Jim McIngvale

MLB Star Bregman Hoping to Hit It Out of the Park in Racing

Alex Bregman was 0-for-4 last Thursday night as the Houston Astros fell, 5-1, to the Texas Rangers, but the two-time All-Star will remember the day as one of the best he's ever enjoyed in sports. A few hours before the Astros took the field at Minute Maid Park, Bregman won his first-ever race as an owner with the first horse he had ever run. The feat was accomplished by Cadillac Candy (Twirling Candy) in the first race at Churchill Downs, a five-furlong turf maiden for two-year-olds. "It felt like hitting...

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Backside Learning Center Has Vested Interest in Derby

Edited Press Release The Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs stands to gain anywhere between $200,000 and $400,000 based on the results of Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby beneath the Twin Spires. In January, Brook Smith--a longtime supporter of the BLC--placed a $10,000 Kentucky Derby Future Wager on Tiz the Bomb (Hit It a Bomb), pledging any winnings to the center. A Derby victory would be worth $114,000. Smith's wager was a friendly challenge to Texas-based businessman and famed sports bettor "Mattress Mack" Jim McIngvale's Future Wager bet for the same...

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Another Derby Bet for McIngvale

After placing a losing win bet of more than $2 million on Essential Quality (Tapit) in last year's GI Kentucky Derby, Jim "Mattress Mack" is coming back for more. McIngvale said that he is planning to bet between $3 million and $4 million this year on the race favorite. McIngvale has often linked huge bets on sporting events such as the World Series, the NCAA tournament, the Super Bowl and the Derby to promotions at his Gallery Furniture stores in Houston. If the favorite wins the Derby, McIngvale will issue...

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PDJF TVG Telethon Shatters Donation Record

The fourth annual Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund TVG Telethon, held Apr. 10 and presented by Lane's End Farm, raised a record-breaking $383,945. The 2020 event was cancelled due to the pandemic, but it returned in 2021 to raise $339,672 in donations. Support came in from across the country including major contributions from Lane's End Farm; Lee, Aimee and Jeffrey Einsidler; Jim McIngvale; and John Hendrickson on behalf of the Marylou Whitney Foundation. TVG's parent company FanDuel matched all donations up to $100,000. This year was also the first time the...

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The Week in Review: Though Defeated a Huge Race for Smile Happy

The chart of the GII Risen Star S. run Saturday at the Fair Grounds will show you that the race was won by Epicenter (Not This Time) and that runner-up Smile Happy (Runhappy) was never a serious threat to win. It's just that there is a lot more to this story. Expectations were high for Smile Happy coming into the Risen Star. He was 2-for-2 last year and his win in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. came at the expense of Classic Causeway (Giant's Causeway) and White Abarrio (Race...

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Tiz the Bomb Running For Churchill's Backside Learning Center

Owner Brook Smith admits that his wager--a $10,000 Derby Future Wager bet on Tiz the Bomb (Hit It a Bomb) at 10-1--was not the smartest bet he's ever made. But that's not the point. The bet was meant to raise awareness for the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs and, who knows, perhaps make over $100,000 for an organization that is meeting the many needs of the track's backstretch workers. Smith, who operates the Rocket Ship Racing, LLC, stable, has been a longtime supporter of the backstretch center and helped...

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Texas Champions Honored With Video

The Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA) has released a video honoring its 2020 Texas Champion racehorses as well as its human award winners. Under normal circumstances, an in-person awards ceremony would be held, but the continuing COVID-19 pandemic forced officials to cancel those plans. "While we are disappointed in not having an awards ceremony this year, we are proud of the accomplishments of Texas-breds and Texas horsemen last year, and we are pleased to honor them with this video," said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. "Congratulations go out to...

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UOFL Equine Industry Series in Person in '21

The University of Louisville Equine Industry Program (EIP), in conjunction with Horse Racing Nation, released its free Fall 2021 speaker series, which will be held in person this year on the UofL campus. The series includes panel discussions on the "Super Card" trend in racing and growing racing through diversity and inclusion. The final event in the series will be an interview with Houston business owner, philanthropist and horse owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale. The events will be held from 5:30-6:45p.m., and will be broadcast live on the Horse Racing...

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Despite Losing Bet, McInvgale, Racing Come Out Winners

Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale made what is believed to be the largest losing wager in horse racing history Saturday, as a $2.4-million win bet on Essential Quality (Tapit) went down in flames as the favorite in the GI Kentucky Derby finished fourth. But, for McIngvale, there were no wounds to be licked. The bet was tied into a promotion at his Gallery Furniture Stores in Houston. Anyone buying a mattress worth $3,000 or more prior to the Derby would get the mattress for free if the betting favorite won the...

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McIngvale to Make Largest Bet in Derby History

Owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale is planning to bet at least $2 million to win on Essential Quality (Tapit) in Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby as a hedge to cover the costs of a furniture promotion underway at his Gallery Furniture stores. It is believed that McIngvale's bet will be the largest ever placed on the Derby or any U.S. horse race. McIngvale has already launched the "Kentucky Derby Fave Wins, You Win" promotion. Anyone buying a mattress that costs $3,000 or more will receive a 100% refund if the favorite...

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Runhappy is Soaring, and McIngvale is On a Winning Streak

Mattress Mack is having some month. When Alluring Lady (Runhappy) won a maiden special weight race at Aqueduct on Jan. 24, the filly's victory kicked off a torrid streak for her sire. Over a 25-day period, she was one of eight Runhappys to win a race, a list that includes his first stakes winner, Gander S. winner Nicky The Vest. The Aqueduct winner came just 14 days before Jim McIngvale won the biggest bet of his life, cashing for $3.2 million after betting on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to cover...

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Jockey Club Elects Five New Members

The Jockey Club today has elected five new members: Gatewood Bell, Fred W. Hertrich III, James McIngvale, Dr. Mary Scollay, and John Sikura. As a bloodstock agent, Gatewood Bell, president of Cromwell Bloodstock Agency, selected horses including Mastery and Undrafted. In addition to his work in bloodstock, Bell is a memberof the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and a United States representative for Goffs sales agency. He previously worked for Kiaran McLaughlin and Nicoma Bloodstock and served as a jockey's agent for Fernando Jara. Fred W. Hertrich III is chairman of...

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