NCAA BK

Pitino's stable a house of Cards

Goldencents
Goldencents is back where he won the Santa Anita Derby.
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Sam Gardner

Sam Gardner is a general assignment writer for FOXSports.com. Originally from Orlando, Fla., he previously covered the Orlando Magic for FOX Sports Florida and has also covered the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals and MLB playoffs. Follow him on Twitter.

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Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino is heavily into horses, which makes sense when you’re a big name in Kentucky, and while Kentucky Derby competitor Goldencents may be the most prominent of his equine investments, Pitino has several other horses that he has put a more personal stamp on.

Pitino has purchased several thoroughbreds over the years — he actually owns only about 5 percent of Goldencents — and has named them after former players. Now, after the Cardinals’ run to the NCAA championship, he has a new hoops hero in his stable.

First came "Gorgui" and "Siva," whose names were inspired by Cardinals starters Gorgui Deng and Peyton Siva after Louisville's Final Four run last spring. Then came "Russdiculous," a 2-year-old who was named after Russ Smith last summer before being sold in February.

Now the latest addition to Pitino’s team is “Three-Point Luke,” named after Luke Hancock, who earned Final Four MVP honors after scoring a team-high 22 points in Louisville's win over Michigan in the national championship game. Pitino talked horses — including Three-Point Luke, who was actually named by trainer Dennis O'Neill — with reporters in Louisville on Tuesday:

As for Pitino’s Derby horse, it’s unknown whether the 3-year-old colt feels miffed at not being named after a Louisville star. But you can be sure it wouldn’t want to be named after Kevin Ware.

Tagged: Louisville, Luke Hancock, Peyton Siva, Gorgui Dieng, Russ Smith

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