Quirks and Nicknames for Seven Kentucky Derby Hopefuls

The Life
Kentucky Derby hopefuls like Mandaloun, above left, and O Besos, above right, all have unique personalities and quirks. (Coady Photography)

When the starting gates open on May 1 for the 147th Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, 20 Thoroughbreds will be all business as they run in the biggest race of their lives. But have you ever wondered what are these horses like when they’re not on the track?

Isabella Leslie caught up with the connections of seven hopefuls for the run for the roses to find out their quirks, nicknames, and a whole lot more.

Coady Photography

Essential Quality

Nickname: The Bull

Trick or Quirk: He’s goofy in a lot of ways. Has his own mind!

Favorite Treat: Peppermints

Cartoon Character/Movie Star: Ferdinand the Bull

Coady Photography

O Besos

Nickname: Kiss

Trick or Quirk: He runs really fast

Favorite Treat: Alfalfa

Cartoon Character/Movie Star: Chris Hemsworth because he’s tall, shredded, and good looking

Coady Photography


Nickname: None! Mandaloun is what he goes by.

Trick or Quirk: He doesn’t like to walk back into his stall.

Favorite Treat: Peppermints

Cartoon Character/Movie Star: The Rock

Coady Photography


Nickname: Helium

Trick or Quirk: He loves for you to play with his tongue.

Favorite Treat: Peppermints

Cartoon Character/Movie Star: The famous dog, Underdog

Coady Photography

Soup and Sandwhich

Nickname: Soup

Trick or Quirk: He naps after training every morning and dreams of the Derby.

Favorite Treat: Peppermints

Cartoon Character/Movie Star: Souperman

Coady Photography

Hot Rod Charlie

Nickname: Charlie or Chuck

Trick or Quirk: Charlie is super personable. He loves people and interacting with them.

Favorite Treat: Charlie loves carrots!

Cartoon Character/Movie Star: If/When they do a movie on Charlie, Giannis Antetokounmpo ... he’s lanky, likes to score, and stays off the front page saying anything stupid. Lol.

Coady Photography

Medina Spirit

Nickname: Funky Cold (Medina)

Trick or Quirk: Super chill, a lot of confidence, huge heart

Favorite Treat: Baby carrots

Cartoon Character/Movie Star: Rocky Balboa — tough, relentless underdog who has the courage to overcome the odds.

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