Published on May 13, 2022

Running horses

The Longest Shot

If you watched the Kentucky Derby this weekend, you got to see one of the biggest triumphs of a longshot in the history of the race as Rich Strike and jockey Sonny Leon came from the back of the pack to win the race.

They were only in the race because of a late scratch of another horse. The oddsmakers had Rich Strike at 80-1 to win the Kentucky Derby, the longest odds for the eventual winner since 1913.

Virtually no one was watching Rich Strike as the race began, and he remained toward the back of the pack for most of the race. But as the horses came into the final stretch, you can see the jockey begin to move him toward the inside, between other horses, back to inside and using every opportunity to exceed expectations.

They seemed to fly right by the other contenders, their only focus the finish line. Even the announcer was caught by surprise; seeing them in the final few seconds, he exclaimed, “Rich Strike is coming up on the inside! Oh, my goodness, the longest shot has won the Kentucky Derby!”

It was an extraordinary outcome in a race that will be talked about for years! I loved watching the commitment to keep striving ahead that you could see between the jockey and horse as they pushed past all the other horses. After the win, the trainer said about them, “The horse knows him, the horse trusts him; they’re a tandem.”

What an exhilarating experience – and it made me think of how our teams at Adventist HealthCare come together to take on difficult and complex challenges. Often our patients are facing very long odds and may have had others discount their chance of recovering whole health. But, every day, we recommit to partnering with them with the goal of achieving the very best outcomes.

Our optimistic spirit stems from our faith foundation and believing that we are extending God’s care. And our vigorous training, expert skills and solid experience strengthens that confident hope. By working together – with God, with each other and with our patients – we know that we can help those we serve overcome significant medical challenges to bring moments of personal triumph every day.

Thank you for your commitment to excellence. Just as the trust between the winning jockey and horse allowed them to maneuver together so decisively to win the race, the trust we build within our team and with our patients allows us to participate in the ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing – even against long odds.

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