Patch isn’t like the rest of the horses competing—he’s special.
Our new favorite underdog happens to be a horse.
Patch, a three-year-old thoroughbred from Florida, isn’t like the rest of the horses racing in this year’s Kentucky Derby. That’s because Patch is missing something pretty essential for a racehorse: an eye.
When he was two years old, Patch developed an ulcer in his left eye that didn’t respond to treatment. Ultimately, his trainer Todd Pletcher made the difficult decision to remove it. Now, where the troublesome eye once sat, only a golf-ball-sized hole remains.
In the end, it was only a little speed bump for Patch, who hasn’t let being short one eye slow him down one bit. "He's a remarkable horse to lose his left eye in the middle of last summer and recover as quickly as he did,” Pletcher recently told Reuters. “It seems to never faze him."
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Patch (who was coincidently given his name before losing an eye) finds himself a fan favorite going into this weekend’s Kentucky Derby. Now, with a $2.1 million purse on the line, Patch once again finds the odds stacked against him. With 30-1 odds, he has an outside—though not impossible—shot at winning.
No matter what happens tomorrow Patch, you’ve already won our hearts.