Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Betting On Barbaro; Bears Cashing In


How to Play Barbaro
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was euthanized on Monday, so I had to wait at least 24 hours to start talking about the business of it all. So now let's get right to how Barbaro can help your portfolio! Yes folks, I'm serious. The latest news is that Churchill Downs has “expressed interest” in having Barbaro buried in its garden with four other, very unmarketable Derby winners. If the Jacksons agree to put him there, Churchill Downs shares could hit an all-time high price. The high for the stock came on July 29, 2005 at $46.60. My take on the horse racing business is that it’s a very bad business because of a variety of factors, but Churchill Downs has the prime properties. A great Barbaro burial site is an awesome money generator. I'm sure they could even build some sort of mini-museum. If they do a deal and land Barbaro, the only thing that can take this “off track” is the fact that the management might not be in great shape right now. They’ve lost their COO and CFO in the last two months.

For all of you who e-mailed me about whether or not there is any Barbaro sperm, it really doesn’t matter because artificial insemination is not permitted in breeding thoroughbred racehorses. For those of you wondering about that insurance policy, we’re pretty sure the owners, the Jacksons, can collect if they want to (I would!). The Jacksons reportedly had two types of insurance: for Barbaro’s death and if he was unable to fulfill his potential as a stud. Barbaro could have been worth at least $25 million at stud.

Old Bears Cashing In
We doubt Mike Singletary is going to get this Dallas Cowboys head coaching job, but at least some of his fellow 1985 Bears are raking it in. William “The Refrigerator” Perry is everywhere, as expected. The latest news is that he’ll be taking on a former Colts player “under the watchful eye of a Benhana master chef” in a hibachi grill-off at the ESPN: The Magazine party on Friday night in Miami. On the menu? 10,000 sushi rolls, 600 pounds of shrimp, chicken and beef and 50 pounds of rice. Perry has been told he can’t eat it all.

While we’re on Perry, I’m not sure if you heard about it, but he was at a Costco in Mount Prospect, Ill., on Saturday and fans were disappointed that anything Perry signed had to be bought at Costco. People were supposedly outraged. I just don’t get it. Costco is a for-profit business. They don’t do this stuff to engender community goodwill.

Even the less marketable 1985 Bears are marketable this week. TicketsNow is signing defensive captain Gary Fencik to do media this week.

Buying Bonds
Barry Bonds is now officially a San Francisco Giants player, having signed a one-year, $15.8 million contract on Monday night. Bonds has 734 home runs and is 22 away from breaking Hank Aaron’s career record of 755. If you thought Jim Gray’s moment with Pete Rose was awkward, wait until you see Bud Selig with Barry Bonds later this year. That’s going to be a YouTube classic.
UPDATE: This things not over yet!  Check this out from

Bush Marketing Machine
New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush might not in the Super Bowl, but he's busy filming commercials. We hear he just did an NFL Network spot with Martha Stewart, Chad Johnson and Janet Reno -- we hope there wasn't a bad connection on the telephone, I know that's a weird group. He also just finished filming three Subway commercials and will appear with the brand's favorite spokesman Jared.

Questions?  Comments?