A different kind of hit for record producer who owns Derby winner...
Jerry Moss has cut hit records for artists such as Cat Stevens, Sting, Carole King, and Janet Jackson.
But today Moss, along with his wife Ann, delivered perhaps his most improbable hit when his horse Giacomo, who went off at 50-1, won the 131st Kentucky Derby today at Churchill Downs.
It was quite a nice birthday present for Moss, who turns 70 today. Moss co-founded A & M Records along with musician Herb Alpert.
When asked to compare today's Derby triumph with the countless number of hits he oversaw at A&M, Moss replied, "This is up there. Hit records got me here, but this is a pretty great thing."
Moss got into the horse racing industry in 1970 along with Alpert and Alpert's brother, Dave. He has gone on to race more than 30 stakes winners alone or in partnership, including 1994 Oaks winner Sardula.
The Mosses own about 75 thoroughbreds. Moss said his strategy in the horse racing industry is similar to his strategy in the music business: thrifty.
"I guess I'm a little cheap," Moss said. "I don't like to spend a lot of money in the record business. I like to build up my own artists and promote unknown people, and I'm the same way with horses."
Giacomo was named after the 9-year-old son of multi-Grammy winning British rock artist Sting, a longtime A&M artist. Moss and his wife are close friends with Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler.
Giacomo is the son of Holy Bull, and his mother, Set Them Free, was named after one of Sting's biggest solo hits.
Moss said Sting was in Philadelphia watching the race while Styler was in New York, and that Sting's son, Giacomo, was either in New York or Europe.
Moss sold A&M Records to Polygram in 1990 but remains active in the music business. And now, after reaching the top of the music charts, he can look and see his name on top of the racing charts as well.
"It's a pretty good birthday present," Moss said. "Making money is great, but I've been rich and I've been poor. If you can break even in the business and have some fun, that's all you can ask for."
© Lexington Herald-Leader by Chip Cosby