Kentucky Derby 2022: Results, Winner, Payouts and Comments After 148th Race

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIMay 9, 2022

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 07: Jockey Sonny Leon aboard Rich Strike (21) wins the148th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Kentucky Derby weekend may be over, but the 148th running of the prestigious horse race is one that will be talked about for a long time to come. That's because "the most exciting two minutes in sports" more than lived up to the hype, delivering one of the event's all-time-great finishes on Saturday.

Heading down the final stretch, 4-1 favorite Epicenter was in the lead. And it seemed like a sure thing he would hold off the other 19 horses to give trainer Steve Asmussen his long-awaited first Derby victory.

Instead, 80-1 longshot Rich Strike—the colt with the longest odds in the race who didn't even have a spot in the race until Friday—came out of nowhere, surging through the field and overtaking Epicenter shortly before the finish line to win by 3/4 of a length. It was an unbelievable showing that few (if any) could have predicted.

Now, Rich Strike will head to the Preakness Stakes (set for May 21) to try to keep his underdog story going and potentially move one win away from the Triple Crown. But first, here's a look back at this year's thrilling Kentucky Derby.

2022 Kentucky Derby Results, Payouts

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

10. Zozos

11. Classic Causeway

12. Taiba

13. Crown Pride

14. Happy Jack

15. Messier

16. White Abarrio

17. Charge It

18. Cyberknife

19. Pioneer of Medina

20. Summer Is Tomorrow

If Ethereal Road hadn't been scratched from the Derby on Friday morning, Rich Strike wouldn't have been in Saturday's race. So, the decision by trainer D. Wayne Lukas to pull Ethereal Road because he felt the colt wasn't ready had a great impact on the Kentucky Derby.

And while not many people expected much from Rich Strike once the horse was in the race, trainer Eric Reed was optimistic when the opportunity arose.

"Small trainer. Small rider. Small stable. We should have been 80-to-1," Reed said, per The Athletic's Dana O'Neil. "But I knew what I had. I knew what we had and what it was capable of, and if he ran good, anything could happen. If anybody in the business asked me, I’d just tell them, 'You know what? Lightning can strike.'"

Reed had never previously had a horse in the Kentucky Derby. And Rich Strike's jockey, Sonny Leon, had never participated in the race, either. So as Reed noted, it's easy to see why the colt's odds were so long heading into Saturday.

Rich Strike also hadn't been winning races of late. He had finished third or worse in each of his previous five events. His lone career win had come at Churchill Downs last September, though, so he had some success in Louisville before.

And Reed wasn't the only one who thought just maybe Rich Strike could shock the horse racing world.

"We found out about 30 seconds before the deadline on Friday," said Rick Dawson, Rich Strike's owner, according to Beth Harris of the Associated Press. "It put us in the race and really we always felt if we just got in we’ve got a shot."

But with the way the race was unfolding, Epicenter seemed likely to pull out the victory. If any horse was going to pass him, it was most likely going to be Zandon, another favorite who was running alongside him for much of the final stretch.

Yet, Rich Strike navigated his way through the crowded pack behind the two leaders, caught Epicenter and Zandon and passed them both in enough time to win the Derby.

"I can’t believe it after Epicenter’s effort," Asmussen said, per Harris. "I got beat by the horse that just got in."

Leon could believe it, though. As he was riding Rich Strike to the front, he began to realize that his horse had an opportunity to make it all the way to the lead.

"When I was in the last 70 yards, I said, 'I think I got this race,'" Leon said, per Harris.

Rich Strike did have it, and he joined the prestigious list of Kentucky Derby champions. But there have only been 13 horses to capture the Triple Crown. So Rich Strike could join an even more exclusive group by next winning the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.