Entrepreneur and CEO of Santa Anita Race Track, Mark Verge with new business partner, Kobe Bryant and champion horse trainer Doug O'Neill
LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - May 2, 2012) - Kobe Bryant outbid his Lakers teammate Pau Gasol for a racehorse called Siempre Mio, but the Spaniard was so captivated with the name -- which translates to "Always Mine" -- that the original owner, Mark Verge, made it possible for the Lakers pair to become partners.
Mark Verge, the CEO of Los Angeles-area thoroughbred race track Santa Anita Park and founder of WestsideRentals.com, offered a 25 percent stake in the four-year-old gelding as part of a Lakers Foundation fundraiser at Riviera Country Club on Tuesday night.
"What ended up happening was that Kobe and Pau got into a bidding war and Kobe finally outran Pau at $8,000," Verge said.
"I decided that since Pau was bidding with interest and he really did give it the old college try, I'd donate another 25 percent to him as long as he made a separate donation to the Lakers Foundation.
"So now, Kobe and Pau own 50 percent of Siempre Mio, with no expenses, for the rest of the year," said Mark Verge.
Santa Anita's new CEO, Mark Verge's rise to entrepreneurial stardom began in 1996 with WestsideRentals.com which has successfully connected over a million quality tenants together with landlords and roommates. Verge's other successful business holdings include hotels, restaurants, as well as popular Los Angeles night clubs and pubs.
Santa Anita's 2012 Autumn Meet will begin in late September and be highlighted by the Breeders' Cup World Championships, which will be run Nov. 2 and 3. For more information, visit www.santaanita.com.