Kentucky Derby Trainers Received Over $7 Million in PPP Loans

A year after the COVID-19 pandemic jumbled the Triple Crown calendar, the sport will once again bask in the national spotlight on the first Saturday in May with the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby.

But as the nation’s top trainers take center stage at Churchill Downs, it’s in stark contrast to 12 months earlier when racing’s most prominent figures were taking full advantage of the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program.

According to public records examined by the Asbury Park Press, some 14 trainers in this year’s Kentucky Derby received a combined $7.369 million from the program, which provided taxpayer-funded forgivable loans designed to help struggling small businesses retain workers.

The top 25 trainers on the earnings list in 2020, whose horses won a combined $206.5 million on the track, secured loans totaling at least $10.4 million, while some of the sport’s top institutions made use of the coronavirus bailout.

Brad Cox trains favored Essential Quality for Godolphin LLC, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and prime minster of the United Arab Emirates. Cox received a $550,000 loan.

Todd Pletcher has four horses entered including Known Agenda for St. Elias Stable, the racing operation of Florida Panthers owner Vinnie Viola. Pletcher secured the second-largest payout among trainers nationally at $1.294 million.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Asbury Park Press, Stephen Edelson