BUSINESSMAN Jim McIngvale, also known as Mattress Mack, bet millions on the favorite to win the 2021 Kentucky Derby.
Instead, a 12-to-1 underdog captured the Run for the Roses.
Who is Mattress Mack and how much did he lose at the Kentucky Derby?
Mattress Mack bet at least $2.4million on Essential Quality to win the May 1 running of the Kentucky Derby, according to the Herald-Leader.
The horse, a 5-to-2 favorite, wound up finishing fourth at Churchill Downs. Medina Spirit, a massive underdog, was the winner.
The bet was believed to be one of the largest in the history of the storied Triple Crown race, and it also tied in with a generous promotion at his Gallery Furniture stores.
"Obviously, I have a vested interest in the favorite winning because if the favorite wins, the customers get free mattresses, and they give us positive PR and word of mouth for the next 10 years," Mattress Mack told America's Best Racing.
"So I have a very vested interest in the favorite winning. But let's put it this way – a two-minute sweat is a lot less stressful than a three- or four-hour baseball sweat."
It is believed the Houston businessman lost millions betting on the Houston Astros in 2019.
Matttress Mack would add in the interview, published April 28: "When to bet it is the key question. Obviously, if I bet $2 million on Friday (when early betting opens), the odds will go down to 1-9.
"I'm trying to provide value on these other horses for bettors to get odds more normalized on Essential Quality."
What happened to Essential Quality at the Kentucky Derby?
Eventual winner Medina Spirit broke sharply out of the gate while Essential Quality and fellow contender Rock Your World bumped after the start.
Essential Quality was five horses wide in both the first and second turns before taking aim at Medina Spirit in the stretch and coming up short, finishing fourth.
“He didn’t get the greatest trip,” said Essential Quality trainer Brad Cox.
“That can happen when you start from the 14-hole."
Medina Spirit, with jockey John Velazquez, was able to hold off the stretch bid of three challengers.
The horse won by a half-length, giving trainer Bob Baffert his seventh victory, the most of any trainer in the race's 147-year history.
Medina Spirit led all the way and ran 1-1/4 miles in 2:01.02.
He paid $26.20, $12 and $7.60. The victory was worth $1.86million.
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