Coach says Rich Strike “looks good” after the extraordinary upheaval of the Kentucky Derby
Rich Strike’s stunning victory at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday left hungry colt and coach Eric Reed sleepless after he made one of the biggest upheavals in the race’s 148-year history.
The 80-1 long shot only entered the race on Friday, when Ethereal Road scratched and was forced to break from post 20 at Churchill Downs.
Jockey Sonny Leon skilfully navigated traffic and Rich Strike took advantage of an opening along the track along the stretch to load past Epicenter and Zandon.
“It looks great this morning,” Reed said on Sunday.
“He ate it all last night and it looks really good. He gains weight after every race and I don’t think we’ve made it all the way. “
Reed said he collapsed after Rich Strike crossed the wire, but that was everything else the Kentucky native got on Saturday.
“I couldn’t sleep last night,” he said.
“At 4 in the morning I was wondering if it was real or if it was a dream. I went home and my kids and their friends were there with the champagne. I finally told them at 2:30 in the morning that I had to go to bed.
“I kept seeing it in my head climbing up the railing.”
The win was the second biggest surprise in Derby history following Donerail’s 91-1 win in 1913.
Reed had considered quitting the sport after losing 23 horses in a barn fire six years ago.
But after winning his first Run for the Roses, he is now looking at the second stage of the Triple Crown with the Preakness Stakes on May 21, although he wouldn’t say for sure if Rich Strike will compete given the brief turnaround.
“That’s probably the plan … (but) I don’t like to go back fast,” he said.
“You get one like that in a lifetime and you have to protect it.”
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