Staton Flurry describes Fournette – the horse named for LSU’s star running back – as big, stout and tough. He calls him a “running machine,” with strong, powerful legs and a chiseled frame.
“Sometimes,” Flurry said, “the name can make the horse. He can run like Leonard. He proved it today.”
Draped in purple, Fournette, the 3-year-old Kentucky thoroughbred, won in his first ever race on Friday at Belmont, nudging to victory in comeback fashion and finishing just a nose ahead of Rate for Me. He was at 14-to-1 odds to win, and he claimed the $45,000 first-place prize for his owner, Flurry, a 26-year-old from Hot Springs, Arkansas, and an avid LSU fan.
“I’m doing reeeaaaal good,” Flurry said with a laugh Friday afternoon, an hour after Fournette crossed the finish line.
Someone else was happy too. Leonard Fournette posted a message on his Twitter account Friday, congratulating the horse and welcoming him to the family.
At Southeastern Conference media days on Thursday, Fournette said the horse “better win” and, even, hoped to visit the horse at some point.
“The horse is really in my family now,” the running back said from the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama. “I’ve got to go see him.”
Flurry would love that. He’s a lifelong LSU fan. His father is from Homer, Louisiana, and his uncle, Bobby Flurry, played for LSU in the 1960s. Fournette is one of 11 horses Flurry owns. He’s got one named Elle Les Yu and another named Who Dat Tiger.
Flurry purchased Fournette last March. The horses sustained two injuries in the last year – a bone bruise and fractured tibia – preventing him from racing until Friday in Race 6 at Belmont.
Fournette will race again in the next three to four weeks in Saratoga, New York, Flurry said.
“He’s a running machine,” he said.