Belmont Stakes 2011: Stay Thirsty Owner Mike Repole Digging Belmont Experience
Mike Repole Gearing Up for First Belmont Stakes
For a while there, it looked like Mike Repole was going to be lucky enough to have two horses in this year's Kentucky Derby, as both Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty were slated to run for the roses at Churchill Downs.
Unfortunately, Uncle Mo, who was one of the favorites to win the race, had to be scratched due to a liver ailment. Whether or not he'll race again is up in the air.
No matter. For now, it's all about the Belmont Stakes, and Repole will be represented at Belmont Park this weekend by Stay Thirsty.
Repole, a beverage magnate who sold VitaminWater to Coca Cola in 2007 for over $4 billion, grew up going to races at Belmont and Aqueduct. As such, actually having a horse of his own in the Belmont Stakes is something of a dream come true.
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According to the Associated Press, here is what Repole had to say about this weekend's race:
Growing up in New York, and going to Aqueduct and Belmont 100 times before I was 17, this is what it’s about. I always say one win in New York is like 10 wins anywhere else. The Belmont Stakes is the biggest race in New York. This is the pinnacle. When I was 13, this was the race I dreamed about, and to be in this position 29-30 years later, it’s just a great feeling.
Stay Thirsty, a three-year-old colt with two wins in seven starts, is going to start from the No. 2 post. His odds of winning stand at 20-1.
However, Repole was quick to note that he thinks Stay Thirsty has as good a shot of winning as any other horse in the field.
“I’m going to definitely enjoy the moment and this has been such a wide open year in a very average crop,” Repole said. “It seems like every race, a $40 horse wins so why doesn’t Stay Thirsty have a good enough shot as anybody else?”
One way or another, Stay Thirsty is definitely looking to rebound from what was a forgettable performance at Churchill Downs, to say the least. Starting from the No. 4 post, Stay Thirsty stumbled to a 12th-place finish, by far his worst result in any race.