04/30/2013 2:56PM

Kentucky Derby: Tale of how Pitino got small slice of Goldencents

Barbara D. Livingston
Dave Kenney, one of the original partners of Goldencents, offered a 5 percent share to University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino.

In the run-up to the Kentucky Derby, Goldencents, the Santa Anita Derby winner, has been referred to in most media circles as Rick Pitino’s horse, but saying that is like saying the Brooklyn Nets were Jay-Z’s team.

Pitino owns 5 percent of the Derby runner, while three other men own 95 percent, and it was one of them, Dave Kenney, whose graciousness allowed Pitino into the partnership long after Goldencents was purchased at auction a little more than a year ago.

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Pitino was visiting Del Mar last summer to see several horses he owned in partnership work, including Avare. While hanging out late that morning, a discussion ensued about how it would be fun to get Pitino involved in a colt trainer Doug O’Neill’s barn thought was superior to Avare, that being Goldencents, who had yet to race.

Josh Kaplan and Glenn Sorgenstein had 75 percent of Goldencents, Kenney 25 percent, and Kenney decided to sell Pitino a 5 percent share.
The three original owners of Goldencents all live in Southern California, and are longtime clients of O’Neill. Kaplan and Sorgenstein own Santa Monica-based Wilshire Coin, which trades precious metals, coins, offers estate jewelry, and handles foreign currency exchanges. Kenney owns Westrux International, which sells and services large diesel trucks.

The conduit for Pitino even getting involved with O’Neill was Jack Sisterson, one of O’Neill’s assistant trainers, who first met Pitino when he played soccer at the University of Louisville.