By Mint Julep


Eric Reed Trainer: One Kentucky Derby Winner

kentucky derby winner rich strike 2022

Follow along on an exciting journey through the incredible career of Eric Reed, a well-known figure in American horse racing. Discover how he learned about horses from his family and developed innovative training techniques at the Mercury Equine Center. See how Rich Strike shocked everyone by winning the Kentucky Derby, showing Reed’s determination and skill as a trainer. Experience the highs and lows, controversies, and strong dedication that have shaped Eric Reed’s influence on horse racing.

Early Life and Family Background

Eric Reed is a well-known figure in American horse racing. He comes from a family deeply involved in the sport, with his father Herbert Reed starting their legacy as a horse trainer under Mack Miller’s guidance. Eric himself entered the industry in 1983.

Growing up surrounded by stables and the sound of horses galloping, Eric Reed developed a strong passion for equine excellence at an early age. His upbringing not only gave him immense respect for these majestic animals but also honed his skills as an exceptional trainer. Drawing on lessons passed down from his father and insights gathered from experts like Miller, Eric created a unique approach that combined tradition with innovation.

The deep connection between man and horse runs through every part of Eric’s being—an outcome of years dedicated to mastering horsemanship. Apart from family ties, he is unwaveringly committed to advocating for the welfare of these four-legged athletes—a principle that guides all his decisions as he leads them towards victory on the racetrack.

Career Wins and Notable Achievements

Eric Reed has won more than 1,445 races in his career as a horse trainer. This shows how dedicated he is and how great he is at training horses. He is well-known in American horse racing for all the amazing things he has done. One of the best things he did was when Rich Strike unexpectedly won the Kentucky Derby in 2022.

People were shocked by this win because Rich Strike wasn’t expected to win.

Rich Strike’s journey to winning the Kentucky Derby was like a miracle. It showed that if you keep going and never give up, good things can happen just like Eric Reed taught him with his special way of training horses. Even though there were tough opponents and it seemed impossible, Rich Strike proved everyone wrong with Reed’s help and came first in an exciting finish that showed off their skills.

The victory didn’t just show how smart Eric Reed is but also how much he cares about horses which makes him stand out from others in horse racing world.

This big win at the Kentucky Derby made Eric Reed very successful among other trainers who work with horses too but what really matters are all those hours of hard work and passion for making sure both physically strong emotionally happy overcomes any challenge they face on race day!

The Pros & Cons of Derby Underdogs


  1. Compelling underdog tales can grab the attention of viewers.
  2. Unexpected wins inject a sense of excitement into the competition.
  3. Victories by underdogs have the power to ignite optimism and determination.
  4. They establish lasting moments in Derby history.


  1. Betting on underdogs involves more risk.
  2. Traditional favorites might not get as much attention.
  3. Upsets can surprise and disappoint fans.
  4. Underdog wins could steal the spotlight from other important accomplishments.

Training Facility and Tragic Incident

In Lexington, Kentucky, Eric Reed’s Mercury Equine Center shines as a top-notch horse training facility. Spanning 60 acres, this place isn’t just for horses to practice—it’s where champions are made and dreams come true. Each morning at dawn, the center buzzes with energy as steeds sprint through the mist under Reed’s careful guidance.

The events of 2016 had a lasting impact on both Eric Reed and the entire horse racing community. A devastating fire ravaged Mercury Equine Center, resulting in loss of lives and beloved equine companions. Amidst all the chaos and destruction, Reed stayed strong despite his grief, determined to salvage what he could from the ruins. Though it was a profound loss, it sparked within him a renewed sense of purpose—a determination to rebuild even stronger than before.

In moments like these—when darkness threatens to consume everything—true character is revealed. Eric Reed’s unwavering commitment to his four-legged partners shone brighter than ever after that tragic night. With every step taken amidst ashes still smoldering with sorrow came an unspoken promise: honoring those lost by turning devastation into something extraordinary.

