Reed: 'I Think For Two Minutes And Two Seconds, The World Forgot About Politics And War And COVID' - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Reed: ‘I Think For Two Minutes And Two Seconds, The World Forgot About Politics And War And COVID’

Trainer Eric Reed and Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike

While preparing Rich Strike for a start in the May 21 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course four mornings after one of the unlikeliest and most memorable renewals of the Kentucky Derby (G1), trainer Eric Reed was still having trouble wrapping his mind around the son of Keen Ice's 80-1 victory that shocked and rocked the Thoroughbred world in the first leg of the Triple Crown.

“It's like a euphoria that won't go away. I'm happier for the guys who work with the horse than I am for myself. I still have a hard time realizing what we've done,” Reed said Wednesday morning from his Mercury Training Center near Lexington, Ky. “We've won stakes and a lot of races. We've had good horses and regular horses. I look at him and say, 'Man, we just won a nice race.' But he won the race. He'll never just be a horse again. He's always going to be the Kentucky Derby winner, and that's what we've got to get used to. It's just hard to imagine.”

Rich Strike, who was claimed by owner Rick Dawson for $30,000 last fall, won the Kentucky Derby for a trainer who had won one previous graded-stakes race and a jockey (Sonny Leon) who rides far outside the national spotlight at Ohio racetracks. The seemingly hopeless outsider surged past favored Epicenter nearing the finish line to pull off a feel-good upset for the little guy.

“I think for two minutes and two seconds, the world forgot about politics and war and COVID,” said Reed, who has saddled 1,446 winners during his 37 years of training. “I think for two minutes and two seconds, people got a sigh of relief from all this anxiety we live with today. He did it, not me or anyone else. Richie gave us two minutes of peace.”

Meanwhile, it was business Wednesday morning as usual at Mercury Training Center, where Rich Strike galloped under Gabriel Lagunes.

“He had a nice little gallop. He had a nice day on the track. Everything seems good,” Reed said.

Lagunes, a jockey on the Ohio circuit, has played an important role in Rich Strike's success.

“He sacrifices a lot of time with this horse. He's done a whole lot more work than anyone else involved with the horse, to be honest with you,” Reed said.

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