Derby winner’s only other win was JCIDC memorial race

Rich Strike, this year’s Kentucky Derby winning horse, clinched a historic victory against some really long odds on Saturday.

At 80-1, the horse was entered into the 148th running of the Run for the Roses on Friday after another horse scratched out of competition.

The only win Rich Strike ever had before the derby occurred last fall at Churchill Downs, and it was a victory celebrated by board members and guests of Jackson County Industrial Development Corp.

On Sept. 17, 2021, the corporation sponsored the annual Jackson County Dave Lucas Memorial Race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

Lucas, who lived in Brownstown and served on the JCIDC board for more then 20 years, died in 2019.

JCIDC Executive Director Jim Plump said years ago, Lucas came up with the idea of sponsoring a race and renting buses to take select JCIDC board members and guests down to the track annually for a Day at the Downs.

After Lucas’ passing in 2019, the corporation voted to name the race after him and renamed the outing Dave Lucas Memorial Day at the Downs.

After Rich Strike won JCIDC’s sponsored memorial race last year, those in attendance with JCIDC presented the jockey, Adam Beschizza, with a trophy and had a group photo taken with him.

On Saturday, Jockey Sonny Leon rode Rich Strike to victory at the Kentucky Derby. Eric Reed trained the horse.

Plump said Dr. Eric Fish, president and chief executive officer of Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, figured out that the Kentucky Derby winner was the same horse that won the sponsored race after watching the race and thinking the name sounded familiar.

He found the group photo and was able to confirm Rich Strike also won a race in the presence of JCIDC members.

Lucas’ widow, Jane Lucas, gave the jockey his trophy last September and said it was humbling that a long-shot Kentucky Derby winner won the race.

During this year’s derby, Lucas said she watched parts of the race when it was on and learned the next day that Rich Strike was the same horse that won her late husband’s memorial race.

With the short window of time that Rich Strike entered the Kentucky Derby, Lucas said it would’ve been hard to know the horse was competing.

Plump said he would have loved to have known Rich Strike was in the race while he was watching it.

“If I had known about it, I would’ve put a couple of bucks down,” he said.

If Plump had placed a $2 bet for Rich Strike, it would’ve paid out $163.60.