Eric Reed’s resilience and passion for these majestic animals who grace American tracks were evident throughout his journey of healing post-tragedy. As time passed and wounds slowly began to mend, so did Mercury Equine Center rise once more from its ashes like a phoenix reborn—an emblem of hope defying all odds in pursuit of greatness once again.

Kentucky Derby Victory with Rich Strike

At the 2022 Kentucky Derby, a thrilling moment unfolded as Rich Strike unexpectedly surged to victory under the expert guidance of Eric Reed. This stunning win not only showcased Reed’s rising stardom in American horse racing but also etched an unforgettable chapter in Derby history, reminiscent of Donerail’s legendary triumph over a century ago. With the crowd at Churchill Downs roaring with excitement, Rich Strike crossed the finish line against all odds at an impressive 80-1 chance, defying expectations and joining some of the sport’s most remarkable underdog champions.

Leading up to that decisive day at Churchill Downs, Eric Reed’s meticulous training methods shone brightly. Renowned for his unwavering dedication to each horse he cared for, he tirelessly honed Rich Strike into peak form for their momentous showdown at the Derby. Beyond physical conditioning alone, Reed instilled confidence and trust in his equine partner—a connection felt strongly as they thundered down towards victory during that final stretch. It was a testament not just to Reed’s skill as a trainer but also his deep understanding of horses’ unique needs and abilities.

Rich Strike’s unexpected triumph underscored Eric Reed’s profound respect for these majestic animals—an ethos deeply ingrained in every aspect of his approach to horse racing. His commitment extended beyond mere pursuit of trophies; it involved nurturing authentic bonds with each steed he guided towards glory on the track. This holistic viewpoint set him apart within an industry often dominated by cutthroat competition and fleeting fame—positioning him not just as a successful trainer but also as an advocate ensuring horses’ well-being amid their quest for greatness.

As news rapidly spread across racetracks nationwide, whispers evolved into exclamations about Eric Reed’s extraordinary journey culminating in one astounding upset at the Kentucky Derby. The reverberations from this historic victory continue echoing throughout racing circles—serving both as inspiration and reminder that genuine champions are forged through passion, perseverance, and occasionally overcoming improbable odds stacked against them.

Racing Achievements of Eric Reed

Eric Reed Born Career wins Major racing wins Significant horses
Eric Reed 1963 or 1964 (age 59-60) 1,445+ American Classics wins: Rich Strike, Satans Quick Chick
– Kentucky Derby (2022)

Documentary Collaboration and Controversy

After winning the Kentucky Derby, Eric Reed became a hot topic and landed a deal with Omaha Productions led by former NFL star Peyton Manning to create an Amazon Prime documentary about his successful career as a horse trainer. As cameras filmed all the action behind the scenes of training horses, unexpected problems started cropping up in the racing community. Tensions escalated when Rick Dawson from RED-TR Racing raised disputes about ownership rights related to Rich Strike’s story. The clash between their egos intensified as Reed had to choose between staying in the limelight or staying true to his values.

Under intense pressure and constant media attention, Eric Reed faced a tough decision: should he prioritize loyalty or legacy? With everything on the line, he made a heartfelt choice that reverberated throughout the world of horse riding – saying goodbye to his prized horse, Rich Strike. This sudden split not only marked an end to their successful partnership but also hinted at deeper tensions brewing beneath their outward success. Rumors spread through stables and tracks as people waited anxiously for what would happen next in this turbulent chapter of Reed’s career.

In the aftermath of conflicts emerged mixed feelings that left both fans and doubters reeling from its impact. For Eric Reed, it meant more than just giving up control; it symbolized navigating difficult situations where ambition conflicted with honesty. While some saw his resignation as damaging his once-shiny reputation, others viewed it as proof of unwavering principles amidst rough times threatening even those who seemed unshakeable in horse racing’s stormy waters.

Legacy and Impact on Horse Racing

Eric Reed has had a wild ride in horse racing, facing tough challenges and celebrating big wins. From dealing with a huge fire at his training center to handling controversies along the way, Reed’s toughness always showed through, painting a picture of someone who never gives up.

