Here is my disclaimer: Yes, I despise many of the rife shadow industries of the racing business (drugs, nursemare foals…)… but, I love the ‘against all odds’, ‘come from behind’, hardluck stories that make hearts soar – like Secretariat and Sea Biscuit and and… now Rich Strike.
This owner, trainer and rider don’t seem to have the wherewithall to be in the big leagues with the big players doing all the things… maybe they are, I don’t know. But I do know there were no nurse mare foals on this foal’s dam since she was sent to auction after he was weaned…
So, for me, I see this story like the stories of old. The last ditch effort with the last dime on the low rung ladder of minor success, comes this incredible WIN from a very unlikely team.
I cried when I watched the replay.
Major breeding farm, Calumet- winner of 8 derbies- breeds 16 year old Canadian race champion mare to their stud Keen Ice, the only horse to beat American Pharaoh. $7,500 stud fee. (After foaling the colt, Calumet dumped the mare at auction for $1,700 due to poor production value). The colt gets raced 2 years later. He comes in dead last. Calumet cuts their losses and put him in a $30,000 maiden-claiming race at Churchill Downs. Semi retired Oklahoman oil man claims the colt after failing to claim another horse- saying this is his last attempt in the disheartening race industry. The colt wins that claim race by 17 lengths. They race him again- in his last five races, he finishes third twice, fourth once and fifth once. Fast forward to May 6 his 3 year old year. D Wayne Lukas scratches his Kentucky Derby entry. The colt takes his place 30 seconds before the entry deadline on Friday. This is the first Kentucky Derby entry for the colts owner, trainer and jockey. The Venezuelan jockey is 83rd in earnings in North America for 2021 and has never won a major event. He draws the number 21 position in the gate. His odds are 80 to 1, the 2nd longest odds in Derby history. The colt comes from far behind, weaving his way through horses on the inside to win the Kentucky Derby in a shocking upset. The colts name is Rich Strike.
AN OVERHEAD VIEW WITH MARKERS – SO YOU CAN WATCH HIS MOVES!
I watched this video, too… showing the race from overhead. Here, you can see exactly how Rich Strike moved through the crowd.
AS FAR AS THE ‘ATTACK’ ON THE OUTRIDER…
This video says exactly what I would have said…
(PS: I now know why he wears a bit chain on his halter… – see photo above).
IMHO, Yes, I don’t like many, many (most) aspects of horse racing. But, I do have to give it to this young, amazing horse. He ran a phenomenal race – without all the bells and whistles provided to other more well-heeled horses from larger barns. In this day and age, Rich Strike is probably the closest we will come to a pure winner.
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