80-1 longshot Rich Strike wins shocking 2022 Kentucky Derby

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Rich Strike pulls off the upset of a lifetime to win the 148th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

He set off as a massive 80-1 underdog and started the race near the back of the field. The three-year-old colt took advantage of the fast race pace and blasted off to the front of the pack at the end of the final stretch to cross the wire first.

He was initially not slated to start in the Kentucky Derby, but was in the field because of a scratch for Ethereal Road. Rich Strike’s win was also the second-biggest upset in Derby history.

This is trainer Eric Reed‘s first win at the Derby. In 2016, Reed lost 23 horses in a stable fire as well as valuable records, trophies and other racing memorabilia. Now, he is a Kentucky Derby winner.

“I fell down the paddock when he hit the wire,” Reed said.

Sonny Leon won his first Kentucky Derby. Leon grew up in Venezuela and is now a jockey to watch.

“I was on an 80-1 shot and nobody knew my horse, but I did,” Leon said in a press conference after the race. “I didn’t know if we could win, but I had a good feeling with him.”

Rich Strike paid $163.60 to win, $74.20 to place and $29.40 to show. Epicenter (4-1) paid $7.40 to place and $5.20 to show. Zandon (6-1) paid $5.60 to show.

Rich Strike is likely to be pointed to the Preakness Stakes next. The second leg of the Triple Crown sets off from Pimlico in two weeks on Saturday, May 21.

Full order of finish in the 2022 Kentucky Derby:

  1. Rich Strike
  2. Epicenter
  3. Zandon
  4. Simplification
  5. Mo Donegal
  6. Barber Road
  7. Tawny Port
  8. Smile Happy
  9. Tiz the Bomb
  10. Zozos
  11. Classic Causeway
  12. Taiba
  13. Crown Pride
  14. Happy Jack
  15. Messier
  16. White Abarrio
  17. Charge It
  18. Cyberknife
  19. Pioneer of Media
  20. Summer is Tomorrow
  21. Ethereal Road – DNP (SCR)

Watch the Preakness on Saturday, May 21 from 2 to 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and from 5 to 7:15 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage is also available on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.

369 horses nominated to compete in Triple Crown series

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A total of 369 3-year-olds were made eligible to compete in this year’s Triple Crown series during the early nomination period.

Each of the horses was nominated through a $600 payment to compete in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes. The Triple Crown opens May 6 with the Derby.

The number of nominated horses increased by 57 from last year’s total of 312. They include a record 37 horses based in Japan.

Among the notable horses is Forte, last year’s 2-year-old champion trained by Todd Pletcher.

Also among the predominantly male horses nominated was a filly named Hoosier Philly.

Brad Cox led all trainers with 38 horses nominated to the series. Pletcher was second with 36 horses, followed by Steve Asmussen and Ken McPeek with 13 each. Chad Brown and Hideyuki Mori had 12 each.

Others nominated include Arabian Knight, Cave Rock and Newgate, all trained by Bob Baffert. He is currently banned by Churchill Downs Inc. through this year’s Derby, although Baffert is challenging his two-year punishment in federal court.

For the Derby, horses under the care of any suspended trainer may be transferred to another trainer and become eligible to earn Derby qualifying points as long as the transfer is done by Feb. 28.

Last year, Baffert transferred two horses to another trainer and both ran in the Derby, although neither was highly placed.

Horses that were not nominated to the Triple Crown series by the early deadline of Jan. 28 can make a late payment of $6,000 through March 27 to become eligible.

Newgate wins Robert B. Lewis Stakes; Baffert runs 1-2-3-4

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Newgate won the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes by a neck, with Bob Baffert as the trainer of all four horses in the Kentucky Derby prep race at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Newgate ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.11 and paid $4 and $2.60 as the even-money favorite. There was no show wagering because of the field size.

Hard to Figure returned $5.20 at 12-1 odds. Worcester was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third. Arabian Lion was fourth.

“So much improvement in all these horses,” Baffert said. “I was actually nervous before the race, worried that something weird might happen, but I can relax now.”

The Lewis was a Kentucky Derby prep race, but no points were awarded because Baffert has been banned for two years by Churchill Downs Inc. The Hall of Fame trainer was in Louisville to testify in federal court as he seeks a temporary injunction to end the suspension, which runs through the end of the upcoming spring meet. It was meted out following a failed drug test by Medina Spirit after the colt finished first in the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

Newgate earned his first graded stakes victory. The colt was second, beaten by a neck in the Sham Stakes last month in his previous start.

“Frankie Dettori has been teaching him how to just sit back, relax and come with a punch and that’s what he did today,” Baffert said.

The victory, worth $120,000, increased Newgate’s career earnings to $241,975, with two wins in six starts.