The incredible Rich Strike

I don’t follow horse racing, aside from occasionally catching the big races — in this case the Kentucky Derby. I hadn’t heard of any of the horses when the broadcast started Saturday, but by the time the horses broke from the gate, I’d learned the names of the favorites. I watch just for the excitement of seeing beautiful horses run and because after meeting them, I’m curious to see who wins.

As most of you probably know by now, a horse was scratched from the race on Friday and a horse named Rich Strike suddenly had his chance to run in the Derby. He started on the far outside, gate 21, and no one thought anything of his presence. And then the miracle happened. Watch him run!! Watch his jockey in the red silks weave through the crowded field from way back, charging to the front and sweeping past the leaders as though they were standing still. Magnificent! I’m still excited. He was the second longest shot in Derby history, and look what he did!

Rich Strike, with Sonny Leon aboard, wins the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7, 2022 (Photo: Michael Clevenger and Christopher Granger/Courier Journal)
He swept past the leaders like they were standing still. They were fading and he was still accelerating.
Jockey Sonny Leon with Rich Strike after winning the Kentucky Derby. (Photo: Christian Hansen for The New York Times)

But the wonder, the beauty of the story is in the drone video. The only thing possibly better was the ground-level camera watching him sweep past the leaders.

Here’s a video of the entire race. I’m getting goosebumps all over again:

6 thoughts on “The incredible Rich Strike

  1. I do exactly the same thing every year for the Derby! It brings up memories of watching it with my dad when I was a kid.

    But this year! Wow. I have never seen anything quite like it. I have watched that drone footage over and over, and it is always amazing. Thanks for posting it.

    1. I’ve watched the Triple Crown races since I was a little girl playing a million iterations of my “Kentucky Derby” game. Wasn’t this year fantastic!? I still can’t believe how that jockey made his way through all that traffic. Especially after starting on the far outside.

    1. Races like this are why I keep watching, even when a few races have tragic endings. I guess it’s why people keep betting and horse racing goes on.

... and that's my two cents