Rich Strike’s upset win in the 148th Kentucky Derby was a breath of fresh air for the industry and one that will be remembered, especially by the Reed family.
Lindsy Reed is the daughter of Eric Reed, trainer of Rich Strike, who lit up the tote board after going off at 80-1. Lindsy has been working alongside her father in the family’s operation since 2015, travelling nationwide for races. Now an assistant trainer for her father, her days are spent doing various tasks, including medicating, bandaging, arranging vans, vet work, keeping up on paperwork and much more.
“Rich Strike is our Phoenix, and he has brought us up from the ashes and took flight with flames trailing behind him,” said Lindsy.
Q: What was your reaction when you found out your father’s horse would be running in the Derby?
A: When I found out my dad was in the Derby, I was so excited for him, so excited for Mr. Dawson, Rich Strike’s owner, and for my mom, who worked so hard to make this happen.
Q: What were your thoughts walking over? Were you nervous? Did you think he had a shot?
A: Walking over was nerve-wracking: anything could happen, and it was my job to make sure he got there safely and returned home safely. I believed he would run a great race and not be last, but I never believed he would win it. I was totally shocked.
Q: Did you ever think your family would be celebrating a Kentucky Derby win?
A: I believed in my heart after all we have been through. We would get to run in the Derby someday, but I never believed we’d win it our first time running in the Derby.
Q: What went through your mind when Rich Strike and Sonny started moving?
A: My first thought was that if he gets through that gap, this horse’s not stopping. Our dreams are about to be a reality.
Q: Your family has had to overcome some incredibly tough times over the years. What does this win mean to you?
A: When our barn burned down, I was there that night. I watched the flames, and all the horses I groomed and loved and got to know daily perished into the flames. It made me want to walk away forever, but I wouldn’t leave my dad like that. I started my career with the horses in that barn we lost, and overcoming this by winning the Derby is genuinely humbling and life-changing. It is a memory of my mom, dad, and grandfather. I’ll never forget watching the race in the paddock and crying that hard after overcoming everything we have been through.