Preakness Not Given to Kentucky Derby Winner Rich Strike

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The astounding Kentucky Derby disruption at Rich Strike rattled the sports world and led to a sleepless night of partying from which Eric Reed was still recovering from Sunday morning.

The veteran coach and everyone around him got involved for a long time after the 80-1 long shot put out a massive feat on Saturday. Once they clear their heads, the next step will be to determine if the Rich Strike story flight will continue at 147 of Preakness on May 21 in Baltimore.

“As long as he’s fine and a week later I know it’s the right thing to do, we’ll do it,” Reed said Sunday morning at Churchill Downs. “I have to do what I did from day one with this horse, and that’s what he manages and takes care of.”

Similar decisions await some of our favorite Rich Strike players who chased down late with Sonny Leone on board en route to score 2:02.61 in the 1/4 mile derby.

Although the pursuit of redemption would be understandable for the runners-up, Epicenter – the 4-1 favorite who was only a quarter mile away from giving Hall of Fame coach Steve Asmussen his long-awaited first derby win – turned two weeks on at 1/3 The 16-mile Pimlico Race Course is a concern.

Rich Strike celebrates winning the Kentucky Derby.
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Asmussen wants to give Epicenter owner, Ron Winchell, time to find out. His focus is on the horse’s long-range future, which was fringe behind Rich Strike and ahead of third-place Zandon at three-quarters the length of each horse.

“This is where I think our responsibility is now, how do we make him a 3-year-old champion?” said the coach. “He is a very talented horse, he has very good ability and he was second in the derby. We need to draw a schedule that we think can make him the 3-year-old champion.”

Coach Chad Brown was happy with the Zandon race but lamented that he couldn’t win it. Todd Bletcher said the derby trio Mo Donegal, Charge It and Pioneer of Medina “are doing well” but will likely return to New York after finishing the competition.

Tim Yektin, who took over Messier and Thebes’ 5-1 option to remain suspended Bob Baffert, said strength was a consideration for Thebes.

One coach with options is D.

The 86-year-old Hall of Famer won her fifth title at the Kentucky Oaks on Friday with the secret filly section and hinted at taking her to Maryland for either the Preakness or Black Eyed Susan Stakes for filly on May 20. In the Arkansas Derby, he finished just three-quarters of the lengths behind runner-up Barber Road and Cyberknife winner. Ethereal Road can also play after a good workout on Sunday.

my derby
Sonny Leone aboard a Rich Strike celebrates winning the 148th Kentucky Derby.
USA Today Sports

“The owners are very first class and conservative, so they’ll have an opinion and I’ll respect it,” Lukas said of Secret Oath’s prospects. “I think I’ll get the final vote, though.”

Not far on the back side, Reed and his new derby champion were all set to head to Lexington, Kentucky, to prepare for whatever came next on and off the track.

Fans crowded around Barn 17 to see the most unpopular derby winners, who seemed to be dealing with attention as the cameras were clicked. Reed said the colt’s appetite was strong, a good sign of health after its longest flight yet.

One of Reed’s immediate challenges was responding to hundreds of congratulatory texts after his small operation successfully beat a horse-racing marquee event – a stormy feat that made him more satisfying in no time.

“Just getting into the derby for me was like a win,” said Reed, who fell in the ring and didn’t see the end of Rich Strike. “I can’t express my feeling in words, but I was so happy for my wife (Kai) and my crew. Having my dad by my side, that was the best part for me.”

Now, the sport awaits what the Rich Strike team thinks is best for them.

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