Who is Rick Dawson, owner of Kentucky Derby-winning horse Rich Strike?
- Rich Strike won Kentucky Derby 2022, beating 80-1 odds
- Rich Strike is owned by Rick Dawson's Red-TR Racing
- Dawson is from Edmond, Oklahoma and is semi-reitred from the energy business
Kentucky Derby 2022 saw Rich Strike beat 80-1 odds and emerge the winner, defeating favourites like Epicenter and Zandon at Churchill Downs. Commenting on the victory, owner Rick Dawson said "What planet is this?", continuing, "This is unbelievable. I asked my trainer if this was real and he assured me it was real", Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
The second-longest shot in the derby history is owned by Dawson's Red-TR Racing and was only included on Friday after Ethereal Road was scratched off the list. "I feel like the luckiest man alive", Dawson continued.
The Edmond, Oklahoma native is semi-retired from the energy business and hired the 57-year-old Eric Reed as his trainer last year. Speaking of their time together with Reed buying Rich Strike from Calumet Farm for Dawson, the owner commented "I said, ‘Do you think we got a Derby horse?’ He goes, ‘Maybe.’ I said, well, let’s get the calendar out, find the first Saturday in May and back up from there."
Dawson also recounted his memories of visiting racing tracks. A friend from Owensboro had taken him to Keeneland for the first time, and then Churchill Downs. Speaking of this time, Dawson said "I had been to some smaller tracks around the country, but not the bigger tracks", adding, "Very impressive, and just loved them all. Churchill was just massive. And, of course, we’re here on a Wednesday and it’s 25,000 people, and it felt like it was empty. The word was, yeah, but Derby day, it doesn’t look like this. And, obviously, it doesn’t".
He currently owns five horses, and two are in training. One of them is coming off rehab, Dawson told the Kentucky-based newspaper. He's also bred a filly to Keen Ice, which is at Calumet Farm.
Dawson said at the post-race conference, "I didn’t get into this to win the Kentucky Derby, although I’m not giving the trophy back", adding, "I got in it because I loved it, and it was interesting. It was fun. I was at a point in my life where I had the time and the energy, wanted to go to the farm, wanted to go — and I learned the business."
Now, with the Run for the Roses win Dawson has a shot at the coveted Triple Crown with the Preakness Stakes at Baltimore coming up. He commented, saying "As far as my career in horse racing, I think it just started".