By: Alex Hassinger
This year’s 148th Kentucky Derby saw Rich Strike finish first with a dynamic last to first weaving through LA Freeway kind of traffic, and post the 2nd biggest upset in Kentucky Derby history.
Was it a fluke?
The one thing I learned from so many years training horses was that you have to believe in your horse and have them in races where they can be the most successful. You also have to believe in the team surrounding the horse; owner, trainer, jockey, assistant trainer, exercise rider, groom and hot walker.
You have to believe in your horse, but he also has to be prepared to be successful. Rich Strike was prepared. He was fit with a foundation and a pedigree that would successfully take him a mile and a quarter for the first time in his (and the other horses’) young career. Rich Strike was trained and raced so that he had a very good chance of winning. He had a great foundation under his belt, meaning he had crucial race experience; 4 races at 2 years old and 2 races at 3 years old before he was entered in the Derby. As stated post-race, Trainer Eric Reed and Owner Richard Dawson said they do not run horses in races unless they feel they have a good chance of winning. They believed in Rich Strike, and I believe them.
The little guy beat the big guys, and it probably wasn’t a fluke.
*Featured image is of California Chrome.