As the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail heated up through the spring, we’ve gone back to take a look at the contenders as youngsters. Now as Derby Day approaches, it’s time to revisit those profiles.

But to make it a little more interesting, we’re just using a photo and a one-line description of his background. Click (or hover over) the link to find out who it is!

 

Stunning baby put his breeder “over the moon.”

Photo: Mathea Kelley

***** 

Bossed his paddock buddies around and got them into trouble.

 Photo: Chesapeake Farm

 

*****

Extremely smart” horse shares something in common with American Pharoah.

Photo: Photos by Z/Keeneland

 

*****

Pennsylvania-bred defied veterinarians’ predictions.

Photo from early training at two: Sandra Madison/SM Images

 

*****

Born because of his breeder’s lucky dart throw.

Photo: Little River Farm


***** 

Compared to Paynter for his steady progression through school.

Photo: Paramount Sales

 

***** 

Sadly lost his mom and was raised by a nurse mare.

Photo: Michelle Pitts/Brandywine Farm LLC


***** 

Good looks prompted his name.

Photo: Stonestreet Training Center

 

*****

An “ugly duckling” who got a bit fat at one stage.

Photo: Laura Donnell/Taylor Made Farm

 

***** 

New Jersey native drew good reviews during his early lessons.

Photo: Neil Brownlee

 

*****

Understudy to his now-retired stablemate.

Photo: Albaugh Family Stables 

 

 *****

Strong personality but willing to please.

(Bonus thumbnail photo in sidebar: 

Denise Dillon/Maple Lane Farm)

Photo: Lambholm South

***** 

Placid temperament to cope with adversity.

Photo: Stonestreet Training Center

 

***** 

Learned attitude from his mom who ruled the paddock.

Photo: Keith Crupper

 

*****

Big, handsome, in beast mode from the start.

Photo: Michelle Pitts/Brandywine Farm LLC

 

 *****

Formerly zoned-out student surprises first teacher.

Photo: Stonestreet Training Center


***** 

Biggest foal ever born at his owners’ farm.

Photo: Grandview Farm

 

*****

One of the farm “favorites” has always fueled great expectations.

Photo: Sara Fagan 

 

*****

These three didn’t come with photos from childhood or pre-training, but that’s no reason to leave them out:

 

Exceeded farm owner’s expectations at two.

 

This lad received extra attention because of his high-flying relatives.

 

Owned for a time by Toby Keith before his racing career.


Thanks to the connections and photographers for sharing stories and pictures of the Derby 143 class!