Rich Strike, 10th Kentucky Derby winner bred at Calumet Farm

Rich Strike was purchased by Red TR Racing LLC for $30,000

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Rich Strike made history at the 148th Kentucky Derby, bypassing Epicenter for the title and this win is huge for trainer Eric Reed.

Back in December 2016, a barn at Mercury Equine Center, where Reed trains his horses, was burned to the ground after a lightning strike from a storm hit it. They were able to save 13 horses from the fire but nearly two dozen thoroughbreds were killed.

It was a hard set back for Reed and his team at that time but they did bounce back. Reed told ABC 36 back in 2016 that they didn’t want to quit, that the other horses there still had to be cared for and trained. So, that’s just what they did. Now, fast forward to 2022, Reed and Rich Strike are household names.

Rich Strike was an underdog with 80-1 odds and he defied them all. But where did he come from?

Calumet Farm in Lexington has been breeding thoroughbreds since the 1930’s and in its 90-year span, has bred 10 Kentucky Derby winners. Rich Strike is the first derby winner bred at Calumet since Strike The Gold won in 1991.

“It’s long odds just to get there, so those final odds on race day it’s nothing compared to the odds of how [Rich Strike] had, what he had to overcome to get there,” says Darrell Hayes, Calumet Farm stallion manager.

Calumet says Rich Strike is the son of Keen Ice, who was a bit of an underdog himself, upsetting American Pharaoh at the Travers Stakes in 2015.

“It runs in the family of long odds,” says Hayes.

Rich Strike was one of over one hundred of Keen Ice’s offspring, growing up on the rolling hills a stone’s throw from Keeneland.

“He would’ve spent the first year of his life here before going down to Florida, Ocalla, to be broken and start training as a racehorse, start his new career, his new journey towards the Kentucky Derby,” says Hayes.

Last fall, Rich Strike was bought by Red TR Racing LLC for just $30,000. Despite not being the owners, Calumet says it’s proud to say it bred the winner of the 2022 Run for the Roses.

“Coming in to work today was fantastic. Everyone’s high-fiving everybody, each other, and what a good thrill,” says Hayes. “Obviously, we were all rooting for our horse Happy Jack but to not win, subsequently, we had bred the horse Rich Strike.”

Calumet says it looks forward to breeding more derby winners and top contenders in the years to come.

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