Despite Not Winning, One Eyed Horse Won Hearts at Kentucky Derby 2017 With His Incredible Performance

Published 04/13/2023, 3:22 PM EDT

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Every year, the Kentucky Derby attracts thousands of fans and spectators from around the world, all hoping to witness a spectacular performance from the top horses in the sport. However, in 2017, it wasn’t the winner of the race that captured the hearts of fans, but rather a one-eyed horse named Patch. Six years back Derby featured an unlikely hero, Patch, who captured the hearts of millions with his incredible performance, despite not winning the race.

Patch’s story is one of resilience and determination. The three-year-old colt lost his left eye due to an infection shortly after birth. Despite this setback, Patch went on to become a racehorse, with his trainer, Todd Pletcher, recognizing his potential and talent.

The iconic run of the 2017 Kentucky Derby


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Patch’s performance in the 2017 Kentucky Derby was nothing short of remarkable. Despite being a 30-1 long shot going into the race, he ran with heart and grit, making his way up the pack and finishing 14th place. Despite not crossing the finish line first, Patch’s performance left audiences in awe. As reported by Across America back then, what made Patch’s run even more special was the way he captured the hearts of racing fans around the world.

Many spectators were moved by the sight of the one-eyed horse running his heart out, proving that he was just as capable as any other horse on the track. Patch’s perseverance in the face of adversity inspired many. He quickly became a fan favorite, receiving an outpouring of support from around the world.

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In the end, Patch fell short of winning the Kentucky Derby, finishing 3rd. Yet, his performance will always be remembered as one of the greatest underdog stories in the history of the race. Despite his physical limitations, Patch was able to overcome the odds and prove that he was a true competitor.


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Patch’s story is a testament to the resilience of the equine athletes that captivate us every year at the Kentucky Derby. In the end, Patch may not have won the Derby, but he won something far more valuable – the hearts of fans around the world.

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Written by:

Shivam Sharma


One take at a time

Shivam Sharma is a sports writer at EssentiallySports, specializing in American sports. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, Shivam has previously worked as a writer and show host for a reputable entertainment brand. He has covered over 13 sports covered in his EssentiallySports journey.
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Edited by:

Anupama Ghosh