In preparation for Belmont, Rich Strike sells sweet swag


Owner Rick Dawson, right, of Edmond, celebrates May 7 with jockey Sonny Leon and trainer Eric Reed after his horse, Rich Strike, won the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The cap that Dawson is wearing is among the items available for purchase at (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

EDMOND – Rich Strike – affectionately known as Ritchie – is training well at Churchill Downs, where the 80-1 long shot won the Kentucky Derby earlier this month in a spectacular finish, the owner Rick Dawson.

The 3-year-old colt will leave for New York around June 1 en route to competing in the final leg of the Triple Crown at the 154th Belmont Stakes, said Dawson, a semi-retired lander from Edmond.

Meanwhile, fans are showing their support by heading to and purchasing official Rich Strike merchandise. “Richie needs more hay,” Dawson joked.

“I have outsourced this project to Louisville company Tag Your Swag. Caps are the most popular, but we add new items regularly,” he said. injured race horses and jockeys.”

Tag Your Swag president David Horne said it’s not common for racehorses to have their own loot, but Rich Strike is not a common racehorse.

The colt was picked up in a $30,000 claiming race and picked up just one win. The jockey, trainer and owner had never competed in the Kentucky Derby. Yet they pulled off the second-biggest upset in racing history.

“Rich Strike’s underdog story resonates with everyday people and created an instant fan club. Rick calls him ‘America’s Horse’ which is such an apt catchphrase and something our country needs right now. said Horne.

He and his employees have become big fans.

“We had never heard of him until we got the call to make hats for them the day before Derby,” said Horne. “After we finished the hats, my mom set up an office pool bet, and we had 17 people join in increments of $10 and $20. Our $300 bet brought in $13,300 and the local news even did a report on it.

A few days after the win, general merchandising work began. The company designed several of the logos in-house and commissioned local artists to create two of the t-shirt designs. Both the site and the loot have a lot of potential, Horne said.

“With the little marketing we’ve done, sales are going well with around 100 orders and over $5,000 in sales. All products are entering our production facilities this week and the first orders will start shipping by the end of the week,” he said. “Of course, if Rich Strike wins the Belmont, look out!”

Epicenter – the Rich Strike runner-up in the Kentucky Derby – again finished second on Saturday in the nine-horse field at the 147th Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. Early voting, with odds of 5 to 1, finished well to win.

“It seemed like a good race for early voting. Good start and good end, a nice clean trip,” Dawson said. “Epicentre had a bad start but had a good finish for second place.”

Dawson and trainer Eric Reed decided to skip the Preakness to keep Rich Strike on his normal five-week racing cycle, saying it’s “best for our horse.”

The Kentucky Derby was the horse’s best race so far, “but we don’t think he ran his best race,” Dawson said.

He is confident that Rich Strike will be ready for the grueling 1 1/2 miles on June 11 at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.


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