The Incredible Story Behind KY Derby Winner Rich Strike’s Connections

Nearly six years ago, Eric Reed almost called it quits from the horse training business.

A fire engulfed one of the barns at his Lexington, Kentucky, equine center, in the middle of a December night, killing 23 thoroughbred horses and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

“When we drove up on that that night, I told my wife, I said, ‘we’ve probably lost everything,’ ” Reed recounted this week. “The next morning, when we saw the devastation … I just thought of all the years and all the stuff we had done to get this beautiful farm and to have this happen, that something might be telling me it’s the end of the line.”

Reed didn’t give up, and with friends — and sometimes strangers — who showed up to help, he continued training. “I just decided, I wasn’t going to let it take me out.”

It paid off: Reed is now a Kentucky Derby winner…

More on trainer Eric Reed and the owner of Rich Strike

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is an 18-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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