Joe Pesci, the Academy Award-winning actor, plans to be at Gulfstream Park on Saturday to watch his namesake, Pesci, compete in the $500,000, 1 1/16-mile Ocala Breeders' Sales Distaff on the Sunshine Millions program.
Pesci, who received the Oscar as Best Supporting Actor in 1990 for his role in "GoodFellas," is a lifelong horse racing fan who owns Pesci, a 4-year-old filly, in partnership with trainer Wesley Ward.
"When I met Joe Pesci for the first time he was just a horseplayer," Ward said. "He had his eye on a colt he wanted to buy and name after himself to get into the game as an owner. But I told him I had another one (the filly) who could really run. Jockey Mike Smith, another friend of Pesci's, worked her for me and told him he liked her as much as I did. Pesci bought into her right away and signed an authorization to use his name for her."
Pesci, the filly, starts from the 5 post position at 12-1 odds in the Distaff, with Smith in from California to ride.