LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – It was 37 years in the making, but Eric Reed finally made it to the winner’s circle. His last-minute horse, Rich Strike, joined the Derby draw after a scratch from Ethereal Road. Then, on Saturday, won the 148th Kentucky Derby as an 80-1 long shot.

As the focus for Rich Strike and the Mercury Equine Center family turns to the Preakness, rest and relaxation are atop the priority list for both Reed and his horse.

“He’s a very habit type of horse, he takes his nap at 10 a.m. every morning,” Reed told FOX 56 Sports Director Mitch Brown. “If he deviates from any of that slightly, we know for the first time all year that this race took a little out of him.”

Rich Strike hasn’t ran two races within five weeks of one another, let alone three in five weeks with a Triple Crown bid at stake. But glory isn’t what Reed and his farm are angling for. They feel that they’ve already accomplished that with the second-longest shot in Derby history winning the run for the roses.

“We only have on Richie, so we have to do everything by the book, we can’t do it for the glory or the fame, we’ve got to do it for him or the road will end.”

Rich Strike is at 7-1 odds currently ahead of next week’s Preakness, with Epicenter coming in as the favorite at 3-1. Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath is second with 11-2 odds.

For Reed, the fact that a horse that’s been trained in Lexington won the most iconic race, adds a load of pride to his walk around the grounds of his barns. “It’s great for the community” Reed said. “It’s great for all the guys that work around here. It’s great for people like me that dream of it, but really never get the opportunity but can do the job if given.”

Now, the magical run will look to continue and join elite company as Derby and Preakness winners. “We showed the world the other day, it’s a horse race and anyone can win,” Reed said.

“It takes a special horse, and when you’ve got him, if you do the job and the team works out, anything can happen. And it did happen.”

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