CRAWFORD |  The morning after Derby stunner, Rich Strike and team are still basking in the glow |  Derby 148

CRAWFORD | The morning after Derby stunner, Wealthy Strike and workforce are nonetheless basking within the glow | Derby 148

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (WDRB) — They can not let you know it was only a dream if you happen to by no means go to sleep. The solar got here out vibrant on Sunday morning at barn No. 17 at Churchill Downs, however by no means set on the evening earlier than’s beautiful Kentucky Derby win for 80-1 lengthy shot Wealthy Strike, his coach Eric Reed, or the workforce behind him.

“I have not slept but,” Reed mentioned Sunday. “I assumed I might, however I could not. Nevertheless it’s dawning on me now. I am so happy with this horse and all my boys. My jockey (Sonny Leon). It was a workforce effort from a very long time in the past. “We We have been simply attempting to get right here. It simply went a step additional than we may have ever dreamed. I do not know what to say apart from it is an absolute miracle.”

Reed mentioned Wealthy Strike bought away from his second profession win, ate nicely and had no unwell results from the longest race of his profession. If all goes nicely, he mentioned he plans to take the foal to Pimlico.

In the meantime, Wealthy Strike returned to Reed’s Mercury Farm in Lexington later Sunday morning and can stay there for at the very least per week, the place Reed has a personal coaching job.

The foal, led by groom Jerry Dixon Jr., walked by means of the barn after which emerged from the barn alert and calm. Dixon calmed him along with his fingers.



Kentucky Derby winner Wealthy Strike and groom Jerry Dixon Jr. the morning after the race in coach Eric Reed’s Churchill Downs barn. (Eric Crawford photograph)




Reed mentioned top-of-the-line issues about working within the Derby was the chance to present his total secure workforce the expertise of taking up a foal. It seems he gave them much more than that.

“I am glad for my crew,” he mentioned. “These guys have gone to the smallest of tracks. They labored years in the past after our accident and storm in situations most individuals would by no means need to do once more. They’ve had a tough time with out ever getting a pat on the again from anybody however myself. Know you we do not have the massive horses this occurs so i used to be so proud once they bought to do the stroll yesterday for me that ticked the bucket record for my gang and they’d get to do the stroll they everybody yearly And truly I mentioned to considered one of them, “Have a look at that crowd. Often we’re up there watching them. And this yr they’re you.” “So plenty of this was for them.”

Dixon is a fourth technology rider and has labored for Reed for a lot of years.

“He is been asleep, he is getting two packets of chips and he’ll simply sleep there,” Reed mentioned. “He would not go away the horse. He deserves this. He is labored laborious all his life.”

When Dixon wasn’t tending the horse, Sid Scott, Reed’s retired assistant coach, held him and whispered to him. Each males clearly have a method of calming the foal.

“Sid is a superb rider,” Reed mentioned. “After I was 18, bought my driver’s license and I used to be in my first set of horses, he labored the again. They did not pay him on a Friday, and we have been ravenous, and I mentioned, ‘Don’ don’t fret , you come to work for me.’ And we have been like greatest mates ever since. We discovered this commerce collectively and broke our enamel collectively.



Rich Strike and assistant coach

Sid Scott, a retired assistant coach to Wealthy Strike’s coach Eric Reed, rubs the foal’s hair on Sunday morning.




“I advised him final evening, ‘I keep in mind we have been within the effectivity of the Wildwood Motor Inn, and he was sleeping on the ground, and each different day I used to be talking.’ It was a home of gravity so once you walked the inspiration tilted and we fell over I imply we had somewhat mouse to eat the m&ms off the counter we had bullshit and peanut butter And now right here we’re.”

The query now could be, how far can Wealthy Strike take them?

“He ate all his dinner,” Reed mentioned. “And he was clear final evening after the race once I bought right here, lastly. He was consuming there and everybody was nonetheless having a good time. And he appears actually good this morning. So we’ll see how he’s the following day or two “However each time we have run him, he is arrived after a race. So I do know we by no means bought to the underside of him, and once I watch him go after that pony after the race, I do not suppose so.” I do not suppose we bought to the underside of him yesterday both.”

