When the aptly named Rich Strike goes to post in Friday’s Grade 1 Clark Stakes at Churchill Downs he will be running at the history books. Which chapter he will be in is yet to be determined.

A fantastic underdog story, this son of Keen Ice was at the center of a perfect storm in winning the 148th Kentucky Derby at odds of 80-1. Now in his fifth start since that historic run, the late-running three-year-old hopes to provide a little validation with another grade 1 win.

The 148th edition of the historic Clark may not be coming up quite as tough as in years past, but a balanced field will provide a test for this Eric Reed trainee. Facing six rivals that vary in tactics, Rich Strike needs to bring his “A” game as he looks for career win number three and first since his lightning Strike in the Derby. Front-running speed horses West Will Power and Injunction may set things up for Rich’s closing thunder.

Listed as the morning line favorite at 2-1, Rich Strike has been very good beneath the twin spires. In three starts at Churchill, he has two wins and a close second-place finish. The narrow loss to Hot Rod Charlie in the Lukas Classic on October 1 of this year told us all he is dangerous at the Louisville Oval. Winning the Clark would make him the fifteenth runner to win both the Derby and the Clark.

No matter what happens on November 25, Rich Strike will be in the history books. But, how will be chronicled? Every Kentucky Derby winner is remembered for one reason or another. Winning the world’s most famous race is always a great achievement. It doesn’t always mean the winner is a great horse. Being great on a great day is life-changing for all involved. Regardless of the Clark outcome, Rich Strike and his team can always fondly recall that fantastic run into immortality on the first Saturday in May of 2022. However, another grade 1 win would certainly ice that Derby pie.

The Clark is carded as race 11 with an expected post time of 5:56 eastern.