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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Explainer: How did the 81-1 Shot Rich Strike win the Kentucky Derby?

It doesn’t happen. Horses do not win the Kentucky Derby with a margin of about 81-1. Jockeys who have never won a large stakes race of any kind do not win the Kentucky Derby. Owners with fewer than 10 career wins do not win the Kentucky Derby.

Rich Strike and his connections disagree with those sentiments.

The biggest upset in racing history happened in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, when Rich Strike stunned the establishment by overtaking everyone and winning the first leg of this year’s Triple Crown series.

Those who bet $2 to win on the Rich Strike received $163.60 in return. Not bad for about two minutes of work. For jockey Sonny Leone, trainer Eric Reed and owner Rick Dawson, the result was life-changing. Leon was racing in Cincinnati on Friday at a little-known track called Belterra Park. Reed’s biggest win before Saturday was in a Grade 2 race nearly 12 years ago with a movie called Satan’s Quick Chick. Dawson, half an hour or so after the Derby, rhetorically asked someone within earshot a question.

“What planet is this?” Dawson said.

In fact, it is a whole new world that he is now a part of. And a 3-year-old colt who was much closer to last place than first place for most of Saturday’s race did it all.

How did he come in?

Good luck for him, bad luck for another. The Kentucky Derby cannot have more than 20 horses in the field. Rich was ranked 21st on the strike list. Rich Strike’s derby plan would have ended if one of the 20 qualified horses had not been scratched by the race before 9 a.m. Friday.

At 8:45 a.m. Friday, the call came in: no scratches. Reed wrote to his father: “It didn’t happen.” The security guard who worked in the barn and guarded Rich Strike was sent home. Instead, plans were being made to run Rich Strike at a race this week in New York.

Around that time, D. Connections to Ether Road – coached by Wayne Lucas – told Derby officials that they were dropping out of the race. Reed received another call at 8:55 asking not to move the horse, then a minute or two later made another call with the official word.

they were in.

“What just happened?” Reed asked.

Turns out, history was starting to happen.

How did he win?

Think of horses like race cars. There is a limited amount of fuel in the tank. The faster you burn fuel, the faster the tank empties. And that’s exactly what happened in the Kentucky Derby.

Summer Is Tomorrow was the leader after a quarter mile, or two furlongs. He covered that distance in 21.78 seconds—the fastest time in Kentucky Derby history. No horse can sustain that speed for 1 1/4 miles. And Summer Is Tomorrow ends last in the 20-horse field, 64 1/2 lengths behind Rich Strike.

It wasn’t just Summer Is Tomorrow. Many horses came out at high speed, as so many trainers and jockeys decided that getting closer to the lead was their best move for the early parts of the race.

The biggest indicator that it was going to be a wild finish probably came when track announcer Larry Colmus briefly paused his rundown to see which horse was in the field at the half-mile mark. “The opening half mile was – WHOA! – blazing fast, 45.36 seconds,” Colmus said.

Those fuel tanks were emptying faster than anticipated.

At that half-mile mark, Rich Strike was only two horses ahead. He was sitting at 18th position.

How did Rich Strike surpass so many horses?

Answer two: He ran by some, and some, as they say in racing, stopped running.

Technically, that last part is not true. All 20 horses were “running” when they crossed the finish line. No one “stopped.” But some simply ran out of gas, meaning their all-out sprints had become little more than a gallop or jog.

The Rich Strike had tons of fuel left. He had another great advantage: he was near the railroad.

It’s simple math: the closer you are to the rail, the less distance you have to run. As leaders most competitive horses turned to the stretch and headed home, spread across the track, moves that would lengthen their trips a bit.

This is where Leon had to make a big decision. They had to get around Messier, one of the early leaders who was fast fading. Lyon decided to turn slightly to his right and turn around Messier, then Rich came back to the rails to end the strike’s run. It was almost as if no one saw him coming.

He saw her at last. That’s all that mattered.

How did the handicapped get it so wrong?

If we had known this, everyone would have cashed out their Derby tickets. Rich Strike had just one victory to come in the race (though, in fairness, it was 17 1/4 lengths, which is impressive regardless of the level of competition).

He is close. He had not won any of his last five races, but made late moves in all, going from sixth to third, seventh to fifth, eighth to third, 11th to fourth and 11th to third. Passing horses along the way is apparently his favorite pastime. The disabled definitely missed out.

But reputation also matters. To be honest, before Saturday not many horseplayers knew who Leon was, or who Reed was.

They do now.

“It’s a horse race, and anyone can win,” Reid said. “And the totboard doesn’t make any sense.”

What will happen next?

The Preakness is in Pimlico on May 21, and it looks like Rich Strike will be there to see if he can take one victory away from grabbing the most impossible Triple Crown ever.

“Maybe that’s the plan,” Reid said on Sunday. “I’m not going to do much with her and I don’t like running back early. You get that in a lifetime and you have to protect her.”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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