WATCH: Kentucky Derby Winner Rich Strike Hilariously Poses for Photos While Practicing at Churchill Downs

by Tyler Mansfield

He may just be a horse, but Rich Strike is a celebrity. After winning the 2022 Kentucky Derby in impressive fashion, Rich Strike became the talk of the horse racing world – and he still is. He’s such a big name nowadays that he even knows how to pose for photos when photographers are shooting.

Rich Strike was back at Churchill Downs – where he won the Kentucky Derby – on Monday getting in some practice. While he’ll be running in the Belmont Stakes on June 11, Rich Strike had to put some work in on his winning track – and pose for some photos in the process.

As captured on video, while making his way back to the stalls, Rich Strike noticed a group of people waiting to see him. Being the smart horse he is, Rich Strike decided to stop in front of them and strike a pose for some photos. Take a look at just how proper he looked – it’s sort of like he was made for the moment.

Not only was Rich Strike great at posing for photos on Monday, but he also had a great practice. According to BloodHorse, Rich Strike tallied five furlongs – which are nearly 220 yards each – in :59 and six furlongs in 1:12. Those are some strong numbers for the horse ahead of the Belmont Stakes, and it even shocked trainer Eric Reed.

“Surprised when we saw the final time and how quick he actually went and galloped out,” Reed said, via BloodHorse. “This was a lot more [nerve-wracking] than the Derby, I’ll tell you that. People don’t believe it, but it was a big relief when he pulled up and came home and everything was good.”

After practicing on Monday, Rich Strike was shipped to New York early Tuesday morning.

Eric Reed Says He Doesn’t Regret Not Running Rich Strike in Preakness Stakes

It was a bit surprising, but Rich Strike ultimately didn’t run in the Preakness Stakes. When asked on Monday if he regretted not having the horse participate, trainer Eric Reed made it clear that it was the right move.

“No matter the outcome of the Belmont, this was the right thing for him,” Reed said. “Mentally, it takes him time. Physically and energy-wise he’s ready, but if his mind isn’t right, he’s not going to perform. He’s so much more confident since the Derby in everything he does. This three and a half weeks has got him where he’s just starting to come back to earth and that’s why he’s like a five-week horse.

“It just takes him that long mentally to do things the proper way.”