Pitino, Dieng visit Churchill Downs

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino made his much-anticipated visit to the backside at Churchill Downs on Wednesday morning. Pitino brought Gorgui Dieng with him to check out his Kentucky Derby hopeful Goldencents.

Rick Pitino drew another huge crowd on Wednesday morning.

Only this time, the University of Louisville men's basketball coach did it on the backside at Churchill Downs. There were hundreds of media members and fans waiting for Pitino when he showed up at the barn of Goldencents.

Pitino owns five percent of the horse who won the Santa Anita Derby and will run in Saturday's Kentucky Derby under the Twin Spires.

"Never seen a scene like this on the backside," one media member joked about the throng of folks trying to get a comment from Pitino.

Pitino was guided down a line of media members waiting, with each group asking two or three questions before he went to watch the horse on the track.

"Obviously, we're rooting for Goldencents, but the Derby is something you never know," Pitino said to the media assembled outside the barn.

". . . It's anybody's ballgame. It's not like basketball where you can look at a team and say, 'Well, they've got a little more firepower.' You just don't know in the Derby."

Less than a month from winning the NCAA title, Pitino brought center Gorgui Dieng with him to the backside, joking that he was "going to let him ride a few horses." Dieng jokingly put on jockey Kevin Krigger's helmet.


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