Trainer Eric Reed won his first Gr1 race when Rich Strike (Keen Ice-Gold Strike, by Smart Strike) won the Gr1 Kentucky Derby over the weekend, reports bloodhorse.com.
Rich Strike, who paid anywhere between 250-1 and 80-1 depending on the bookie, only made the field the day before the race and was only the second stakes winner for his trainer.
“Small trainer, small rider, small stable,” Reed said.
“He should have been 80-1. But I’ve been around a long time, and I’ve had some really nice horses. And we knew what we had. I’m not telling you by any means we knew we had a Derby winner… (but) we knew we had a horse that was capable of running good.”
The Reed stable suffered a barn fire in 2016 that claimed the lives of 23 of their horses, and now they have a Triple Crown contender, who was purchased from a claiming race for only US$30,000.
He will now go towards the second leg, the Gr1 Preakness Stakes on 21 May.
“He looks great right now. He was bright-eyed after the race when I got over here. He was in there eating. He seems really good this morning,” Reed said. “Every time we’ve run him, he’s gained weight after a race, so I know we haven’t gotten to the bottom of him.”
Rich Strike has won two of his eight starts, including placing in the Gr3 Jeff Ruby Steaks Stakes a month prior to the Derby.
- Breeding & Racing