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Robert Niles

Theme park fans cash in on this year's Kentucky Derby

Published: May 8, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Note to self: Next year, before the Kentucky Derby, check the entrant list. If you see a horse that shares its name with a theme park, bet it.

As you might have heard by now, long-shot Animal Kingdom stormed from behind on the front stretch to win this year's running of the Kentucky Derby. I don't pay much attention to horse racing, despite my family's Kentucky roots. So when I read about Animal Kingdom's triumph, I joined many theme park fans around the country in slapping my forehand and exclaiming, "I totally would have bet a couple bucks on that horse if I'd known."

Animal Kingdom wins the 2011 Kentucky Derby

As usual, other Theme Park Insider readers are smarter than I am. I asked on our Facebook page if anyone had won on Animal Kingdom:

"Me! Me! Haven't turned my ticket in yet (we're still at the track) but I bet a whopping $3 to win, and I believe I won in the realm of 70 bucks. Woo!"

"Won $109. Also bet it in a trifecta with Mucho Macho Man (in honor of Randy Savage) and Stay Thirsty (because I'm a drunk.) 2 out of 3. Would have won over $10,000! Haha."

The Walt Disney World Resort posted its congratulations to the horse via its Facebook page: "We love the name!" No kidding. For what it's worth, the horse is not owned by or affiliated with Disney. But that doesn't make it any less of a sentimental favorite now for theme park fans with two bucks (or more) to risk when the horse runs the Preakness Stakes in a couple weeks.

In case you are wondering if any other thoroughbreds have shared names with theme parks, the answer is 'yes.' A few quick searches on revealed race horses with the following names:

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Disneyland
  • Epcot
  • Six Flags
  • Cedar Point
  • Kings Island

No horses named the following, though:

  • Hollywood Studios
  • California Adventure
  • Universal Studios
  • SeaWorld

Replies (6)

Neil Trama

Published: May 9, 2011 at 7:08 AM

Well California Adventure would probably just stumble and break it's leg right out of the gate.
Robert Niles

Published: May 9, 2011 at 7:32 AM

And Cedar Point was always the last out of the gate.
Terri Pierce

Published: May 9, 2011 at 11:56 AM

I wonder if people would still refer the the Hollywood horse as MGM...
Robert Niles

Published: May 9, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Six Flags would have run better if the owners hadn't charged the jockey extra for everything, even the saddle and the whip.

Epcot lost because he kept stopping for drinks on his way around the circuit.

Any more?

Ben James

Published: May 10, 2011 at 11:24 AM

I think Disneyland would have been overwhelmed by all the photo op stops.
Terri Pierce

Published: May 10, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Universal might get overwhelmed with the crowds and not know how to function. He'd just stop in the middle of the track and run around frantically... Then again the jockey would have never made it to the race in time, his shoes were stuck in a locker somewhere.

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