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The longest of long shots shocked the crowd at Churchill Downs to win the Kentucky Derby Saturday in the second-biggest upset in the history of the storied race.
Rich Strike, which closed at 80-1 odds — the longest of any horse in the field of 20 — won by 3/4 of a length over Epicenter and third-place finisher Zandon in the 148th running of the legendary race. The victory left more than 100,000 mint julep-sipping spectators stunned.
“I don’t know how (to put the win into words). I fell down in the paddock when he hit the wire. I about passed out. I’m so happy,” trainer Eric Reed said. “This is something, you know, is the reason everybody does this, because we’re not supposed to be here, but I knew this horse loved the track, and we’ve been training so good all year.”
“THE LONGEST SHOT HAS WON THE KENTUCKY DERBY! RICH STRIKE HAS DONE IT!” 😱
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 7, 2022
It was the first Kentucky Derby win for both trainer Reed and jockey Sonny Leon.
The only time a horse overcame longer odds to win the race known as “The Run for the Roses” was in 1913, when Donerail triumphed after closing as a 91-1 longshot.
“Rich Strike wins the Kentucky Derby at 80-1!” tweeted sports commentator Clay Travis. “One of the biggest underdog winners ever.”
Rich Strike was only added to the field Friday after Ethereal Road dropped out.
Former President Trump was among the spectators, becoming the first former president to attend the Kentucky Derby since 2000, when George H.W. Bush attended. Former President Richard Nixon is the only president to attend the race while in office, watching in 1969 when Majestic Prince won.
Speculation Trump would attend began last month when New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted out a copy of an invitation to attend a Derby-day event hosted by the PAC “MAGA, Again!” The invitation said that the PAC, along with board of directors chair Pam Bondi, national finance chair Kimberly Guilfoyle, Richard Grenell, and Matt Whitaker “invite you to the Kentucky Derby with special guest President Donald J. Trump.”