Patch tries to win Run for the Roses with one eye

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - His name certainly fits, but actually came before his ailment.

Patch is one of five potential Kentucky Derby starters for trainer Todd Pletcher.

The 3-year-old son of Union Rags lost his left eye as a 2-year-old.

"So essentially what he had was an inflammation in the globe of his eye; it didn't respond to treatment," Pletcher said. "We treated it at the barn for about a week, and we weren't winning the battle, so we sent him to Rood & Riddle Clinic in Saratoga and they continued to try to medicate it and do everything they could for another week, and eventually, unfortunately we couldn't save the eye."

After sending Patch to his father's training center in Ocala, Florida, his dad called a few weeks later to say Patch was ready to run again.

All three of his lifetime starts have come in 2017.

"None of the riders ever feel him carrying himself any differently," Pletcher said. "Even in his first start he was behind horses, dirt in his face, and I was amazed at how well he handled all that."

Patch finished second in his first start at Gulfstream Park in January and won his second, also at Gulfstream Park, in February. He was second his last time out, in the Louisiana Derby.

The only horse to win the Kentucky Derby without having run as a 2-year-old was Apollo in 1882.

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