Rick Pitino reportedly names racehorse after Russ Smith


I guess this is the kind of thing guys do just because they have the chance to.

While most fans might name a cat or dog after their favorite player, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino had made it a habit of naming racehorses after some of his Cardinal players.

The latest? Russ Smith.

Smith averaged 11.4 points and 2.4 rebounds during the 2011-12 season, helping the Cardinals to a berth in the Final Four, and that’s apparently enough to get a racehorse named after you if you play for Pitino.

According to the horseracing news site BloodHorse.com, “Russdiculous” was purchased by Pitino for $145,000 on June 19 in Florida.

The horse will be trained by Dennis O’Neill, brother of Doug O’Neill, the trainer of Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another.

This isn’t the first time Pitino has named horses after his players, though. As Mike Rutherford of CardChronicle.com points out, Pitino has had a hand in naming other horses, including one named “Gorgui,” after center Gorgui Dieng, and “Siva,” after guard Peyton Siva.

What might the personality of this horse be? Unpredictable? Fun? Perhaps capable of giving the head coach a set of bunny ears during an interview on live TV?

We can only hope.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_