The Kentucky Derby is a wrap and we had the second biggest upset in the history of the Run for the Roses. Rich Strike won at Churchill Downs as an 80-1 longshot, marking the biggest upset since Donerail won the race in 1913 with 91-1 odds. There’s plenty to point to just how incredible the finish was, but this tweet about 80-1 or worse longshots in Derby history might be the most impressive.
Entering yesterday, in parimutuel history, there had been 143 Triple Crown runners sent off 80-1 or worse. 33 finished last, 5 DNF, 1 won (Donerail 91-1 in 1913 Derby) and just 5 others managed to hit the board...— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) May 8, 2022
The question now is whether the Derby winner will head to Maryland for the Preakness Stakes and the second leg of the Triple Crown. Trainer Eric Reed had not committed to the race, but odds are pretty good we’ll see Rich Strike racing at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore in two weeks.
The Derby winner almost always races in the Preakness Stakes, but there have been some exceptions. In 2019, Country Horse did not run in the Preakness due to a viral issue. Prior to that, 1996 Derby winner Grindstone retired immediately after the race due to the discovery of a bone chip in his right front knee.
The last time a healthy Derby winner skipped the Preakness was in 1985 when Spend A Buck opted to instead run in the Jersey Derby on May 27. Horse owner Dennis Diaz made the decision to skip the Preakness and Belmont Stakes after the owner of the newly reopened Garden State Park put up a $2 million bonus if the Derby winner could also win the Jersey Derby. Diaz followed the money in that instance.
Odds are pretty good we see Rich Strike racing at Pimlico, but we’ll update as news arrives.