Kentucky Derby Results 2022: Race Highlights, Video Replay and ReactionMay 8, 2022
The 148th running of the Kentucky Derby will go down as one of the greatest upsets in the history of thoroughbred racing. Rich Strike, which wasn't even in the field a couple of days ago, won as the biggest long shot in the race.
The 2022 Derby was everything horse racing fans could have hoped for. Rainy conditions cleared in time for the race, and for the first time in three years, the Churchill Downs crowd was back to full capacity. What fans will remember, though, is the shocking upset.
Epicenter was the post-time favorite—according to the official Kentucky Derby website—at 4-1, followed by Taiba at 5-1, Zandon at 6-1 and Messier at 7-1. Rich Strike closed at 80-1.
NBC Sports posted video replay of Rich Strike's stunning victory.
Here's a look at how the 20-horse field finished.
2022 Kentucky Derby Finishing Order and Prize Payout
1. Rich Strike - $1.86 million
2. Epicenter - $600,000
3. Zandon - $300,000
4. Simplification - $150,000
5. Mo Donegal - $90,000
6. Barber Road
7. Tawny Port
8. Smile Happy
9. Tiz the Bomb
11. Classic Causway
13. Crown Pride
14. Happy Jack
16. White Abarrio
17. Charge It
19. Pioneer of Medina
20. Summer is Tomorrow
There's really only one way to sum up the reaction to Rich Strike's win: Stunned. The Eric Reed-trained colt entered the field on Friday as an also-eligible replacement for the scratched Ethereal Road.
Reed and jockey Sonny Leon are first-time winners of the Derby, and neither thought their horse would be in the race as of early Friday morning.
However, Rich Strike's team at Red TR Racing believed that they had a shot.
"We never enter a race we don't think we can win," owner Richard Dawson said during the post-race broadcast.
This doesn't mean that Dawson or Reed actually expected Rich Strike to finish first.
"I fell down the paddock when he hit the wire," Reed said, per David K. Li and Dennis Romero of NBC News. "... We're not supposed to be here."
It was, understandably, an emotional win for the entire race team.
Leon deserves a ton of credit for guiding a masterful run. He steered Rich Strike from the outside toward the post, weaved through traffic and sent the horse flying past the favorites on the final stretch. Rich Strike finished with a blazing two-minute and 2.61-second race time, according to the official Kentucky Derby website.
Rich Strike and Leon capped the fastest start in Derby history.
Though Leon had never even ridden in the Kentucky Derby before, he is a seasoned jockey with more than 5,000 races on his resume, according to Front Office Sports.
Leon showcased his skills on the sport's biggest stage.
Few outside of his team believed that Rich Strike had the goods to take home the win. That's understandable, as the three-year-old had only won once in seven races. At 80-1, this was the second-biggest upset in the history of the Kentucky Derby.
Donerail won the 1913 Kentucky Derby at 91-1 odds. This makes Rich Strike the biggest Derby upset in more than a century. It's the sort of surprising feel-good story that makes the Derby one of the biggest events in sports. This year's Derby will be a memorable one.
Up next will be the Preakness Stakes, scheduled for Saturday, May 21. Rich Strike has a shot at winning the Triple Crown, and if he is entered in the Preakness, he will undoubtedly carry shorter odds than he did coming into Saturday.
For now, Rich Strike and his team can enjoy a piece of thoroughbred-racing history.