Ian Rapoport, Joy Taylor, and Lindsay Czarniak have stakes in a Kentucky Derby horse. Ian Rapoport, Joy Taylor, and Lindsay Czarniak have stakes in a Kentucky Derby horse. (America’s Best Racing.)

The Jockey Club is the breed registry for thoroughbred horses in the U.S. and Canada, and they oversee a lot of efforts to try and bring new fans to the sport under their America’s Best Racing media brand. Last year, ABR launched an “A Stake in Stardom” initiative, which saw TikTok influencer Sarah Cline and former Barstool Sports contributor and impressionist Joey Mulinaro become part-owners of three-year-old racehorses in partnership with West Point Thoroughbreds. The idea was that Cline and Mulinaro would attend major events, including the Triple Crown races, and serve as brand ambassadors for racing, with their stakes in the horses giving them some extra connection.

ABR brought that back this year with Cline, Mulinaro, and five new figures: influencer and model Loren Izabel, ESPN’s Anita Marks, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, and Fox’s Lindsay Czarniak and Joy Taylor. And now, the horse Rapoport, Czarniak, and Taylor have stakes in, Jace’s Road, has made the Kentucky Derby. So they’ll be watching in person at Churchill Downs on May 6, and doing so with a significant rooting interest.

Here’s video of the three of them meeting Jace’s Road earlier this year:

And here are some quotes from those three on Jace’s Road making the Derby, from the ABR piece above:

“I’m really looking forward to learning more about the business. It isn’t a world that we normally get access to, so to be on the ownership side with West Point Thoroughbreds is amazing,” Taylor said. “I am so excited for Derby day! It’s a bucket-list item to go to the Kentucky Derby, and to own a horse that is on its way to running is legendary. I’m really looking forward to the whole experience.”

“We’re so, so excited for this,” Rapoport shared. “We’ve been casual fans for about four years now, but this feels like so much more thanks to West Point Thoroughbreds and America’s Best Racing. We’ve always felt connected to horses we like, but this connection feels much deeper. This changes things. The Derby is always the best, our favorite weekend of the year. But to have our own horse likely running in it is wild. We always root for our favorites, but now we’ll really have our horse in it. The buildup, which is my favorite part, will be so much more intense. And man, imagine if he goes off and places. I just can’t even imagine.”

“This is something I’m so excited to take part in. Thoroughbreds are the ultimate athletes. Being an owner with West Point Thoroughbreds and having a contender, Jace’s Road, in the Kentucky Derby is beyond unbelievable,” offered Czarniak. “It has only been a short time, but it is evident how much [West Point Thoroughbreds president and CEO] Terry [Findlay] and his team love the sport and their horses. It is an absolute thrill getting the chance to have a behind-the-scenes look and to see the sport and the lifestyle up close”

Jace’s Road got into the Derby thanks to Sunday’s withdrawal of Blazing Sevens. Taylor, Rapoport, and Czarniak were already set to attend the Derby as part of this program, but now they’ll be watching the horse they have stakes in compete. We’ll see how it does.

[America’s Best Racing]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.