Rick Pitino's equine namesake falls to 0-5 at Del Mar

November 12, 2018

DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) — It's another loss for Pitino the horse.

Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino has a 1 percent ownership stake in his namesake. The 3-year-old colt is winless in five career races after losing at Del Mar on Monday. He finished seventh among eight runners.

"When I entered him, I thought he'd be pretty tough in there," trainer Doug O'Neill said. "Then I saw who he was up against I kind of went 'aaagh.'"

Purchased for $950,000 at the Ocala, Florida, sale in March 2017, Pitino has career earnings of $10,290.

O'Neill says it was his team's idea to name the colt after Pitino, who is one of his clients. The colt, a son of 2012 Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags, is owned by Saudi Arabian businessman Amr Zedan.

"We're big fans of Coach Pitino," O'Neill said.

Pitino wasn't on hand Monday, but he visited Del Mar on Friday to see Excellent Sunset get disqualified from first to second in the Kathryn Crosby Stakes. He is part owner of the filly.

Pitino attended basketball practice at San Diego State last week. He was fired as Louisville coach in 2017 after the school acknowledged the program was being investigated as part of a federal corruption inquiry into college basketball.

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