It is the day of the Kentucky Derby, and you find yourself invited to a party but know nothing of the horses who will be running. Realistically, it is probably a little too late to start seriously handicapping if you only tune in for a handful of races.
However, if you are looking for a horse to cheer for, here is an interesting tidbit about each of them. Pick the one you like best, and you have just picked your Derby horse. Happy first Saturday in May!
In post position order:
1. Vicar's In Trouble: No fillies are running in this year's Derby, but if you are looking for some girl power, this is your horse. Vicar's In Trouble will be ridden by leading jockey Rosie Napravnik, who would become the first female rider to ever win the Kentucky Derby should they cross the wire first on Saturday. Two years ago, Napravnik became the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Oaks, and she just won it again on Untapable.
2. Harry's Holiday: The Derby is one of Louisville's claims to fame, but a local owner hasn't won the race in quite some time. The partnership group of Skychai Racing LLC, Sand Dollar Stable LLC, Terry Raymond and Jana Wagner is looking to become the first to do so since 1906, when Sir Huon of George Long's Bashford Manor Stable won one for the home team. Harry's Holiday is actually now one of four horses to carry local hopes on his back. The others include Ride on Curlin, Intense Holiday and General A Rod.
3. Uncle Sigh: For those of you with ties to the military, Uncle Sigh is probably going to be the runner you like most. Co-owner Chip McEwen III races as Wounded Warrior Stables and about two years ago turned his focus to helping injured troops. Wounded Warrior Stables gives 10 percent of any purses or sales to the Wounded Warrior Project. Anthony C. Robertson is the horse's other owner.
4. Danza: Yes, yes this horse is named after Tony Danza since his sire (or father) is named Street Boss. Danza the human plans to be at Churchill Downs to watch his namesake run in America's most famous race.
5. California Chrome: This flashy chestnut is trained by Art Sherman,who has been garnering headlines all week. Back in 1955, Sherman accompanied eventual Kentucky Derby winner Swaps on his journey to Churchill Downs. In those days, horses traveled by train. Now, 59 years later, Sherman is finally back with a horse of his own. At the age of 77, he will saddle his first Kentucky Derby starter, and it isn't just any horse. California Chrome is likely to go off as the race favorite.
6. Samraat: The bookworms of the world might be want to take a second look at Samraat. He is owned by My Meadowview, which is the racing stable of Leonard Riggio. What does that have to do with reading? Riggio is the chairman of Barnes & Noble, Inc., the world's largest bookseller.
7. We Miss Artie: Like Vicar's In Trouble, We Miss Artie is owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who are natives of the small town of Artemus, Kentucky. Ken has wanted to win the Kentucky Derby since his family took a trip to Louisville when he was 5 years old.