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Uncle Sigh, Kentucky Derby Horse 2014: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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(Getty)

Today is the Kentucky Derby and we’d like you to meet Uncle Sigh. Check out the interesting facts on this special contender.


1. Uncle Sigh Was Named After one of the Duck Dynasty Cast Members

Uncle Sigh is actually named after Si Robertson from the reality show Duck Dynasty. Si Robertson, whose full name is Silas Merritt Robertson, is a preacher, hunter, former U.S Army soldier, and a duck-call maker at Duck Commander, a company featured on Duck Dynasty.


2. He Will be Honoring Military Veterans in Today’s Race

The Wounded Warrior Stables, who own Uncle Sigh, are showing support for military veterans by having Uncle Sigh wear blinkers with a yellow hood with a purple heart at the Kentucky Derby race today, according to Sports Illustrated.


3. Irad Ortiz Jr. Is Uncle Sigh’s Jockey

Irad Ortiz Jr. has horse-riding in his blood. His Kentucky Derby bio reads:

His grandfather, also named Irad Ortiz, was a jockey, and so is his uncle, Ivan Ortiz and brother Jose Ortiz. The Ortiz brothers were encourage to become jockeys by their grandfather, who worked on the backside of racetracks in New York helping newly arrived hispanic jockeys get started in the United States.


4. Trainer Gary Contessa Would Have Named Uncle Sigh After a Character from The Walking Dead

Uncle Sigh’s trainer Gary Contessa will be riding him today and the Kentucky Derby site has a list of Contessa’s esteemed accomplishments.

He describes his training niche as someone who can pick a winning horse that owner’s can afford. A 2012 ranking in MarketWatch, published by The Blood-Horse, placed Contessa second among all thoroughbred trainers in the world over the last 15 years in return on investment (ROI) for thoroughbreds purchased at two-year-old in training sales.

On an interesting note, Gary Contessa has never seen Duck Dynasty, so he’s not too familiar with Si Robertson, who Uncle Sigh was named after. Contessa joked to the Courier-Journal:

I’ve never watched it; I’ve only seen the commercials. If I named him, he’d be named after somebody from The Walking Dead. That’s my family’s thing every Sunday.


5. Uncle Sigh Is Mentally Prepared for the Race

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(Getty)

The Courier Journal interviewed trainer Gary Contessa who says that Uncle Sigh may have his own special advantage over the other horses.

Mentally he might have a huge advantage over the other horses in this field because mentally he couldn’t care less. Nothing bothers him. He’s cool, calm and collected. A lot of this is about how the horses handle all this craziness — 150,000 people yelling, screaming, partying, drinking. I think he’ll handle it really well.


Kentucky Derby Hats 2014: The Biggest, Best, & Craziest

The Kentucky Derby is known for ladies wearing outrageous, big, and crazy hats. Take a look at some of the best this year.

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PHOTOS: Rosie Napravnik – 2014 Kentucky Derby’s Female Jockey

Take a look at the red-headed woman competing in the 2014 Kentucky Derby today, riding the horse Vicar's In Trouble.

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Kentucky Derby Horses 2014: The Photos You Need to See

It's time for the 2014 Kentucky Derby and we've got all the details and photos on this year's horses. Check out all 21 of the contenders here.

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