If you’ve been a fan of the Kentucky Derby, you’ll likely be intrigued by the story of Rich Strike, the horse that won the race in 2011. The Kentucky Derby was one of the most prestigious races of the year, and Rich Strike’s groom, Jerry Dixon Jr., is responsible for taking care of the horse every day and after each race.
Rich Strike will remain at the Mercury Training Center until shipping to Pimlico for the Preakness on May 21. The trainer will not breeze the Derby winner between races, giving him a few days to get used to the track. The crew is sure to take the extra attention in stride. But even so, it’s important to note that Rich Strike’s first trip to Pimlico will be an adjustment period for the horse and his crew.
Although Rich Strike was a long shot, the 80-to-1 long shot still surprised everyone by winning the Kentucky Derby. He tore up his competition in the final turn and beat the favorites. As a groom, Dixon also showed his love for his horse. He stroked him with his hands to soothe him.
Dixon brought more than a decade of experience to Reed’s Mercury Equine barn. Reed has been in the horse business for four decades, and he taught Dixon the importance of attention to detail. Dixon is credited with getting Rich Strike a gate in the Kentucky Derby after Ethereal Road scratched. Rich Strike then went on to win the Run for the Roses. With the help of Dixon, the Dixon family can be proud of their horse.