Mattress Mack

Letter to the Editor from James McIngvale: Where You Bet Matters

As handicappers and racing enthusiasts across America prepare to dive into this week's sensational Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, keep this in mind: Where you bet matters. It took 25-plus years of horse ownership and a $2.4-million wager for me to fully appreciate the huge difference it makes where a bet is placed. It was a wake-up call for me, and it should be for you. Everyone in horse racing whenever possible should put their money through the windows or self-bet machines at the racetrack. If you're like I was, you've...

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Letter to the Editor: In Appreciation of Mattress Mack

by Nick Tammaro Marketing. Promotion. Advertising. Those are words that are often kicked around boardrooms and offices throughout the world. For "Mattress Mack" they are the fundamental elements of a business that has been successful for four decades. For the people whose lives he's touched, and they are innumerable, he means everything. My personal involvement in racing is vast, but I've long considered myself a student of the game. I handicap, play the races, make speed figures, participate in contests, appear on radio and occasionally on TV. A few weeks...

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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 Place Derby Bet On Track

Owner James 'Mattress Mack' McIngvale, who earlier this week announced that he would be making a bet in excess of $2-million as a hedge against a promotion in which customers of his Gallery Furniture chain will be refunded in the event that favored Essential Quality (Tapit) prevails, has confirmed that the bet will be placed on site at Churchill Downs in order to maximize the money that goes to purses. McIngvale has bet through casinos on similar promotions on the World Series and Super Bowl, where he is able to...

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Churchill and McIngvale Partner on KY Derby Foster Family Initiative

Churchill Downs Racetrack has partnered with Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale on the Kentucky Derby Foster Family Initiative, which will welcome nearly 300 representatives from Kentucky's Foster Care sector as guests to the Kentucky Derby. McIngvale was inspired by his recently-adopted grandson, Brodie, in June 2019. Churchill Downs will be working with long-time charitable partners Maryhurst and Boys & Girls Haven to identify foster parents, alumni and social service workers and staff in the industry to host for the Derby.

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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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The Week in Review: Charlatan Ran a Huge Race in Saudi Arabia

He did not win Saturday over in Saudi Arabia, but Charlatan (Speightstown) proved that he is undoubtedly the best dirt horse in America. That's how well he ran in his one-length defeat to Mishriff (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}) in the $20-million race. It was by no means a surprise that Charlatan and Knicks Go (Paynter) got caught up in a speed duel. Both are talented horses with abundant early speed and jockeys Joel Rosario (Knicks Go) and Mike Smith (Charlatan) rode aggressively, perhaps because neither rider wanted to see their...

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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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McIngvale, Dunkin' Make 'Runhappy' Donations to B.E.S.T.

James "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, owner of champion sprinter Runhappy, donated 30 dozen "Runhappy donuts" to the Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T) in advance of Saturday's Runhappy GI Travers S. at Saratoga. Dunkin' also contributed 750 gift cards to the backstretch community Thursday. Last season, McIngvale distributed treats to fans waiting in line in the early morning hours on Travers Day. The Runhappy Travers will be carried live on FOX as part of a special 90-minute broadcast beginning at 5 p.m. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit

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Today's Good News: Mattress Mack Coming Through for Houston Again

In every crisis, it's possible to find examples of kindness and generosity, of people reaching out to help total strangers out of the goodness of their heart. To focus attention on the many people in the industry who have stepped forward to help those who have been impacted by the coronavirus, the TDN has launched a series that we hope will put a smile on your face during these difficult times. We'll do our best to bring you a little bit of good news every day. As a man known...

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