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
— ActionNewsJax (@ActionNewsJax) May 3, 2014
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
— Marie (@HeartForCarter) May 3, 2014
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
— KENTUCKY DERBY IQ (@kentuckyderbyiq) May 3, 2014
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
The Dallas cowboys cheerleaders just picked Uncle Sigh to win. Any truth to the rumor they picked the last 15 Derby winners? :)
— Gary Contessa (@GaryContessa) May 3, 2014
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
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.
Uncle Sigh is the kind of horse you school in the paddock then you say "why did we just do that?" Cool, calm, collected…Ready!
— Gary Contessa (@GaryContessa) May 2, 2014