NEW ALBANY, Ind. — A Southern Indiana family who won big with Rich Strike's victory said it was thanks to divine intervention.
"We were just crazy screaming. I was hyperventilating,” Stacie Conard said. “The kids were trying to tell me to calm down, but they were all pretty excited."
Conard and her five children won $25,000 when Rich Strike pulled off the upset with 80 to 1 odds, winning Kentucky Derby 148.
"I'm sure all the neighbors heard us. It was just chaotic in the house,” Conard said.
She said they don't physically come to the track, instead they watch the excitement at home and place their bets online.
It's a tradition Conard said they've had for years; everyone chooses horses based on if they like their name and if it resonates with them. This year, the decision was unanimous.
"Which never happens,” Conard said.
The name helped guide them, but so did another feeling they all shared.
"Their dad had passed away several years ago, and we were joking around that dad was going to help us win the Derby this year,” Conard said.
She said her youngest daughter, Harper, had the most intuition.
"I don't know. I just kinda felt like it,” Harper said.
And it wasn't because her father, Dennis, was a gambler. In fact, Conard said it was quite the opposite - he disliked it. But, they had a feeling he would play a role.
“I know that sounds crazy, but I don't know, it was just a feeling,” she said.
That hope soon turned to reality.
Conard said even the way Rich Strike won gave her chills.
"It was unbelievable that he came from behind and on the last turn won that race,” she said.
However, it doesn't stop there. Conard soon had another revelation.
"And then when I realized it was our wedding anniversary, I thought I think your dad really did help us and they agree. They think so too,” she recalled.
Dennis died in 2017 after 18 years of marriage. It’s a moment that still cuts deep, but the bond they all share is clearly unbroken.
"I think he is our guardian angel,” Conard said.