NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - In 2010 Gayle and Tom Benson hit the pinnacle of NFL ownership winning Super Bowl 44 with the Saints. The Bensons' latest venture, buying into thoroughbred racing, could reap some similar accolades.
Two prize horses in GMB Racing, "Mo Tom" and "Tom's Ready," race Saturday in the Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds.
"It's an honor to train for them. They're such great people," said trainer Dallas Stewart. "To to be a part of this with them is just great, and to have a nice horse for them. It's so hard to get a nice horse. I hope one wins for them, I really do."
"Mo Tom" is the favorite in the 72nd running of the Lecomte Stakes at 7-2 odds. He's finished in first place a few times in 2015, but his trainer, Tom Amoss, thinks the best is yet to come.
"He has a real good style for these longer races. Shows affinity for these distances, which is important leading into the triple crown if he makes it there," Amoss said. "The second thing is he's a late foal. He's born in May, which is late for any in his age group. So he actually doesn't turn three until the week of the Kentucky Derby. Some of these horses will turn three before then. A couple of months difference in the date of birth could be a huge difference in maturity. So Mo Tom still has some growing to do, some filling out to do. He's like that six-foot-four kid in high school that weighs a 140 pounds, he hasn't filled out yet."
"Tom's Ready" also has a win to his name. His trainer is optimistic the Bensons' could be in the winners circle come tomorrow.
"He's got a tough post position, he's outside, but we got a good rider," Stewart said. "We're hoping to win the race, it's just a matter of what's going to happen. We think he's talented enough, he's got another nice horse to run against. So it's going to be a great race."
GMB Racing is thinking bigger than the Lecomte though. They know it's part of the process, but not their goal. They're shooting for the first Saturday in May: The Kentucky Derby.