clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Queens-born owner gives Mets fans a horse in Kentucky Derby

New, 5 comments

The only team Mike Repole loves more than the New York Mets is his team of thoroughbred racing horses.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

When he was little, Michael Repole wanted to be the general manager of the New York Mets. Fast forward a few decades, and he has been able to flirt with buying a portion of the team.

Born and raised in Middle Village, Queens to a pair of Italian immigrants, Repole co-founded Glaceau, the maker of Smartwater and Vitaminwater, after completing his sports-management degree at St. Johns University. When Glaceau was acquired by Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion in 2007, Repole found his wildest dreams at his fingertips.

Although an official affiliation with his beloved Mets ball club has not yet materialized, this afternoon Repole will have another childhood sports dream come to fruition: fielding a horse in the Kentucky Derby. "Outwork," a three-year-old thoroughbred raised and trained by Repole Stables, is a 26-1 shot to win this year's Running of the Roses.

While Outwork will be the first of Repole's horses to run in the Derby, he is not the first, or the best, chance Repole has had at a Churchill Downs victory. In 2011, Repole Stables entered Derby weekend preparing to run the race favorite, named Uncle Mo. However, due to health concerns, Uncle Mo was scratched in the lead-up to the race.

Outwork will run this year's race from the 15th gate, jockeyed by John R. Velasquez. If Mets fans are looking for a horse to back in the Derby, who better than one owned by a life-long, thoroughbred Mets fan?