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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

Repole Runs Our Entourage in Illinois Derby

This time a year ago, you could barely go a day without reading about Mike Repole, Thoroughbred racing’s most entertaining and outspoken owner. Repole had not one, but two legitimate Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders, including the favorite—undefeated champion Uncle Mo.

The Derby didn’t exactly turn out as Repole had hoped, as Uncle Mo became ill and never made the race, and his other contender, Stay Thirsty, finished 12th. If you haven’t heard Repole’s name much recently it’s not because he hasn’t been active—the New Yorker was a major player at both the Keeneland September yearling sale and the recent Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's select sale of 2-year-olds in training, and his smart claim Calibrachoa has won a couple of graded races at Aqueduct this winter. But being that it is Triple Crown season and that’s where most people are focused, Repole is no longer in the spotlight.

“Last year was a special year. I wasn’t naïve about it even as I was going through it,” Repole said. “I knew it was a once in a lifetime type of year to have two of the top 20 3-year-old colts in the country. I was thankful and appreciative then, and knew I may never ever get back to the Derby again. Looking back on it, even though I had a lot of fun going through the experience, it was pretty stressful.

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