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Kentucky Derby-winning jockey ‘still surprised’ after improbable win | Derby 148

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The jockey who gained the 2022 Kentucky Derby continues to be shocked.

Jockey Sonny Leon rode Rich Strike to a victory within the first leg of the American Triple Crown. Rich Strike went off at 80-1 odds, changing into the second-longest odds of any Derby winner.

“I had a very good view behind them because I know they were very fast,” Leon stated. “I say, ‘wow, I got it.’ I got to drive this horse to winning. But I never expected, that’s the plan but you never know what’s going on in the race.”

Leon had by no means ridden within the Kentucky Derby till Saturday. Rich Strike, a former claiming horse, was once no longer a part of the Derby box till every other horse scratched Friday. 

Accelerating within the heart flip during the pack, Rich Strike made a transfer from the interior within the ultimate furlong for one of the crucial largest upsets within the Kentucky Derby. Rich Strike began from the 20 put up.

“The plan we did it last time when we rode, so keeping calm, relax,” Leon stated. “We had a very, very bad first 20. Wow, that was the worst in the Kentucky Derby. 20, wow. You have 19 horses inside to you. But they were fast out of the gate. That can work for me, I can go down so quickly, see and try to stay on the ground.”

After weaving in and round horses to win the Kentucky Derby, Leon stated his horse was once excited after the race. 

Rich Strike was once noticed biting at a information pony after the race, and a racing professional seemed to punch the Kentucky Derby-winning horse within the face.

“My horse had tried to bite him a few times, tried to bite the horse, tried to bite his reins,” Leon stated. “My horse was so crazy, we had a lot of people around, a lot of screaming. I think the pony, he tried to do a little touch with the horse because we got to do sometimes because they are animals.” 

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