148th Kentucky Derby Shocks Fans


Charlie Ridel/AP

Churchill Downs was filled for the first time since 2019 this past weekend for the 148th Kentucky Derby and it did not disappoint the almost 150,000 people. Rich Strike, a horse that had one of the longest odds ever and was not even entered in the race until Friday morning won the race. 

Sonny Leon and Rich Strike entered the race on Friday Morning and then took home the title (Robert Goddin/USA SPORTS TODAY)

Rich Strike was in the back of the pack for the majority of the race but in the final stretch jockey Sonny Leon weaved between the other horses and finally took the inside to get ahead of Epicenter in the last paces. Epicenter and Zandon had been the favorites to win the race and it had looked like the odds were right until the very end. Leon stated after the race “I had to wait until the stretch and that’s what I did. I waited and then the rail opened up.”

Longshot Rich Strike defies 80-1 odds (Mark Humphrey/Associated Press)

Rich Strike came into the race with 80-1 odds. His victory was the greatest odds upset since 1913 when a horse with 91-1 odds claimed the title. Days prior to the race Zandon was the favorite with 3-1 odds and Epicenter fell right behind with 9-2 odds. Just before the race Epicenter had taken the top spot with 4-1 odds and Zandon fell to 6-1.

Not only was there a history-making upset at this year’s Derby but new betting records were also set. It was announced at Churchill Downs that wagering this year was the highest all-time for the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby Day programs brought in $273.8 million which is a 9% increase from 2019s record. Wagering on the Derby race totaled $179 million, an 8% increase from 2019.