His breeders called him Lazarus, because when he was born they thought he was dead.After they gave up trying to revive the lifeless foal, he unexpectedly leapt to his feet and started running.
Later, his owners gave him the much more boring official name of Mucho Macho Man.
But if that origin story wasn’t enough to make you want to pull for the colt in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, how about this wrinkle? His trainer, Kathy Ritvo, nearly died herself, until a heart transplant saved her life three years ago.
If Mucho Macho Man pulls it off, Ritvo would be the first female trainer to win the Kentucky Derby in its 137-year-history. He’s a 12-1 underdog, but not a bad choice for “value” bettors.
Of course, bettors can always find an emotional angle to justify picking almost any horse in the field. (That’s how most amateur gamblers make their decisions anyway.)
The Wall Street Journal helpfully breaks down some of the best heart-tuggers in the field:
- Decisive Moment: His jockey is a 52-year-old journeyman who has never been in the Derby before
- Archarcharch: His trainer is a 70-year-old journeyman who has never been to the Derby before
- Dialed In: Secretariat is his great-great-grandfather … on both his mother’s and his father’s side
- Pants on Fire: His jockey is just the sixth woman to ride a horse in the Derby.