With Dialed In swallowing up the field in the Holy Bull Stakes we now have another interesting New York owner among the Derby chase leaders. Uncle Mo and owner Mike Repole garnered most of the early 2011 Derby talk but now another original New Yorker in Dialed In owner Robert LaPenta joins him.
They both followed the same template in achieving success and entering the horse ownership business. Both are native New Yorkers, Repole was born in Queens, LaPenta in Yonkers. Both came from humble beginnings and were the first generation in their families to attend college. LaPenta's father worked in a warehouse, Repole's father was a waiter. Both attended and commuted to nearby New York City Metro area catholic schools-LaPenta graduated from Iona College (New Rochelle, NY) and Repole from St. John's University.
Repole and LaPenta used their college degrees as a springboard into the business world, where both became highly successful. They than parlayed that success into horse ownership. Neither has forgotten their alma matter, in fact it would be rare to hear an Repole or LaPenta speak longer than a few minutes without acknowledging St John's and Iona College. LaPenta's silks are maroon and gold in honor of his alma mater. He also has donated 7 million to Iona. Both are big sports fans outside of racing, LaPenta with college basketball and Repole is a fanatical NY Mets baseball fan. His silks are blue and orange, in honor of the Mets. Repole was quoted yesterday in the NY Daily News as being interested in owning a piece of the Mets.
You still got to have a little bit of luck to get that Derby horse, but it was not luck that got them in a position to get that portential Derby winner, it was education.