The Shock of the 2022 Kentucky Derby


Renee Chua

For the first time since COVID-19 took over the United States, Churchill Downs hosted the Kentucky Derby at full capacity. The 148th Kentucky Derby took place on May 7 this year, and it left the audience in shock. The racehorse, Rich Strike, took home the trophy despite having the odds of 80-1.

Rich Strike fell behind at the begging of the race, but once it was almost time to cross the finish line, he picked up the pace and secured first place with a time of 2:02.61. A fan favorite horse, Epicenter, was predicted to win the derby, but Epicenter ended up finishing in second place. Being in the 20th position of the starting gate, Rich Strike is the second horse to ever win the Kentucky Derby after starting in that position.

Rich Strike wasn’t supposed to be in the Kentucky Derby, but at the last second, a slot opened up because Ethereal Road had been removed from the list of competitors. Rich Strike’s jockey, Sonny Leon, didn’t find out that he would be racing until the day before the derby. Despite the late notice, Leon and Strike were able to secure a victory that was unexpected.

The 2022 Kentucky Derby left many fans upset, but the fun of racing is that anything can happen. Against all odds, Rich Strike was able to outrun the competition and secure the first place win. Although the win was unanticipated, it’s always great to see an underdog take home the prize.