FACT CHECK: Did Rich Strike’s Jockey Turn Down An Invitation To The White House?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims the Kentucky Derby-winning horse jockey Sonny Leon turned down an invitation to the White House by saying, “If I wanted to see a horse’s ass I would have came in second.” 

Verdict: False

There is no record of Leon making such a remark.

Fact Check: 

Leon and the horse Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, overcoming 80-1 odds against the pair, according to NPR. The improbable win is the second-largest upset in the race’s history and the largest since 1913, the outlet reported.

An image shared on Facebook claims that shortly after the race Leon declined an invitation to the White House by saying, “If I wanted to see a horse’s ass I would have came in second.” The same quote also circulated on Twitter, with one tweet receiving over 154,000 likes and 22,000 retweets. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear At The 2020 Kentucky Derby Without A Mask?)

There is, however, no record of Leon making the statement. Check Your Fact found no credible news reports suggesting the White House extended an invitation or that the jockey made such a remark. The post offers no source to corroborate its claim. Leon does not appear to have mentioned or alluded to politics in his comments after the race. 

An internet search reveals the quote has been attributed to other people in the past. In 2021, Check Your Fact debunked a claim that alleged horse jockey John Velazquez made the same comment after winning the Kentucky Derby. 

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter

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