A horse named Party Dancer won a race in California on Thursday. Its owner? Rick Pitino, whose legacy at Louisville was blemished by a scandal that involved exotic dancers and escorts three years ago.
Pitino was in the winner’s circle with the horse at Del Mar Racetrack after the 3-year-old’s second victory of the year, according to horseracingnation.com.
Pitino is listed as the owner of the horse through his RAP Racing brand on the Del Mar Racetrack website. He’s been involved with horse racing throughout his coaching career.
However, it’s unclear the date he acquired the horse or the origins of its name. The horse was auctioned to Ben McElroy in 2017, per Equibase.com.
Party Dancer, trained by Callaghan Simon, finished ahead of Chalky and K P Pergoliscious in the race.
Three years before Louisville fired Pitino for his alleged role in a $100,000 pay-for-play scandal, his legacy was tarnished by a sex-for-pay scandal that involved an escort named Katina Powell. In 2015, Powell published a book that accused former assistant Andre McGee of hiring her and others to entertain recruits and former players.
Powell said McGee would encourage the girls to dance for Louisville players and recruits before requesting additional acts.
“Andre was the one who always had the money … made it rain,” Powell told ESPN’s Outside the Lines. “[He] made the deals, paid for the deals. He would start the music and usually the girls would come out one-by-one. And they would dance for the recruit. And he would ask me, ‘Is there any girls that want to, you know, make extra money?’ … That’s when I started dealing with McGee.”
McGee was given a 10-year show-cause penalty by the NCAA. And Louisville banned itself from the 2016 NCAA tournament in anticipation of major sanctions from the NCAA.