike replaced another horse that scratched Friday. Reed said he looks back on what led up to his win in disbelief.

”We were just trying to get here,” He said. “And it just went a step further than we could ever have dreamed.”

After his first Derby win, Reed said what he is most proud of, is his crew.

”They put in the hard time without ever getting a pat on the back from anybody but myself,” he said. “We don’t have the big horses that this happens to. These guys have gone to the smallest tracks. They have worked in conditions after our accident at the farm years ago that most people would have never wanted to do again.”

That accident Reed referred to was a large barn fire in Lexington that killed nearly two dozen of his horses just over five years ago. It was a loss most trainers and their crews find tough to come back from and another reason why Strike’s win was so shocking.

Racing through obstacles, Reed said he’s glad his crew gets to share the spotlight.

”Matter of fact, I told one of them- I said ‘look at that crowd, usually we are up there watching them’,” Reed said. “I said ‘this year, they are watching you’.”

The 148th Run for the Roses had a total purse of $3 million, with the winner of the Derby walking away with $1,860,000. Saturday’s results bring Rich Strike’s total earnings to $1,971,289 with a record of 8-2-0-3, according to Churchill Downs.

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