Talk About A Long Shot — Rich Strike Rallies For Stunning Upset To Win 2022 Kentucky Derby

Written By Fairway Jay on May 9, 2022 - Last Updated on May 31, 2022
2022 Kentucky Derby Winner Rich Strike

A fortunate few saw this coming. Rich Strike became the second-biggest long shot ever to win the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, rallying from the back of the pack and 80-1 odds with a furious late rush to pull off a historic upset and win the 2022 Run for the Roses.

The Derby provided Rich Strike his first stakes win and just his second victory in eight starts. Saturday’s race was also the first graded stakes win for winning jockey Sonny Leon and trainer Eric Reed. It was a shocking win in front of 147,294 fans who packed Churchill Downs.

“A lot of people said to me, ‘Are you nervous?’ I’m not nervous. I’m excited. First time in the Kentucky Derby. I got a horse. Nobody knows my horse like I know the horse,” Venezuelan jockey Sonny Leon said.

Rich Strike delivers historic upset in 2022 Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby has been a race that closers rarely win. Over the past decade, horses near the lead nearing the far turn have historically won. Rich Strike rallied from 15th place at the mile marker to chase down the two Derby favorites, Epicenter and Zandon, in the closing furlong and sixteenth mile to capture the Run for the Roses.

As it turns out, it was anyone’s race to win. Rich Strike was not in the field until Friday morning, when Ethereal Road was scratched from the race. There was little coverage or much of a racing profile on Rich Strike, and no morning-line odds on the unknown colt. Breaking from the far outside post and wearing No. 21, Rich Strike went off at 80-1 odds — the longest odds in the field.

“I can’t believe it after Epicenter’s effort,” said Hall of Famer and the winningest trainer of all time, Steve Asmussen, who fell to 0-for-24 in the Derby. “I got beat by the horse that just got in.”

The final winning time was 2:02.61 for 1 1/4 mile Kentucky Derby. Final payouts on Rich Strike for a $2 wager across the board were:

  • Win: $163.60
  • Place: $74.20
  • Show: $29.40

A $2 exacta with Epicenter finishing second returned $4,101, and a $1 trifecta with Zandon finishing third paid $14,870.

At 80-1 odds, Rich Strike became the second-biggest long shot to win the Kentucky Derby behind Donerail, who captured the 39th running of the Kentucky Derby in 1919 at 91-1 odds.

The total handle on the 2022 Kentucky Derby was a record $168.8 million and included all types of bets, including multirace bets like Pick 3. However, fewer than 1% of bets in the pari-mutuel pools included Rich Strike.

Rich Strike will lead a handful of Kentucky Derby runners and race next in the second leg of the Triple Crown at the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 21, at Pimlico Race Course. That’s assuming Rich Strike is healthy and ready to cash in and strike it rich again.

The final order of finish and post-time odds for the 2022 Kentucky Derby:

Finish and OddsFinish and Odds
1. Rich Strike (80-1)11. Classic Causeway (79-1)
2. Epicenter (4-1)12. Taiba (6-1)
3. Zandon (6-1)13. Crown Pride (76-1)
4. Simplification (35-1)14. Happy Jack (23-1)
5. Mo Donegal (10-1)15. Messier (7-1)
6. Barber Road (60-1)16. White Abarrio (15-1)
7. Tawny Port (80-1)17 Charge It (16-1)
8. Smile Happy (14-1)18. Cyberknife (15-1)
9. Tiz the Bomb (31-1)19. Pioneer of Medina (55-1)
10. Zozos (48-1)20. Summer Is Tomorrow (36-1)
Photo by AP | Jeff Roberson
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FairwayJay is a leading national sports and betting analyst and provides insight and information you can bet on to engage and assist the avid fan. His tee-to-green coverage and racing contributions have been provided to Churchill Downs, Twinspires, TVG, Forbes, TheLines, numberFire and PlayUSA platforms. Follow on Twitter: @FairwayJay

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