Jayson Werth 2024 Kentucky Derby horse: How former MLB outfielder became Dornoch’s owner

Some athletes retire but stay within their sport in some regard, perhaps as a coach or analyst. Others decide to get out of the spotlight and just become a fan.

Jayson Werth took a different route.

The former MLB outfielder retired in 2018, leaving baseball behind for good. He played 15 seasons in the big leagues, winning the 2008 World Series with the Phillies. He also played for the Blue Jays, Dodgers and Nationals before ending his MLB career after the 2017 season.

Werth took up horse racing as a hobby and it’s since become his passion during his retirement life.

Often, athletes can have a “grieving period” immediately following their retirement. (JJ Redick and Shaquille O’Neal recently detailed this on Redick’s “The Old Man and Three” podcast.) While maybe not a “grieving period,” Werth certainly felt a void in his life and was later introduced to horse racing.

The Kentucky Derby has reminded the former outfielder of baseball’s biggest stage.

“It has some fragrance of the World Series,” Werth told the Associated Press. “Things are totally different now. We’re at the barns, roads are blocked off, there’s security everywhere. It’s definitely heightened, and you get the sense, ‘This is it, this is the highest level of the sport.’”

MORE: Complete betting guide for the 2024 Kentucky Derby

How Jayson Werth became a Kentucky Derby horse owner

Werth isn’t just a run-of-the-mill horse owner. His horse, Dornoch, will race on the world’s biggest stage at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4.

Dornoch is one of a handful of horses that Werth owns and is a part of his “Two Eight Racing” stable, named after the No. 28 jersey he wore for the majority of his MLB career.

Aside from the Kentucky Derby, Werth wants to make horse ownership much easier for the average fan. As it stands now, it’s expensive to buy a small percentage of a racehorse, let alone an entire one.

By doing this, more fans may pick up horse racing as a hobby — whether it’s as an owner or just watching. It’s a way to grow the sport that’s mostly unpopular until the Triple Crown season begins.

MORE: Breaking down the full draw for the 2024 Kentucky Derby

What horse does Jayson Werth own?

Werth owns Dornoch, who will race out of the No. 1 gate in the 150th annual Kentucky Derby. Dornoch enters the race with plus-2000 odds.

Werth also owns percentages of other horses, however, they will not compete in the Kentucky Derby.

MORE: How much is the 2024 Kentucky Derby purse?

When is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is part of a two-day event that began on Friday, May 3. The official race is on Saturday, May 4.

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