(WVUE) - In 1985 Tom Benson bought the New Orleans Saints, but the black and gold didn't perform on the field going 5-11. With GMB Racing, it was quite the opposite. His first group of 3-year olds produced two qualifiers in the Super Bowl of horse racing - the Kentucky Derby.
"There's 30,000 foals born every year. Thirty-thousand 3-year olds that get one chance to run in the Kentucky Derby if they're good enough," said Mo Tom's trainer, Tom Amoss. "I bought one colt for the Bensons, and he's going to be in that starting gate Saturday. That's remarkable in itself. When you look at the major players in our business that spent millions and millions of dollars at the Keeneland sales, or yearling sales throughout the country. People that spend $50 million-plus and they're truly buying first-round drafts picks. The horses that have the best pedigree, look the best, they're the most physically imposing, and they're not here. They want to be here, but they can't get it done."
The feat accomplished by the Benson's isn't unheard of, according to officials at the Derby, but it's still extremely rare.
"They attended the Derby a few years ago, got together with their friends. Which would be the trainers: Tom Amoss, Dallas Stewart, Al Stall. Went to the sale, bought some horses. Next thing you know they got two horses, not one, two horses in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby. It's quite a remarkable feat," said Darren Rogers, senior director of communications & media services at Churchill Downs Racetrack.
The next big day for the Bensons and GMB Racing is Wednesday. Gate numbers for the 20 horses will be unveiled in the Kentucky Derby draw.