The National Museum of Racing in Saratoga Springs, NY announced yesterday that Rick Pitino, owner of stakes winners AP Valentine, Halory Hunter and The Groom is Red, will be its featured speaker at this years Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, scheduled for August 6.

Pitino became interested in thoroughbred ownership when he coached the University of Kentucky basketball team a dozen years ago. He fell prey to the recruiting tactics of Lexington horse sellers then and, as a result, today, as coach at the University of Louisville, also operates Ol Memorial Stable with horses in the care of four trainers.

Like some of the teams that Pitino has led, the Museum has had bad years and good years with its induction ceremony speakers. Some, like entertainer David Cassidy, have been merely cheerleaders. Others, like Tom Durkin, were comedians. Given the PPs on Pitino, its more likely, however, that hell rank with Frank Deford and D. Wayne Lukas among the best that the Halls had by the time that his speech is over.

Regardless of what Pitino says, like a gangly high school point guard, youre going to buy whatever hes selling.