Rick Pitino insists he didn't name his horse Party Dancer: 'The piling on is incredible'

Rick Pitino says he didn’t name his horse “Party Dancer” and didn’t see what the problem was until he caught flak for it. (AP)

Former Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino caught a lot of flak last week when it was revealed that he co-owned a race-winning horse at Del Mar named Party Dancer.

Pitino, a Hall of Fame coach, was fired last year amid a slew of scandals. An alleged pay-for-play ordeal was ultimately his downfall, but the most dubious aspersion committed under his watch was a sex scandal that reportedly involved strippers and escorts in the players’ dorm rooms.

So one can see where the whole “Party Dancer” thing might be problematic for the former Cardinals coach.

Pitino: I didn’t name Party Dancer

But Pitino spoke with the Louisville Courier-Journal Wednesday and insisted that “Party Dancer” was not his idea.

“It was unbeknownst to me,” Pitino told the Courier-Journal. “I have absolutely no clue about the name of this horse.”

Trainer Simon Callaghan told the Courier-Journal that co-owner Larry Spitcaufsky named the horse when he bought it in April of 2017 before he had even met Pitino.

Party Dancer a stripper reference?

When Pitino got involved, did he find the horse’s name problematic? Nah. He didn’t even make the connection that “Party Dancer” might not be the best look for him.

“It never dawned on me that “Party Dancer” is a striptease act,” Pitino said.

Pitino told the Courier-Journal that he is 50 percent owner of “Party Dancer” and won’t be naming any horses until he’s the majority owner.

Until then, Pitino said that he’s just going to have to deal with the consequences.

“The shame of it (is I) can’t even enjoy a win. The piling on is incredible.”

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