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.