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Who Is Mike Repole? The Owner Of The 2024 Kentucky Derby Favorite Fierceness

Andy Newton
Mike Repole

The famous Repole Stable orange and blue racing silks have been a regular fixture in some of the best US horse races in recent years – but just who is Mike Repole, the man behind one of the biggest racing operations in America?

All You Need To Know About Who Is Mike Repole?

US billionaire Mike Repole (55) was born in Queens, New York in the late 1960s to his Italian immigrant parents Benny and Annie. Having enjoyed horse racing in his teenage years, Repole is now one of the biggest owners in the sport in the USA today.

This dream of becoming a top horse racing owner, and having winners in the big races, was made easier after a successful career in the US drinks business during the 1990s and 2000s.

Mike Repole’s Career 

Mike Repole
Mike Repole and Daughter Gioia Mia

Repole started his journey in the beverage world with a company called Mistic Beverages and his talents in the industry were soon snapped up by the Crystal Geyser Water Company, when he became Vice President of Sales.

It was in 1999 that Mike Repole hit the bigtime when co-founding J. Darius Bikoff, Energy Brands which later went onto produce Smartwater and Vitaminwater – two brands that are widely recognized in the US as starting the enhanced bottled water drinking boom.

They made over $1m in their first year and, by 2007 were reporting sales over $1b, getting the label as the ‘top-selling water brand in the US’ at this time which led to interest from global drinks giant Coca-Cola and a $4.1 billion takeover.

Mike Repole then turned his attention to Pirate’s Booty as chairman of the board – helping the company grow over the next five years, which led to a $195m sale to B&G Foods.

Mike Repole Profile

  • Age: 55
  • Date Of Birth: January 21st 1969
  • Born: Middle Village, Queens (New York City)
  • Spouse: Maria
  • Children: 1 (Girl, Gioia Mia)

Body Armor Superdrink and Mike Repole

Next up in Repole’s drinks chapter was co-founding Body Armor Superdrink in 2011 with Lance Collins and also saw pro basketballer Kobe Bryant invest $5m into the brand for a 10% stake.

Seven years later it was Coca-Cola again that wanted to get in on the act and became the second-largest shareholder in Body Armor – a move seen to compete with rival Pepsi, who had the sports drink Gatorade under their banner.

Coca-Cola later went on to buy the remaining 85% of the Body Armor brand for a reported $5.6 billion.

Mike Repole’s Horse Racing Journey 

Repole Racing Silks

Having shown a liking for the ‘sport of kings’ during his early life – Repole, who was now armed with a stack of cash thanks to his successful drink’s businesses, was able to delve into the world of horse racing ownership.

It was when Repole was at Glaceau – during his Smartwater and Vitaminwater days – that his move into owning racehorses began by starting ‘Repole Stables’ just after selling this brand.

Uncle Mo was Repole Racing’s first big superstar horse, who went onto become American Champion 2 Year-Old in 2010 after winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and is now a popular and successful sire – having been responsible for the previous Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist in 2016.

Repole Stables Have Won $52m In Prize Money & Over 1,000 Races

Since starting Repole Stables have gone on to win over 1,000 races in their famous orange and blue silks and amassed a staggering $52m in total prize money (and counting).

Repole Racing Career Stats

Wins, Place & Prize Money 2024 Overall
Firsts 14 1,068
Seconds 9 813
Thirds 10 694
Unplaced 34 2,149
Starts 67 4,724
Earnings $1,569,962 $52,428,851

Note: Stats are correct as of Tuesday, April 23 2024, but subject to change 

Best Repole Stable Horses In Recent Years 

More horses followed for Repole Stables as they quickly grew to be a recognized owner with entries in some of the best US horse races over the next 15 years.

They were rewarded in 2019 when their Vino Rosso won the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita (watch below), while Mo Donegal landed the 2022 Belmont Stakes – the third leg of the US Triple Crown.

Star filly Nest, who Repole co-owned with Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House, also won eight of her 14 starts between 2021 and 2023, including the Grade One Alabama Stakes, plus was also runner-up in the 2022 Kentucky Oaks and Belmont Stakes.

Repole Stables are yet to win the Run For The Roses – however, the Kentucky Derby odds 2024 suggest this might change on May 4, as they saddle Fierceness, who is one of the leading fancies in the betting.

Fireceness was set to run out of the dreaded Kentucky Derby post position 17, where there has never been a winner. However, due to the scratching of Encino, Fireceness will now have gate 16 and this is good news with five winners since 1994 coming from this berth.

WATCH: Mike Repole (and family) Celebrate Vino Rosso’s 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic Win

Best Repole Stable Horses, Career Stats and Earnings  

Horse Career Runs Career Wins Biggest Win  Career Earnings
Vino Rosso 15 6 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic $4,803,125
Forte 10 7 2023 Florida Derby $3,029,830
Stopchargingmaria 18 9 2015 Breeders’ Cup Distaff $3,014,000
Nest 14 8 2022 Alabama Stakes $2,172,675
Stay Thirsty 17 5 2011 Travers Stakes $1,936,000
Caixa Eletronica 69 23 2012 Charles Town Classic Stakes $1,863,505
Fierceness 5 3 2024 Florida Derby $1,703,850
Uncle Mo 8 5 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile $1,606,000
Mo Donegal 7 4 2022 Belmont Stakes $1,511,800
Overanalyze 11 4 2013 Arkansas Derby $1,046,381
Notacatbutallama 39 8 2013 Hill Prince Stakes $789,359
Coach Inge 13 4 2015 Brooklyn Invitational $606,177

Repole Stables Have The 2024 Kentucky Derby Favorite – Fierceness 

Go back 12 months and Repole Stables were all set to saddle the 2023  Kentucky Derby favorite in Forte.

However, the horse was a late scratching after failing a drug test or a bruised foot – depending on which reports you go with.

Forte, who had previously won the Florida Derby that season, went on to make amends by finishing runner-up in the 2023 Belmont Stakes and then won the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga.

Repole Stables will, therefore, be hoping history doesn’t repeat itself this year as the owners have another of the hot (in the betting) Kentucky Derby horses in Fierceness – who has also landed the Florida Derby before heading to Churchill Downs (watch below).

WATCH: Fierceness Winning The 2024 Florida Derby by 13 1/2 Lengths at Gulfstream Park


If Fierceness Wins The 2024 Kentucky Derby He’ll Become The Biggest Repole Stable Earner

The Florida Derby has proven to be a decent Kentucky Derby prep race in recent years, with six winners since 2006 taking in that Gulfstream Park contest before heading to Churchill Downs – including last year’s winner Mage.

A win for Fierceness in the $5m Kentucky Derby 2024 will also see his career earnings shoot up to just over $4.8m, which will mean he also overtakes Vino Rosso at the top of the Repole Stables prize money won list.

This is due to the 2024 Kentucky Derby prize money increasing to a purse of $5m, with the winning horse getting $3.1m.

Who Is Mike Repole? FAQs 

Has Mike Repole Ever Won The Kentucky Derby?

How Did Mike Repole Make His Money?

What Is Mike Repole’s Net Worth?

Who Is Mike Repole’s Wife?

Andy Newton
Andy Newton

Andy Newton is a horse racing handicapper who specializes in key race trends for the biggest events in sport around the world. His statistical approach to finding winners is one that has paid off time and time again. Check out the latest trends and Kentucky Derby stats from Andy on the site.