Nicknames and Quirks for 2023 Kentucky Derby Horses

The Life
Tapit Trice Kingsbarns Forte Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs Todd Pletcher
Bath time at the Todd Pletcher barn for Kentucky Derby hopefuls Tapit Trice, Kingsbarns, and champion Forte. (Coady Photography)

In the months, weeks, and days leading into the 2023 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, horse racing fans will read much about the 3-year-olds racehorses in terms of accomplishments, speed figures, trainers, and jockeys, but sometimes fans just want to know more about the horse.

Horses, and in this case Thoroughbred racehorses, are wonderful animals with unique personalities and individual likes and dislikes. For that type of fun information, we’re happy to help fill in some details.

Angel of Empire Churchill Downs Paddock Kentucky Derby
Coady Photography

Angel of Empire

Nickname: Ángel (pronounced in Spanish)

Quirk/Fun Fact: He was purchased for $70,000 which in the horse racing world, is a low price for a horse with his success.

Favorite Treat: Mints

Cartoon Character/ Actor: Bradley Cooper

Coady Photography


Nickname: No nickname

Quirk/Fun Fact: He is very relaxed for a 3-year-old. He’s wise beyond his years.

Favorite Treat: Carrots

Cartoon Character/ Actor: Mushu from “Mulan”

Coady Photography

Derma Sotogake

Nickname: Baby Biscuit

Quirk/Fun Fact: He loves the ladies. He only bites men, never the ladies.

Favorite Treat: Carrots

Cartoon Character/ Actor: Goku from Dragon Ball Z. Then, when it's time to race, he becomes Super Saiyan

Coady Photography


Nickname: Forte, no nickname.

Quirk/Fun Fact: He was born with floppy ears.

Favorite Treat: Grass

Cartoon Character/ Actor: Superman

Coady Photography

Hit Show

Nickname: Feisty Man

Quirk/Fun Fact: He is quite spunky!

Favorite Treat: Mints

Cartoon Character/ Actor: Sebastian from “The Little Mermaid”

America's Best Racing/Rachel Miller

Jace’s Road

Nickname: Jace

Quirk/Fun Fact: He spends all day laying down sleeping.

Favorite Treat: Mints

Cartoon Character/ Actor: Sleepy from “The Seven Dwarfs”

Coady Photography


Nickname: He doesn't have one. Sometimes it gets shortened to King.

Fact/Quirk: He loves head scratches. He's like a puppy and will stand all day long if you scratch his head. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body.

Favorite Treat: He loves all treats. There are suspicions he was spoiled at a young age because he has always known what treats are!

Character/ Actor: Superman

Coady Photography

Tapit Trice

Nickname: TT

Quirk/Fun Fact: He does NOT like standing out on the track and watching other horses train. He loves to train and just wants to get going. He'll gallop the whole way with his ears pricked and relaxed.

Favorite Treat: He's not a treat guy. He turns his nose up a mints but when it comes to his feed, he pins his ears if you go near him while he's eating.

Character/ Actor: George Clooney, because he's very handsome and he knows it. He also happens to have grey hair!

Coady Photography


Nickname: Handsome Boy

Quirk/Fun Fact: His half-sister is Midnight Bisou, who won more than $7 million.

Favorite Treat: Mints

Cartoon Character/ Actor: Timothy Chalamet

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