Derby Contenders

Robert LaPenta and Jacks or Better Farm (Fred Brei)

  • LaPenta is current Chairman of the Board, president, and CEO of Identity Solutions, a company that specializes in protecting personal identities and assets.
  • Brei is a builder and developer.
  • LaPenta entered racing in 1998 with basketball coach Rick Pitino. Brei started racing in 1972, but took a 15 year break to focus on his business. In 1987 Brei and his wife Jane sought out to become commercial breeders, but when their horses failed to meet their reserves, the couple began racing them.
  • LaPenta’s purchased a majority interest in Jackson Bend after the colt swept the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder Race Course under trainer Stanley Gold. Jackson Bend was then transferred to LaPenta’s main trainer Nick Zito.
  • LaPenta and Zito have teamed up on three trips to the Kentucky Derby, but the closest they have come to the winner’s circle is a fifth place finish with The Cliff’s Edge in 2005.
  • In 2007 LaPenta won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Two-Year-Old War Pass, and would win the Belmont Stakes with Da’Tara in 2008.
  • Brei best horse to race has been Midas Eyes, who they sold after he broke his maiden to Edmund Gann. Brei has campaigned Bayou’s Lassie, Honey Honey, Honey, and Hear No Evil.