When talking about Eric Reed, you can’t ignore how dedicated he is to his job. People know him for being hands-on when it comes to training horses – working hard from dawn till dusk looking after each animal with care and skill. His dedication not only brought him victories but also built strong bonds between him and his four-legged friends.

The unexpected victory of Rich Strike in the Kentucky Derby under Eric Reed’s guidance proves just how talented this trainer is. Despite all odds stacked against them, these two managed to surpass everyone’s expectations, showing off Reed’s talent for turning raw potential into winning performances – something that will be talked about for ages.

But there’s more to Eric Reed than just winning races; he cares deeply about the well-being of his horses above everything else. His approach focuses on not just their physical fitness but also their mental health – something rare in an industry often criticized for exploiting animals. This caring attitude makes him stand out as a role model within the world of horse racing.

As Eric Read steps back from active competition now, he leaves behind stories filled with grit and love for what he does. His influence on horse racing goes beyond numbers; it shines through tales of unwavering commitment, heartwarming triumphs, and most importantly, a deep affection for these amazing creatures that have stolen both his heart and ours too!

Mystical Tales Surrounding Kentucky Derby Champion Trainer

  1. ### Fascinating Stories About Kentucky Derby Champion Trainer
  2. **The Lucky Horseshoe**: People say that Eric Reed, the trainer who won the Kentucky Derby, always carries a lucky horseshoe on race days. They believe this horseshoe was worn by his first Derby winner and brings him good luck in every race he competes in.
  3. **The Whispering Wind**: Locals living near Eric Reed’s training facility claim to have heard whispers in the wind before big races. Some think these whispers are messages from past champion horses’ spirits guiding Reed to victory.
  4. **The Ghostly Gallop**: There are stories of a ghostly horse seen galloping around Eric Reed’s barn late at night. It is said to be the spirit of a former Derby winner watching over current horses in training, ensuring their success on the track.
  5. **The Mysterious Mist**: Before each major race, a mysterious mist reportedly surrounds Eric Reed’s stables. This mist is believed to bring good luck and protection for the horses under his care, shielding them from harm and guaranteeing their safe journey to victory.
  6. **The Enchanted Bridle**: Rumor has it that Eric Reed owns an enchanted bridle for his Derby contenders which instills courage and determination in them – giving them strength and speed needed to outperform competitors and secure victory in this prestigious event.

Future Endeavors Beyond Training

Eric Reed, a standout figure in American horse racing, has entered a new chapter after leaving RED-TR Racing amid controversy. As he moves on from training Rich Strike and other talented horses at RED-TR Racing, Reed is focused on exploring new opportunities for himself and his family. Despite parting ways with his previous team, Eric is determined to prioritize the well-being of his loved ones as he reflects on his impact in the sport that has shaped much of his career.

Reed’s commitment to caring for horses remains a key aspect as he navigates this important stage in his professional journey. His strong dedication to nurturing horses not just for competition but also for their overall health and happiness distinguishes him as an advocate for these majestic animals found across racetracks nationwide. With each step forward into unfamiliar territory beyond traditional training settings, Eric upholds a legacy based on compassion, skill, and unwavering devotion to the creatures that have influenced him greatly.

While speculation swirls about what lies ahead for Reed after leaving RED-TR Racing following controversy, one thing stands out clearly—his love for horses shines brighter than ever before. The uncertainties surrounding him serve as motivation driving Eric toward untapped possibilities waiting just beyond reach. From riding through fields at sunrise to refining techniques under twilight skies meticulously, Reed’s approach goes beyond mere coaching; it embodies an art form refined over years of experience and deep connection with these incredible animal athletes.

Despite facing challenges along this turbulent path filled with unexpected twists and turns, Eric stands strong against adversity—a true testament to resilience both within and outside horse racing circles. Every hoofbeat resonates stories of past victories mingling with dreams yet unfulfilled echoing far across paddocks—Reed emerges not as someone who fell short but rather like a phoenix ready to rise again from trials left behind now etched into history books alongside hard-won triumphs against all odds.

