Actor Joe Pesci Sees Namesake Work

Academy Award-winning actor Joe Pesci was at Santa Anita Sunday morning to watch the 2-year-old filly Pesci work 1:00 2/5 over a fast track under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

The daughter of Stormy Atlantic, trained and co-owned by Wesley Ward, is scheduled to make her racing debut at Hollywood Park on Sunday.

"They asked me if it was OK if they named her after me and I said yes," Pesci said. "Then I thought if the horse is named after me I might as well own part of her."

New Jersey native Pesci has been a lifelong racing fan, spending time at Monmouth Park and several other tracks, and has been a regular visitor to Santa Anita and Hollywood Park over the past several years. Though Pesci is his first racehorse, he's no stranger to horse care. As a young man he worked at a local stable.

"I remember cleaning stalls and the huge mounds of manure steaming in the cold weather," Pesci said.

Pesci won the Academy Award for his portrayal of the mobster Tommy DeVito in the movie "Goodfellas" and has also starred in such notable films as "My Cousin Vinny," "Raging Bull," two "Lethal Weapon" installments, "Home Alone" and "Casino."

According to Pesci, he will "definitely be there" when his namesake makes her debut next week.