North Haven owners preparing ‘Keen Ice’ for Kentucky Derby

(WTNH)–Get out your big hats. The 141st running of the Kentucky Derby is Saturday, and it’s reportedly one the best fields in years. In that field is “Keen Ice,” a horse with local ties.

Ralph Durante and his partner John Buckley, two North Haven guys are part-owners of Keen Ice.

Durante and Buckley have been in the racehorse business for the last 17 years, and have had plenty of ups and downs at the track. But to have one of 20 horses in the Kentucky Derby is a dream come true.

“You’re guessing. These are like athletes in junior high school, if you will. You’re trying to guess when they’re 3 or 4 years old, whether or not they’re going to be good enough the first Saturday in May,” said part-owner John Buckley. “Fortunately, we found the magic solution with this one.”

“I was in Florida in the winter and I saw him live, and what a good looking colt,” said Ralph Durante, the other part-owner. “He’s big and strong. We were really fortunate. A lot of people are in the business a long time before this happens. So, it’s good.”

And if you’re a betting man, “Keen Ice” is a 50 to 1 long shot to win the race. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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