Kentucky Derby Winner Rich Strike Works Sharp Half-Mile

October 15, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky.— RED TR-Racing’s Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Woodford Reserve winner Rich Strike worked a half-mile on his own in :47.60 under Gabriel Lagunes at 5:35 a.m. Saturday over a fast track at Keeneland. The colt went out 5 furlongs in 1:00.

“I didn’t think that I’d get nervous for only a maintenance work,” trainer Eric Reed said of Rich Strike, who left his home base at Reed’s Mercury Equine Center in northeast Lexington for the work. “I was hoping for :48 or :49, but he was doing it so easy and as long as he wasn’t fighting him, I was good with that. He handled the track well and whatever decision we make, he’ll be ready to run.”

The decision that looms is whether to pre-enter in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) to be run here Nov. 5 or wait for the Clark (G1) Presented by Norton Healthcare at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25.

“The decision would be easier if the Breeders’ Cup was at Churchill Downs and there wasn’t a Flightline,” said Reed, who watched the work from the Grandstand alongside jockey Sonny Leon. “And it is not only Flightline, but there is Life Is Good and Olympiad and Epicenter.”

Epicenter was the horse Rich Strike ran down in the final sixteenth of a mile in the Kentucky Derby and a horse he likely would have to beat again to possibly claim the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old male.

“I know Rich Strike is a better horse than he was at the Derby, and he (Epicenter) is, too,” Reed said. “And I would have to beat him again and not just by a nose (to earn the championship). We’ve got 10 days to make a decision.”

The pre-entry deadline for the Breeders’ Cup is noon ET on Monday, Oct. 24.

“I think we will pre-enter,” Reed said. “I will probably bring him over (to Keeneland) the 23rd or 24th, let him gallop one day and then work the 25th or 26th. He will stay here (instead of returning to Mercury).”

At 9 a.m. today, Rich Strike left Keeneland to return home.

Keeneland Press Release

Photo: Rich Strike wins the Kentucky Derby (Coady Photography)

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