B. J. Wright & Robert LaPenta

Robert LaPenta.jpg

Jeranimo, Eddie Read Stakes, Del Mar, 20th July 2013

Trained by Michael Pender, Sire: Congaree. Dam: Jera

B.J. Wright, a 75-year-old native of Shelbyville, Kentucky, is the Chairman of the Board of LifeSource Water Systems, a water filtration company in Pasadena, California, which he bought as a full partner in 1985 shortly after the company was founded. His company is now run by his son Jay, his daughter Cherie and her husband Mark Harris, who is president of LifeSource. Wright gives filtered water to all his horses and backs up his belief of the importance of good water in people and horses’ health by donating a portion of his winnings to Nancy Santullo’s House of the Children, which provides clean water and sanitation to the people of the Southeastern Peruvian Amazon. He is now on the House of Children Board.

When he was in his 20s, he dabbled with Thoroughbreds. He and a couple partners bought a horse for $1,000 and went on to win a couple races with him. A second Thoroughbred didn’t do as well, and Wright left the game for some three decades, returning in the ’90s.

LaPenta, a 68-year-old native of Yonkers, New York, was the vice president of Lockheed Martin Corporation, founding general partner of Aston Capital LLC, and Chairman of the Board of L-1 Identity Solutions, which deals in the protection of personal identities and assets. He sold the latter company in July, 2011.

LaPenta was introduced to horses by his mother and made his first Thoroughbred purchase in 1988 as a partner with basketball coach Rick Pitino, whose University of Louisville team won last season’s national championship. LaPenta started his own stable in 2001, purchasing eight yearlings for $895,000 and racing in the name of Whitehorse Stables. His best horses include 2007 champion two-year-old colt War Pass and the outstanding sprinter Jackson Bend, and he won a Belmont Stakes with Da’ Tara.

Also a philanthropist, LaPenta donated $7 million to the LaPenta Student Union Building at his alma mater, Iona College in Westchester County, New York. LaPenta’s silks are Iona’s colors: maroon and gold. He lives in Deer Valley, Utah, and winters in Naples, Florida, and enjoys golfing and skiing.