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Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Pitino owns another Cardinal-themed horse

By Eamonn Brennan

Rick Pitino has made no secret of his penchant for horse racing and breeding. He has also made no secret of his penchant to name horses after his Louisville Cardinal players, particularly players from his beloved (and unlikely) 2012 Final Four team.

In April, he bought two young colts, one of them long and lanky and full of potential, the other born with a quick first step. Pitino named them "Gorgui" and "Siva," respectively.

Even if you don't know a thing about college basketball, those are just cool names for horses. At the very least, they're less cheesy than the majority of prize-winning horses, most of whom seem to have pun enthusiasts for owners. But neither name stacks up to Pitino's latest purchase, which Card Chronicle's Mike Rutherford discovered through a Bloodhorse.com sale record. According to the site, "Russdiculous" -- the nickname Pitino famously gave his "makes-coffee-nervous" guard Russ Smith this season -- was purchased by trainer and Pitino friend Dennis O'Neill for the tidy sum of $145,000 in June.

That's a lot of money for a horse, and O'Neill is the brother of I'll Have Another trainer Doug O'Neill, a controversial and famous fixture in the racing scene, all of which makes it possible that Russdiculous will be running for serious prize money -- maybe even at the Kentucky Derby -- sometime soon. I don't know about you, but that's the most exciting news I've read all day. "Run, Russdiculous! Run!" It really rolls off the tongue, huh?