Where Does Rich Strike Rank Among Kentucky Derby Longshots?

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on May 9, 2022
Kentucky Derby longshots belmont odds

Rich Strike shocked the horse racing world with an unlikely win in the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby. An 80-to-1 longshot, Rich Strike only even ran due to a late scratch from fellow alternate Ethereal Road. Where does his win rank among the history of Kentucky Derby longshots?

We’ll take a look at how his odds compare to other famed longshot winners, including where the payouts on exotics like exacta, trifecta and superfecta ranked historically. Info below comes from Equibase, which has historical payouts on the Derby dating to 1996.

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Full Table: Kentucky Derby Winners And Payouts, 1996-2022

YearWinnerPayout$2 Exacta$1 Trifecta$1 Superfecta
2022Rich Strike$163.60$4,101.20$14,870.70$321,500.10
2021Medina Spirit*$26.20$503.60$1,697.16$9,456.40
2019Country House$132.40$3,009.60$11,475.30$51,400.10
2017Always Dreaming$11.40$336.20$8,297.20$75,974.50
2015American Pharaoh$7.80$72.60$101.00$634.10
2014California Chrome$7.00$340.00$1,712.30$7,691.90
2012I'll Have Another$32.60$306.60$1,532.80$48,046.40
2011Animal Kingdom$43.80$329.80$1,976.20$24,063.00
2010Super Saver$18.00$152.40$1,168.70$101,284.60
2009Mine That Bird$102.30$2,074.80$20,750.30$278,503.20
2008Big Brown$6.80$141.60$1,722.80$29,368.90
2007Street Sense$11.80$101.80$220.00$14,523.20
2004Smarty Jones$10.20$65.20$493.80$20,690.10
2003Funny Cide$27.60$97.00$332.40$2,795.80
2002War Emblem$43.00$1,300.80$9,186.60$91,764.50
2000Fusaichi Pegasus$6.60$66.00$217.50$1,635.40
1998Real Quiet$18.80$291.80$610.50$3,007.40
1997Silver Charm$10.00$31.00$102.70$350.00

*Medina Spirit’s win paid out, but Mandaloun became the official winner later on when officials disqualified Medina Spirit for a failed drug test. 

Rich Strike’s Win Powers Massive Payouts

The table above is sortable, so you can order various horses’ payouts over the years. Click each bet to see which horse paid the biggest in terms of straight $2 wager and which year featured the biggest paydays for lucky gamblers nailing the top finishing order.

Rich Strike’s 80-to-1 win leads the straight payouts, making him the biggest longshot in recent years to triumph in the Derby. However, 2022 doesn’t quite measure up to some even bigger exotics payouts.

That’s because Epicenter and Zandon, two of the top four favorites just before betting closed, ran second and third, respectively. The superfecta — picking the top four in order — received a comparatively massive bump because Simplification ran fourth. He closed as one of the longer shots around 35-to-1. That made the superfecta pay a monster $321,500.10 for just a $1 ticket.

Even so, that falls short of the staggering $432,126.75 awarded in 2005. That year’s winner and runner-up — Giacomo and Closing Argument, respectively — each ranked among a seven-horse group of 50-to-1 or bigger longshots. While overall favorite Afleet Alex ran third, Don’t Get Mad finished fourth at just shy of 30-to-1. Incredibly, a Giacomo/Closing Argument exacta paid more than double that of Rich Strike/Epicenter.

Only Donerail Won As Bigger Kentucky Derby Longshot

While Rich Strike will certainly go down in history as one of the biggest Kentucky Derby longshots to wear the roses, he doesn’t quite make history there either.

Way back in 1913, Donerail went off at 91-to-1. Not only did he win the Derby, perhaps even more shockingly, he set a new track record.

Still, Rich Strike’s victory continues something of a golden age for Kentucky Derby longshots. As you can see here, Rich Strike makes four horses since 2005 to win at 50-to-1 or greater odds. Keep that in mind when looking over Kentucky Derby odds for next year and beyond. A 20-horse field introduces a lot of chaos, and underdogs tend to thrive in chaos.

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Mo Nuwwarah Avatar
Written by
Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

View all posts by Mo Nuwwarah