A Race for the History Books

148th Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike is back home at his barn at his training center under the loving care of his trainer Eric Reed. Eric and his wife Kay have stood firm with guiding hands on this miraculous thoroughbred’s improbable rise to glory.
Today, I was lucky enough to be invited to the barn. Far from Churchill Downs morning-after backside, Rich Strike was back in his stall, and the was no gaggle of reporters, just his equine friends, the barn team, and a couple of waddling ducks. “Richey,” as Eric lovingly calls Rich Strike was in great shape and happy to be home.

The only media at the barn was a two-person video team from the TDN that interviewed Eric. As I listened to the interview, I heard that Eric and Kay’s journey is spiritually connected to all those who helped them along the way, especially Eric’s father and a couple of friends who are no longer with us today.

Eric and Kay’s story is fraught with hard work, the tragic loss of 24 horses in a lightning-struck barn fire six years ago. Yet, together they have overcome loss and heartache by faith and love and doing the next right thing, which led to the improbable Kentucky Derby victory of Rich Strike and Sonny Leon.

As I was leaving the barn, Kay gave me two roses from the garland that was being taken away to be preserved. I asked Eric, “When will you know what is next?” and he replied, “There is much to be determined, the pressure will be immense, but ‘Richey’ will tell me what’s next.”

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