- Last Updated: 12:00 AM, May 5, 2012
- Posted: 11:43 PM, May 4, 2012
Olympic skier Bode Miller is backing Kentucky Derby contender Bodemeister, named in his honor.
Bodemeister is a slight 4-1 favorite to win the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs in Louisville today, having won the Arkansas Derby in April by a large margin.
Horse trainer Bob Baffert named his 8-year-old son Bode after watching Miller at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Then he also named his 3-year-old Colt after Miller.
Baffert and Miller didn’t meet until the 2005 Kentucky Derby. “It was there that he told me he had named his son after me,” Miller told us.
They became close, with Baffert and his family traveling to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver to cheer on the skier, who won three medals that year including gold in the super-combined competition.
Baffert, a three-time Kentucky Derby winner who is recovering from a heart attack he suffered in March, chose to name the steed after the skier because he was “really into” the horse, Miller explained. Miller — who says he has money on Bodemeister to win — also said he and the horse have similar racing styles — “balls out.”
Miller, who has attended 10 Kentucky Derbys, says racing is in his blood: “My grandfather was very into horse racing, and I found some of his old journals and got into it from there.”
Miller told us he could get involved in horse training in the future. “It has a lot of parallels to skiing,” he said, adding, “It’s a fun lifestyle, being around the racetrack.”
Miller is healing from recent knee surgery, but will start training for the upcoming world-cup tour in October. Other celebs expected at the Derby include Cyndi Lauper, Prince Albert of Monaco, Ashton Kutcher. Miranda Lambert, Kid Rock, Tom Brady, Paul Shaffer, Andre Agassi, Lindsey Vonn, Kate Upton, Joey Fatone and Taylor Dayne.Follow @PageSix