Kentucky Derby 2022 Video: Replay Highlights, Race Results and BreakdownMay 8, 2022
Nobody was surprised to see Epicenter and Zandon battling for the lead down the final stretch of the 2022 Kentucky Derby. Those two horses were expected to be among the top contenders, and each was positioned to contend for the win late.
However, it turned out not to be just a two-horse battle for the victory at Churchill Downs on Saturday. And everybody was surprised when 80-1 long shot Rich Strike navigated his way through the field and used a late surge to run down the leaders.
And not only did Rich Strike get to Epicenter out front, but he made the pass and secured an improbable victory, winning by three-quarters of a length. It was one of the most memorable finishes among the 148 times the Kentucky Derby has been held.
Here's a comprehensive look back at an incredible 2022 edition of the Run for the Roses.
2022 Kentucky Derby Results
1. Rich Strike
5. Mo Donegal
6. Barber Road
7. Tawny Port
8. Smile Happy
9. Tiz the Bomb
11. Classic Causeway
13. Crown Pride
14. Happy Jack
16. White Abarrio
17. Charge It
19. Pioneer of Medina
20. Summer Is Tomorrow
Full Race Replay
We'll get to the thrilling finish shortly, but let's start with how the 2022 Kentucky Derby reached that point.
It was a good start to the race for 36-1 long shot Summer Is Tomorrow, who broke well from the No. 4 post and led the field to the first turn. And as the horses ran down the backstretch, Crown Pride was close to the lead with Zozos and Messier just behind.
There wouldn't be a wire-to-wire strong performance this year, though. As none of these early front-runners ended up finishing near the top of the leaderboard. Most of the eventual contenders were near the middle/back of the pack at the race's halfway point.
As the colts neared the 1-mile mark of the race, Messier was out front. But he wouldn't hold off a bunch of strong charges coming out of the final turn. And it was 4-1 favorite Epicenter who claimed the lead, appearing to be set up for victory while leading the field down the stretch.
Meanwhile, Rich Strike was moving his way through the pack. He moved past Messier, pulling up alongside Epicenter and Zandon in a three-horse battle for the lead. It didn't take long for Rich Strike to keep his momentum going, though, as he made an improbable move into first place.
By the time Rich Strike took the lead, the race was nearly over. That's how he ended up earning the victory, finishing three-quarters of a length in front of Epicenter in a remarkable finish.
It was the Kentucky Derby debut for both trainer Eric Reed and jockey Sonny Leon, who ended up in the winner's circle with Rich Strike. The horse wasn't even part of the Derby field until Friday morning, when Ethereal Road was scratched and an opening was created for Rich Strike to enter the race.
"I didn't know if he could win, but I had a good feeling with him," Leon said, per Byron King of BloodHorse. "I had to wait until the stretch, and that's what I did. I waited, and then the rail opened up. I wasn't nervous. I was excited. Nobody knows my horse like I know my horse."
Only 13 horses have won the Triple Crown, with the most recent to do so being Justify in 2018. Now, Rich Strike has an opportunity to become the 14th. But before that can happen, he'll need to win the Preakness Stakes, which will take place May 21 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.