Mike Repole, Horse Racing’s Loudest Critic, Is Kentucky Derby Favorite – The New York Times

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The brash owner Mike Repole will take a break from tweaking horse racing’s powers when his colt Fierceness runs in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
Mike Repole’s horse Fierceness, training at Churchill Downs, is the morning-line favorite for the Kentucky Derby.Credit…Jon Cherry for The New York Times
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Reporting from Louisville, Ky., and Lexington, Ky.
In the world according to Mike Repole, everyone involved in horse racing is a dummy. Except him, Mike from Queens or the Commish, as some of his followers on X call him.
Stuart S. Janney III, chairman of the nonprofit Jockey Club, is clueless and tone deaf and has run the sport into the ground, Repole says. Churchill Downs Inc., which hosts the Kentucky Derby, is cheap: The $5 million purse for America’s most famous race should be much more, and the racetrack treats Repole and other owners badly.
Forget about John Stewart, a new owner bringing fresh energy and big money into the game. He is “arrogant, free spending” and such a rube that he has an “$8 haircut.”
All the above, and many others, are among Repole’s frequent targets on social media and various podcasts. Repole, a prominent horse owner who made his fortune in the beverage industry, says he is merely trying to disrupt an industry (often punctuated with profane Bronx cheers) that he likens to the Titanic heading inevitably into a looming iceberg.
“You want real or you want fake??? You want loud or you want quiet??? You want intensity or you want passive??? You want better or you want worse??? Love me or Hate me,” Repole posted on X in January, summarizing his credo for remaking the racehorse business.
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