Fans of the Kentucky Derby can get the chance to see the live-action and sit amongst 147,294 other spectators of the event. It’s thrilling to bet the longshot and win while attending the Kentucky Derby, which is presented by the Woodford Reserve. Many people who bet on Rich Strike, the winner of the race, won big. William Austin Nicks, an Indiana horseman, only bet $24, which allowed him to take home $14,800. This makes it a fun event to attend that will be remembered for a lifetime.
Entering Gold Strike in the Kentucky Derby
A few days before the Kentucky Derby took place, Nicks didn’t have any plans to attend the event. However, he received a phone call from a close friend regarding a few female horses he received, which included a mare named Gold Strike. After researching her pedigree, he discovered she had a young colt named Rich Strike, who was a contender in the Derby. Only seconds before the Friday deadline, Rich Strike was able to enter the Derby after Ethereal Road was removed. Nicks then had to figure out how to get a ticket to the event.
Since his teenage years, Nicks has continued to lease a farm, which is located in Sellersburg, Indiana. He began training in 2005 and would breed ten years ago. He would leave high school early to visit the breeding shed while focusing on thoroughbred mares. He’d even purchase 20 to 30 mares when going to Keeneland.
There Was a Lack of Interest in Gold Strike
Gold Strike was purchased by a Bloodstock agent, Tommy Wente, who was a friend of Nicks. Not many people were interested in her, and she was sold for $1,700 before she was given to Nicks by MC Roberts.
Reade Baker, a retired trainer in Canada who is in the Hall of Fame, was one of the many people celebrating when Gold Strike’s cold became the winner of the Kentucky Derby. He still remembers the time from 2004 to 2006 when she began racing and won the 2005 Sovereign Award. As a trainer, he also won the Sovereign Award for his ability to train her. She went on to win the Buffalo Stakes, the Grade 3 Selene Stakes, and the Labatt Woodbine Oaks. At the Queen’s Plate Stakes at Woodbine, she competed fiercely and placed third among other male horses.
Her multiple wins allowed her to earn $564,500 after racing nine different times. Baker attests to her laid-back personality, which made her easy to train. She followed his lead and didn’t cause any problems.
Other riders also enjoyed her personality, including Lia LeBlanc, a lawyer from the City of Mississauga. She was easy to ride due to her gentle and graceful stride. Her trot made her look like she was dancing, but she’d never let her riders feel like she was hitting the ground with her steps. She was also never needy or fussy and enjoyed when she was rewarded with a mint.
Gold Strike is also praised by James S. “Jim” McAleney, a Canadian jockey, due to her athleticism and talent. Her class and intelligence made her stand out as a mare. Gold Strike always acted like a professional and felt beautiful to ride.
Her demeanor made McAleney ride with more confidence, which allowed them to win the race by 3 ½ lengths. He’s also vocal that Reade is a phenomenal trainer that allowed McAleney to ride his own race, which made riding for him a pivotal moment in his career.
In 2002, Gold Strike gave birth to a horse that was bred and owned in Manitoba, Canada, by Richard Bonnycastle.
An End to Gold Strike’s Career
Gold Strike’s racing career abruptly ended when she became injured after having five different foals. Calumet Farm then went on to purchase her in 2015 for $230,000 after she was in foal to Sky Mesa. She was one of the horses available to purchase at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
Gold Strike went on to be bred in 2016 to Calumet’s stallion Oxbow, as well as Keen Ice in 2018. Her eighth foal is now Rich Strike, the recent Kentucky Derby winner. But, until this time, she hasn’t been able to get in foal. She was recently sold in 2019 by Calumet.
After Rich Strikes was the winner of the Kentucky Derby, she was transported back to Lexington after she was loaded into a trailer. She’s currently in the hands of a reproductive specialist and is in excellent shape. As a beautiful mare with 16.2 hands, Nicks finds it exciting to get her in foal.
Gold Strikes was bred to Munnings in Coolmore, which is a stallion that is a Grade 1 sire. The horses have been selling well after many of the horses were able to run well. Today, Gold Strike’s home is in Lexington at the Watershed Equine, which is owned by Tracey and Clay Caudill, who are considered to be care specialists. They enjoy her company and how she naturally follows them around throughout the day.
The intriguing story of Rich Strike’s win at the Kentucky Derby has caused rumors of turning it into a movie. This could include his life story that began on a farm and the successful racing career of Gold Strike. Rich Strike now follows her lead and experiences the same type of success, becoming a longshot that is well-known.
Obtain the Ultimate Kentucky Derby Package
Major League Vacations offers customizable Kentucky Derby packages to allow fans to attend the event in May, which is the first leg of the American Triple Crown Races. The packages also include a Full Derby Experience in Lexington and Louisville. Since 1992, the full-service hospitality travel agency has provided sports enthusiasts with memorable experiences and the chance to travel to different parts of the U.S.
With the Kentucky Derby packages, travelers can rely on the team at Major League Vacations to plan the ultimate sport-cation, which includes transportation, airfare, tickets to the Kentucky Derby, and hotel accommodations.