Louisville native Paul Hornung says he will show the world his tattoo if his colt, Titletown Five, wins Kentucky Derby 139 on May 4 at Churchill Downs.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Rick Pitino promised his University of Louisville basketball players that he would get a tattoo if his players won the 2013 NCAA title.
His team delivered – and on Friday so did Pitino.
That inspired the inevitable question: Were there any trainers on the Churchill Downs backside who are primed to get a tattoo if one of their horses wins the Kentucky Derby May 4?
"No way," said Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, who should have at least two horses in the race.
"No," said Shug McGaughey, trainer of Orb, one of the top Derby 139 contenders. "No tattoos. I'm not getting a tattoo. I've been 62 years without one. I can make it without one. Rick's probably going to get one that he can wash off."
Hold on guys. The Pitino tat was permanent. Now, let me raise the stakes for you.
What if you were promised that if you got a tattoo, you'd win the Kentucky Derby?
"Then I'd get a tattoo," McGaughey said, laughing.
"I don't have to make that deal," Lukas said. "I've got four Derbies already."
*Of course, Pitino is not the first prominent Louisville sports personality to collide with the ink gun. Paul Hornung confessed that he joined the tattoo club nearly 20 years ago.
Not that the world has been able to view Hornung's tattoo – yet. It's not a Heisman Trophy, a Notre Dame logo or anything that represents the wonderful Hall of Fame career that Hornung had with the Green Bay Packers.
"My wife (Angela) is Italian," Hornung said. "I got an Italian flag for her."
There is a reason Hornung's tattoo has remained a secret. He said it was inscribed on his right buttock. I did not ask for proof. I repeat: I did not ask for proof.
"But I'll promise you this," Hornung said. "If we win the Kentucky Derby, the whole world is going to see it."
Exhale, America. I believe we are safe from that spectacle. Hornung is part owner of Titletown Five, a colt trained by D. Wayne Lukas. Titletown Five is one of the top contenders in the Derby Trial, which will be run Saturday night at Churchill Downs.
Titletown Five must win the Derby Trial to make the Kentucky Derby field.
"I think we've got a huge shot at it," Hornung said.
Hornung said that if his colt makes the Derby 139 field he plans to buy a $60,000 suite at Churchill Downs on Derby Day and invite former Packers like Bart Starr and Willie Davis as well as former Chicago Bears Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers to enjoy the moment, too.
"As a kid who grew up in Louisville, winning the Derby would mean more to me than winning the Super Bowl or the Heisman Trophy," Hornung said.