Mattress Mack Set to Wager About $4M at Kentucky Derby

It’s possible—not probable—that he could split the bet among horses.


Horse owner and Houston furniture magnate Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale plans to be at Churchill Downs to bet up to about $4 million again on the Kentucky Derby favorite. The big betting is a hedge on his furniture giveaway for customers if the public’s choice wins.

Ideally, favoritism will be locked in by an hour before the race, but “if both horses are three-and-a-half to one a minute before the race starts, then I’ve got to take a stand,” McIngvale said in a telephone interview. “So if my bet happens to establish the favorite for the Kentucky Derby, then so be it.”

Unlike last year when Essential Quality   was a 2-1 morning line favorite and ended up as an almost 3-1 post time favorite with McIngvale’s money, which horse will be favorite this year may not be known until closer to post time.


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