NJ native has longshot in Kentucky Derby

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MOUNTAIN LAKES -

Ron Lombardi from Mountain Lakes has the longshot in next week's Kentucky Derby.

He's owned Mister Amore Stables for the past decade, and he's still confident that Firenze Fire can prove people wrong.

"He never gets any respect. And I compare him to the '69 Jets where nobody thought they had a chance to win," says Lombardi.

The 3-year-old thoroughbred is rarely a favorite in any race, but still came away with important wins in the past year.

"Longshots have won the Kentucky Derby in the past. We'll see," Lombardi says.

Growing up, horse racing was a constant in Lombardi's family.  He says it's been his dream since he was a little boy spending his summers around Monmouth Park.
    
"I'd go with my father and uncle and we'd get in the car and drive from Long Branch to the Asbury Park train station to wait for the racing form to come in from Newark, hot off the press, so they could do their handicapping," he says.

Lombardi says he will have about 65 family and friends join him at the Kentucky Derby next week.

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