Q: The "most exciting two minutes in sports," -- otherwise known as the Kentucky Derby -- takes place on Saturday, May 6. One of this year's competitors is a horse named after a Kansas town. What's his name?
A: McCraken (Spelled differently than the town of McCracken, but pronounced the same.)
One of the contenders in this year's “Run for the Roses” (and one of the favorites to win) has a Kansas connection to go along with its Kansas-inspired name. McCraken, the horse, is named after McCracken, the town, which is located in Rush County, in west-central Kansas. The 3-year-old racehorse belongs to Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC and Janis Whitham of Leoti, located in far west-central Kansas. McCraken was undefeated through his first four races, including three races at Churchill Downs, the site of the Kentucky Derby. Whitham Thoroughbreds has had several horses named for Kansas locations. Fort Larned won the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic, and McPherson is a stablemate of McCraken. McCraken is Whitham Thoroughbreds’ first horse to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Learn more here.
Fun Factoid: Racehorse names are regulated by the Jockey Club. The biggest rule is avoiding duplication of names currently in use or of horses that had distinguished careers.