Barbadian trainer Saffie Joseph Jr suffered disappointment in his second outing at the prestigious Kentucky Derby when his entrant White Abarrio finished 16th in the 148th ‘Run for the Roses’ on Saturday.
Going off at odds of 13-1 in the 1-¼ mile trip, the winner of last month’s Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park failed to keep up with the searing pace and was out of the contention by the time the race swung for home in the Grade I, US$3 million contest at Churchill Downs.
Rich Strike, the longest short in the race at odds of 80-1, produced a sensational burst along the rails on the stretch run to snatch victory under Venezuelan jockey Sonny Leon in a time of two minutes, 02.61 seconds.
The odds made Rich Strike the second-longest ever to win a Derby, only behind Donerail’s victory at 91-1 back in 1913.
Joseph entered the contest with high hopes especially after White Abarrio worked well throughout the week and the three-year-old colt broke well under jockey Tyler Gaffalione, to settle mid-pack.
Summer is Tomorrow, in at odds of 36-1 partnered with 17-1 choice Crown Prince to rip the field through the quarter in 21.48 seconds – the fastest ever in Derby history, with Messier and Zozos accompanying each other in second, Taiba and favourite Eipcenter battling for third, and White Abarrio down in 11th on the outside.
The field completed the half-mile in a blistering 45.36 and the three-quarters in 1:10.34 and by the time the race turned for home, Epicenter had taken the lead and looked poised to run away with the contest.
White Abarrio was already fading and lacked any rally in the stretch, and Gaffalione was reduced to the role of spectator as Zandon ranged up spark a duel with Epicenter, before Rich Strike burst all the rails in a late charge.
Joseph’s first outing in the Kentucky Derby in 2020 also ended in disappointment when Ny Traffic finished eighth at odds of 12-1.