LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Doug O’Neill’s stable says Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has bought a percentage of Kentucky Oaks starter Empress of Midway.
The filly is Pitino’s first Oaks entrant. He was part owner of O’Neill-trained Goldencents, which finished 17th in the Kentucky Derby. A spokeswoman for O’Neill confirmed the purchase, which was announced on its Facebook page Friday, but didn’t specify Pitino’s stake in Empress of Midway. The other listed owner is Daniel Kramer.
Pitino also owned part of Nick Zito-trained Halory Hunter, who was fourth in the 1998 Derby.
Empress of Midway entered Friday below the number of Oaks qualifying points with 15. But the filly made the field for the 140th running on May 2 when Todd Pletcher-trained In Tune was removed because of sore shins.