Challenges Faced and Lessons Learned

Eric Reed has faced many challenges in his career as a horse trainer, from overcoming setbacks like the devastating fire at Mercury Equine Center to navigating disputes within the industry about intellectual property rights. These experiences have helped him become a strong and adaptable professional.

Reed’s resilience was put to the test when a fierce blaze swept through the Mercury Equine Center, putting valuable horses and years of hard work at risk. Despite the chaos, he remained calm and ensured that both horses and staff were safe. This challenging experience taught Reed important lessons in handling crises and reinforced his commitment to caring for all those under his watch.

In addition to dealing with disputes over intellectual property rights in horse racing, Reed stood firm on ethical standards and fair practices. His integrity served as a guiding light in an industry filled with controversies. Through these challenges, Reed evolved into an experienced trainer who not only excelled at training champion horses but also promoted values such as respect for equine partners and fellow competitors beyond just winning races or receiving awards.

Continued Dedication to Horse Welfare

Eric Reed loves taking care of horses, and it’s not just a job for him – it’s his mission. Apart from winning races, he is dedicated to making sure the horses he looks after are healthy and happy, setting him apart in an industry where success often comes before compassion.

You can often see Eric early in the morning, walking around the stables and checking on each horse one by one. He pays close attention to every detail to make sure they are well taken care of. This hands-on approach has earned him respect and praise from both the horses he works with and his fellow trainers.

In a time when making money sometimes seems more important than doing what’s right, Eric Reed stands out as someone who values integrity in American horse racing circles. His advocacy for treating animals properly shows that he believes these majestic creatures deserve respect throughout their lives.

More than just giving them good training plans, Reed goes above and beyond to ensure that the horses under his care get everything they need: proper nutrition, regular check-ups from the vet, exercise routines tailored specifically for them – all aimed at improving their performance while keeping them safe.

For Eric Reed, it’s not only about winning races; it’s also about creating a culture where horses are seen as partners rather than just things you own. By staying committed to looking after these animals’ welfare, he sets high standards for himself while encouraging others in the industry to focus on what really matters: keeping these amazing creatures healthy and content because they give so much without asking for anything back.


1. How did Eric Reed’s training methods differ from other prominent horse trainers leading up to the Kentucky Derby?

Eric Reed’s training methods were notable for how he prioritized forming strong connections with his horses, paying close attention to their specific requirements and ensuring their overall welfare. This distinctive approach was a key factor in Rich Strike’s surprising win at the Kentucky Derby.

2. What were some of the key challenges Eric Reed faced in preparing Rich Strike for the prestigious Kentucky Derby race?

Eric Reed had to work on perfecting Rich Strike’s training program, making sure he performed at his best, and handling the tough competition as they prepared for the important Kentucky Derby race.

3. Can you elaborate on the backstory behind Eric Reed’s partnership with Rich Strike and how it led to their unexpected victory at the Kentucky Derby?

Eric Reed and Rich Strike teamed up after the experienced trainer saw the hidden talent in the skilled colt. They worked hard together, improving his abilities and building a strong connection that led to an amazing win at the Kentucky Derby, surprising everyone.

4. In what ways has Eric Reed’s approach to horse racing and training influenced other trainers in the industry?

Eric Reed’s creative ways of training, his focus on horse health, and his impressive achievement with Rich Strike winning the Kentucky Derby unexpectedly has motivated other trainers in the field to prioritize a well-rounded approach to horse racing that considers both performance and the horses’ welfare.

5. How did Rich Strike’s triumph at the Kentucky Derby under Eric Reed’s guidance impact the overall landscape of American horse racing?

Eric Reed led Rich Strike to a surprising win at the Kentucky Derby. This victory not only proved Reed’s talent as a trainer but also showed his commitment to caring for horses. It changed American horse racing by emphasizing the need for kind and successful training techniques.

6. What sets Eric Reed apart as a trainer, and how does his dedication to the welfare of horses shine through in his work with Rich Strike?

Trainer Eric Reed is known for his laser focus on details, custom training techniques, and strong dedication to the health of his horses. His caring approach with Rich Strike played a key role in their surprising win at the Kentucky Derby.