Kentucky Derby Won By Longest Shot Was Race’s Most Heavily Bet Ever
Rich Strike was the longest shot in the field on Saturday, when a record amount was wagered on the Kentucky Derby
(Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Kentucky Derby won on Saturday by ultra-longshot Rich Strike was the most heavily-wagered in the storied race’s history, but only a tiny fraction was put down on the winner.

A record $179 million was bet on the race at Churchill Downs, a 17% increase over last year and 8% greater than the record set in 2019, track officials told ESPN. But of that record haul, just over half-a-million dollars was put down on the 80-1 long shot that edged out the field.

“Long-shot bettors got their wish,” Paul Zilm, of Las Vegas-based sports book Circa, told ESPN at Circa

Rich Strike, which closed at 80-1 odds — the longest of any horse in the field of 20 — won by 3/4 of a length over Epicenter and third-place finisher Zandon in the 148th running of the legendary race. It was the second-largest upset in the race’s 148-year history Saturday at Churchill Downs. Rich Strike’s team won $1.86 million of the Derby’s $3 million purse.

“I don’t know how (to put the win into words). I fell down in the paddock when he hit the wire. I about passed out. I’m so happy,” trainer Eric Reed said after the race. “This is something, you know, is the reason everybody does this, because we’re not supposed to be here, but I knew this horse loved the track, and we’ve been training so good all year.”

The only time a horse overcame longer odds to win the race known as “The Run for the Roses” was in 1913, when Donerail triumphed after closing as a 91-1 longshot. Rich Strike was only added to the field Friday after Ethereal Road dropped out.

The colt was an even bigger underdog in Las Vegas, where some sports books had him as long as 300-1.

“People love the longest shots on the board, so we took a lot of little bets [on Rich Strike], $25, $50, here and there,” Zilm, who supervises risk for Circa, told the sports network. He estimated Circa took 75-100 bets on Rich Strike, many in the last 15 minutes prior to the race in 125-1 to 150-1 range.

One winner who placed a bet on Rich Strike was Fox News Channel host Shannon Bream.

“I MIGHT HAVE A HEART ATTACK,” Bream tweeted Saturday. “We did a ‘what the heck’ bet on Rich Strike and HE JUST WON THE #KYDERBY.”

Former President Donald Trump was among the spectators, becoming the first former president to attend the Kentucky Derby since 2000, when George H.W. Bush attended. Former President Richard Nixon is the only president to attend the race while in office, watching in 1969 when Majestic Prince won.

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Kentucky Derby Won By Longest Shot Was Race’s Most Heavily Bet Ever