Lots of people, particularly those that do not work a lot with horses or who do not watch a lot horse racing, did not perceive the uncooked actions of a Churchill Downs outside rider with Wealthy Strike when he tried to manage him after the race, however might have him did not see him chew the neck of the outrider’s pony (and he did reduce the horse). Churchill’s outriders have rescued numerous horses over time and in a case like that on Saturday need to get bodily to type the animals out to keep away from hurting themselves or one other horse.

Anyway, Reed mentioned Wealthy Strike will not be an aggressive animal by nature. However he has developed a aggressive edge over the previous few races.

“Yeah, he is a pleasant horse,” Reed mentioned. “And I simply suppose, you already know, he discovered the killer intuition two races in the past. Sonny bought off him and advised me, ‘He is bought the fireplace now. He desires to take them down or run over them.’ And I believe when that race (the Derby) was over, he noticed the horse and thought he had another horse to beat and when that man grabbed him, he thought, ‘I’ve to run by, let me go.’ Yeah, I do not suppose he meant it the way in which some individuals thought, like being aggressive. I believe he simply clicked and needed to keep away from that one too.’



Rich strike

Kentucky Derby winner Wealthy Strike in coach Eric Reed’s Churchill Downs barn the morning after the race. (Eric Crawford photograph)




Reed mentioned he’d solely seen Saturday’s race replay twice and did not hear a race name about it till midnight. After evaluation, he gave credit score to Leon, who drove him completely in a race that needed to be excellent for him to win.

“He educated nicely sufficient to win that race all week,” mentioned Reed. “We did not suppose that will occur, however we knew that if it did, we would not be shocked – nicely, we might be shocked… All the pieces was going nicely for him to win. It was an insane tempo. Then on the quarter pole separated the water so he may get by means of then he simply needed to get previous that one horse in the course of the monitor and Sonny rode him like he had ridden him each race he was affected person each little bit of it he had terrain I noticed the motion on the quarter submit and I principally mentioned to my dad, “That may get us on the board.” And within the deepest sense I mentioned, ‘Oh my god.’ And I fell. I did not see him end… It was an excellent experience from Sonny, and it needed to go that method.”

As you would possibly count on, Reed spent the evening responding to congratulations from throughout. Calumet Farm, who bred the colt and owned him till Dawson and Reed claimed him, reached out.

“All my mates drank lots. I do not. I do not drink,” Reed mentioned. “However I prayed somewhat bit. I bought plenty of good texts from my youngsters. , my spouse (Kay), she’s my secret weapon and on the market within the shed. She does not just like the press, so she hid to all of you yesterday after the race And she or he’s now on the farm with the opposite hundred horses ensuring they’re fed and cared for and killing her I did not give her sufficient credit score yesterday however I’ve did not have an opportunity, so I need to be sure she will get some credit score right this moment.”

And now it is on its method to Pimlico and the Preakness. Reed mentioned he likes to go gradual along with his horses. He would possibly work them each 12 days or so, as a substitute of each week. He usually would not ship it again in two weeks, however that is the Triple Crown schedule and he and proprietor Rick Dawson plan to keep it up. They briefly talked about technique. Initially, they thought they might watch the Belmont Stakes, assuming the mile and a half would go well with their foal. Now they’ve an additional date, in Baltimore.

Reed mentioned he has by no means raced in Pimlico, by no means even been there. He has about 100 horses at his Mercury Farm and Coaching Heart in Lexington and extra in Ohio. They ship primarily and race in six states.

“I do not like working quick,” Reed mentioned. “This would be the first time we have now to try this if that is the place it is going. However that is why he is been so contemporary and will get higher each race. We have not pushed him. I am not shopping for these horses, 10 or 12 in your life, I am getting one in my life, so I’ve to guard him. I might like him to be right here in a number of years and never simply have a number of races and one thing flawed.”

However Reed mentioned the Preakness would be the plan.

‘Absolute. It ought to be,” Reed mentioned. “…So we’ll name, however that is most likely what we’ll do.”

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