Even without Sean Payton (right) or Jonathan Vilma, The Saints still have a way to win this year. Their victory just might walk on four legs instead of two.
Fleurdefortyfour, a racehorse named to honor the Saints' big win in Super Bowl XLIV, will strut his stuff at the Kentucky Derby this weekend, and he’s backed by some big celebrity owners. According to USA Today, Saints royalty Payton, Drew Brees and Mickey Loomis, plus Jimmy Buffett and Ron Jaworski, are all listed as Fleurdefortyfour's owners through Last Mango Racing Stable (as in "Last Mango in Paris").
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the idea for the stable came together when Payton was in Miami to receive his award as the 2006 Coach of the Year. Buffett, a Saints fan, hosted a party for the team on his yacht and even designed a play -- called Last Mango -- for Payton to use in the Pro Bowl.
Last Mango the play didn't exactly work, but later in the year, the A-listers were excited by the Triple Crown classics, and Saints Communications Director Greg Bensel started asking around to see if the men would be willing to invest in a stable. They started with one horse, Pulaski County (left).
Fast forward, and they're sending Fleurdefortyfour to Churchill Downs this weekend. With a dismal off-season dominated by news of the bounty scandal and the ensuing suspensions, a good showing from the colt could be just what the Saints need to get through the summer.
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