METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - Tom and Gayle Benson's Kentucky Derby dreams will come true in a little over two weeks. Right now, both their horses, Tom's Ready and Mo Tom, are in top 20 Derby standings with only one week left of points races. Crazy to think the plan to start GMB racing was hatched here at The Greenbrier, in a conversation that was more joking than a gameplan.
"What we do with Mr. Benson during training camp at The Greenbrier we sit with him and talk business, and we talk everything," said GMB Racing's Greg Bensel. "We talk Pelicans, we talk business ventures that we're doing in New Orleans, and obviously what's going on that day at practice, and with the Saints. We'll just talking about things that are going on. Well it just happened to be the summer of California Chrome. We were like Mr. B you need to get into this. Remember you used to love this so much. He's been to five of the last seven Kentucky Derby's. We were half-joking, but he was a 100 percent serious."
Bensel is the senior vice president of communications for the Saints, but he's also heavily involved in GMB Racing for the Bensons. He was a regular at the Fair Grounds in the morning checking up on GMB's thoroughbred horses. With the horses at Churchill Downs training for the Kentucky Derby, Bensel keeps an eye on the horses from afar.
"Now that they're in Louisville, now that they're working everyday at Churchill. It's six in the morning here, seven in the morning there, they're already worked an hour prior, so I'm just getting out of bed. I'm getting text from Dallas (Stewart) and Tom (Amoss) as to what they did that day," said Bensel.
Tom's Ready is safely in the Kentucky Derby sitting in 14th spot, but Mo Tom sits in 18th. Without a doubt it'll be uneasy times on Airline Drive until the Arkansas Derby is finished Saturday.
"Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and all I could think about was does Mo Tom have enough points. I thought of every doomsday scenario that would not have Mo Tom in the Derby. So I'm nervous about that," said Bensel.
GMB racing will possibly have two horses in the Kentucky Derby with Mo Tom and Tom's Ready. But get this - a third horse in the GMB stable could also race on the undercard. Tom's D'Etat, who's trained by Al Stall Jr., a New Orleans native.