Uncle Sigh (JOHN SOMMERS II/UPI/Newscom)

Uncle Sigh (JOHN SOMMERS II/UPI/Newscom)

As the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby is planned for this weekend and Americans familiarizes themselves with the contenders, three horses stand out: Uncle Sigh, Commanding Curve, and Wicked Strong—but not because of their winning odds. Instead, it is their names and stories that show respect for veterans and remembers the victims of the Boston Bombing.

Uncle Sigh’s owner donates 10 percent of his earnings to the Wounded Warrior Project. Commanding Curve is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, whose founder, Terry Finley, graduated from West Point and served eight years as an artillery officer in the Army, reaching the rank of Captain. Wicked Strong is owned by Centennial Farms, which named its horse Wicked Strong to honor those killed or injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon. Centennial Farms also donates a percentage of Wicked Strong’s earnings to The One Fund Boston, which supports bombing victims and their families.

Each of these horses and their stories are great examples of patriotism and American solidarity. Uncle Sigh’s owners show great support for America’s veterans. Commanding Curve’s owners recognize the success that many service members have even after leaving the military. Wicked Strong honors those who were harmed or killed in Boston a year ago and recognizes the strength that helped America recover from that attack.

It is the responsibility of the citizens of the United States to honor those who have served and who are serving, and this year’s Kentucky Derby is doing that more than any Derby in recent history with the addition of these three horses to the race.

The Kentucky Derby is the most historical and prestigious horse race in America, and to intertwine the history of the Derby and supporting America’s veterans is just one unique example of providing for those who have sacrificed so much for the betterment of their country.