Jimmer, the horse, is having a better rookie season than Jimmer, the basketball player.
Jimmer, a 3-year-old colt named after Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette, won his career debut Saturday at Oaklawn Park. The victory came on the human Jimmer's 23rd birthday, and hunch bettors were rewarded with a payoff of $21.40 on a $2 win bet.
The equine Jimmer was named last year, when Fredette was the college basketball player of the year while averaging 28.9 points a game for Brigham Young University. But it wasn't mere Jimmer-mania that prompted the name.
The Albany Times-Union provided the backstory on the Jimmer-Jimmer connection before the horse's debut run. Fredette attended Glens Falls High School in upstate New York, and Tom Hammel was his basketball coach. Hammel's wife, Pat, is a hotwalker for trainer Bill Mott, who counts WinStar Farm among his ownership clients. Mott suggested to WinStar CEO Elliott Walden that they name a horse after Fredette.