'That Man Saved My Horse From Injury': Reed Addresses Post-Derby Incident With Rich Strike, Outrider - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

‘That Man Saved My Horse From Injury’: Reed Addresses Post-Derby Incident With Rich Strike, Outrider

Rich Strike with outrider Greg Blasi after the Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Eric Reed addressed the post-race incident between his horse Rich Strike and the head Churchill Downs outrider on the Today Show Monday morning.

After Rich Strike crossed the wire in front, outrider Greg Blasi went to collect the colt in order to allow jockey Sonny Leon to be interviewed by NBC. Instead, Rich Strike became aggressive and attempted to savage Blasi's mount multiple times.

Blasi's attempts to get Rich Strike under control have been the subject of divisive comments across social media, but Reed said the outrider's actions actually prevented the colt from hurting himself.

“I want to clear that up,” Reed said. “The outrider's job at the end of the race is to help get the leading horse slowed down, and take him around and let him do the interviews. Well, Richie, he was in 'killer mode,' he was gonna outrun every horse on the track. He had not had a horse, after the finish line, come over to him. So when he saw that pony coming his way, he thought he had another horse to beat and he was trying to run by it.

“The man did his job: he reached out and grabbed ahold of the horse and it made the horse mad. He didn't know that he was trying to help him, he thought he was supposed to outrun that horse, and he bit the guy's leg terribly. He bit his arm, a couple really bad bites. The horse is not a mean horse, he just was in race mode and he didn't understand why they were grabbing him to slow him down.

“That man saved my horse from injury, because had he got up in the air and lost my rider, he could have gotten loose. I'm sorry for the injuries he sustained.”

Watch the full interview here (comments about the outrider begin at 3:48):

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