Meet Patch, The One-Eyed Horse, Your New Favorite Kentucky Derby Competitor

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If you’re a casual horse racing fan or someone who just likes to wear big hats and drink mint juleps on Kentucky Derby day, then we know which horse you should be paying attention to.

Patch is a 3-year-old thoroughbred, like the rest of the Kentucky Derby field, but he shares a trait just three other horses who’ve run in the race have had: Patch has only one eye. And although he doesn’t sport the best odds at 30-1, Patch still is an interesting bet in the Derby.

The horse actually got his name before losing the eye after he got an ulcer when he was 2 that didn’t respond to treatment. Patch’s left eye was removed in June, but trainer Todd Pletcher told Reuters on Thursday that Patch quickly got used to his disability.

“It’s a credit to him and his professionalism that he was able to adapt so seamlessly to it,” Pletcher said. “I was concerned that it might compromise his ability in some way or the way he carried himself. I guess you don’t know for sure but it certainly doesn’t seem like it has. He’s a remarkable horse to lose his left eye in the middle of last summer and recover as quickly as he did. It seems to never faze him.”

A one-eyed horse never has won the Kentucky Derby, but it will be remarkable if Patch does, especially considering his position. Patch drew the No. 20 post (on the far outside), and because it’s his left eye that’s missing, he literally won’t be able to see the other 19 horses to start the race.

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Thumbnail photo via Jamie Rhodes/USA TODAY Sports Images

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