Ski star Bode Miller backing Bodemeister

Olympic skier Bode Miller says horse racing 'has a lot of parallels to skiing.'
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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 on Saturday, 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 did not meet until the 2005 Kentucky Derby. "It was there that he told me he had named his son after me," Miller said.

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 put money on Bodemeister to win, said he and the horse have similar racing styles — "balls out."

Miller, who has attended 10 Kentucky Derbys, said 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," he said.

Miller said 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, Kid Rock, Tom Brady, Andre Agassi, Lindsey Vonn and Kate Upton.

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