Patch Much More Than a Novelty, Derby Has Already Had One-Eyed Horse

Patch
Patch is more than just a one-eyed horse. Photo credit: Coady Photography, Churchill Downs

OK, guys.  Enough is enough.

We know that Patch has one eye.  We know that he had an inflammation in the eye, and the veterinarians decided it was best to remove the entire eye ball.  We know that the owners named him, when they knew he had an issue with the eye.

And, now that we know that Patch will break the far outside post in gate # 20 we know that really the only thing he will see is the crowd when the gate springs open and the 143rd Kentucky Derby storms down the homestretch for the first time.

But you shouldnt worry about Patch and his one good eye.  He will do just fine, because he knows how to run.  Straight. And, true.  Hes already proven that. Just watch the video of his impressive second-place finish in the Louisiana Derby.

Hes doing good; really good,” said Pletcher, when I caught him outside his barn and got an audio interview.

Im not worried about him at all.  The horse can run.  He may just surprise some people.”

Having a one-eyed horse in the Kentucky is not new.  In fact, it has happened twice before. Two times.

In 1982, famed trainer Ron McAnally, who just so happened to be the guy that trained the late, great John Henry, saddled the horse Cassaleria for the Run for the Roses. Cassaleria had both some ability, in addition to his resolve and determination.  He won the El Camino Real Derby on his path to Louisville.

Patch is not a novelty.  The horse can run.  

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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