The horse Lakers forward Pau Gasol (16) co-owns with Kobe Bryant was scratched… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
Usually the health concerns that Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol share involve the stress on their own bodies. But this time, it involved the horse they co-own.
Siempre Mio was scratched from his scheduled race Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park because he had what Santa Anita chief executive Mark Verge described as a "minor cough" after going through a morning jog.
Trainer Doug O'Neill, whose colt I'll Have Another won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, has a strict policy, according to Verge, that he won't race any of his horses if they cough at all the day of a race, no matter the severity. Gasol had planned to watch his horse run, but Verge said he was alerted about Siempre Mio's absence from the race.
"It's a lot of pressure when you have Kobe and Gasol as your partners. Everyone understood we've got to listen the trainer, especially since we have a trainer who had a brain," Verge said, jokingly. "He's about to win a Triple Crown so we have to show some respect to Doug O'Neill."
Verge said Siempre Mio likely will race within two weeks, but that both Bryant and Gasol are scheduled to visit the horse within the next week. He's confident by then Siempre Mio won't have any coughing problems.
"We figured if he wasn't 100%" Verge said, "we got to scratch him."
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Horse co-owned by Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol scratched from race