In January, Larry Dilione Jr. bought Toomer’s Corner for $10,000.
“[Toomer’s Corner] was in a claiming race for $10,000 and I claimed it,” says Dilione, a 58-year-old New Jersey construction executive. “If it’d been $25,000, I probably wouldn’t have claimed it, but I thought it was an OK horse for $10,000.”
An OK horse with a name Dilione didn’t know the meaning of until a month ago.
“Yeah, I did wonder what it meant, and then I heard about the problems down there in Auburn with somebody killin’ the trees or something, and then the other thing — that the football team had won the national championship and I was like ‘wow, OK, Toomer’s Corner is in Auburn.’ I had no idea about the connection.”
On Tuesday, Toomer’s Corner finished 2nd by a nose in a race at Philadelphia Park, a track in Bensalem, Pa. It was the horse’s best performance for Dilione, who said that the three-year-old Bay Filly was bred in Kentucky by Burden Creek Farms, LLC, a business listed as being owned by Lee R. Christian.
A “Lee R. Christian” is listed as a 1968 graduate of Auburn University in the school’s alumni directory; we couldn’t track him down (at least, not in the hour that we tried).
“I had guessed that maybe the guy was an alumni of Auburn, but I’m not certain,” said Diolone, who said that a good friend of his son currently attends Auburn.
“I like football, but I don’t really have a favorite team,” Dilione said. “But I’m glad to see that Auburn won the (national championship) game. I’m partial to those guys winning… so whatever happened with the trees?”
Thanks to the amazing Kenny Smith for the tip.
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