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One Interesting Thing About Each Derby Horse

Haven’t picked your Derby horse yet? I looked up one interesting thing about each of the 20 horses in the field, a feat that wasn’t always easy.

(Most pictures and factoids via KentuckyDerby.com)

1. Lookin At Lee (25-1)

His sire, Lookin at Lucky, won the 2009 Preakness.

2. Thunder Snow (17-1)

A truly international horse. Bred in Ireland by an Australian sire, owned by Sheikh Mohammed of the Maktoum family, the ruling family of Dubai, and ridden by a French jockey, Christophe Soumillion.

3. Fast and Accurate (33-1)

Partially owned by world champion skier Bode Miller.

4. Untrapped (61-1)

Country star Toby Keith bought him as an unnamed yearling at Keeneland for $150,000 and sold him to current owner Michael Langford for $125,000 last year.

5. Always Dreaming (9-2)

Had to switch exercise riders and start using draw reins this week because he’s been so feisty.

6. State of Honor (45-1)

At 17 hands, is the tallest horse in this year’s field. Nicknamed “The Giraffe” and “Tiny.”

7. Girvin (20-1)

Named after a ghost town in Texas.

8. Hence (16-1)

One of three horses from Calumet Farm. Eddie Kane, the manager of Calumet, said he got his name because “Hence was always a good-looking horse — ‘hence’ he should be fast.” Fair enough.

9. Irap (35-1)

Same owner (Redeem Racing LLC), trainer (Doug F. O’Neill), and jockey (Mario Gutierrez) as 2012 Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another and last year’s winner, Nyquist.

10. Gunnervera (8-1)

His trainer, Antonio Sano, was kidnapped and held for ransom twice in his home country of Venezuela, but managed to escape both times.

11. Battle of Midway (38-1)

Named after the WWII naval battle that took place in the Pacific Ocean six months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

12. Sonneteer (37-1)

His trainer (Keith Desormeaux) and jockey (Kent Desormeaux) are brothers.

13. J Boys Echo (43-1)

Owned by the richest person in Iowa, Dennis Albaugh, who runs an agricultural and crop protection business.

14. Classic Empire (7-1)

Earned the nickname “Racing’s Bad Boy” for his training antics.

15. McCraken (6-1)

Named after a town in Kansas. (Scraping the barrel on this one. Be more interesting, McCraken!)

16. Tapwrit (30-1)

Son of Tapit, the leading sire in the country.

17. Irish War Cry (5-1)

Is actually from New Jersey, not Ireland.

18. Gormley (24-1)

Named after British sculptor Antony Gormley, who designed this:

19. Practical Joke (32-1)

His name is especially great given that he was sired by Into Mischied and Halo Humor.

20. Patch (14-1)

Only has one eye after losing one to an infection last July. You’re going to hear that story a lot tomorrow.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

1 Comment for One Interesting Thing About Each Derby Horse



  1. UKantPitino
    2:01 pm May 6, 2017 Permalink

    Not a lot about each horse; but very concise with great pictures! Good Job Mrs.T