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.