Racing's wildest millionaire – Breeders' Cup star Mike Iavarone has private jet, £215,000 McLaren & crazy Instagram page

"NAME your favourite reality show – and it's boring compared to the life this man lives."

That commentator summed it up best when describing Michael Iavarone, the most outrageous millionaire in racing.




It's no secret that top racehorse owners have bulging bank accounts, the biggest houses and jaw-dropping yachts.

Even the best punters are worth hundreds of millions, live lives of unlimited luxury and go by codenames such as 'the joker'.

But while pretty much all the above could be applied to him as well, one man stands out head and shoulders above the rest.

Because almost no one in sport, let alone racing, is like Mike Iavarone – who one publication called 'the 21st century Gordon Gekko'.

There's the eye-catching poolside shots with bikini-wearing women.

There's the 'best birthday ever' which saw him smoking a huge cigar on a boat with 11… you guessed it, bikini-wearing women.



There's the private jet, the frequent topless shots and the £215,000 McLaren 720S.

Iavarone, thought to be around 50, could give Frankie Dettori and his 'frightening' Ferraris a run for his money in this supercar.

It boasts a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine, can do 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 212mph.

But make no mistake about it, Iavarone is one of the shrewdest operators in the sport of kings.

He hit the big time with wonderhorse Big Brown in 2008.

WORLD-BEATING HORSE MADE MEGA CASH

Iavarone pocketed just shy of £1million when that horse won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

But with two-thirds of the American Triple Crown in the bag, Big Brown flopped completely in the Belmont Stakes in June of that year.

Virtually pulled up and 55 lengths behind shock 40-1 winner Da'Tara, it was to be the only time Big Brown ever lost.

The horse retired that September with a £150,000 win in the Monmouth Stakes.

All in all it meant Iavarone – a complete unknown in the racing world before his ownership of Big Brown – and the horse's other owners won more than £1.7m from his seven runs.

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That success put the finance guru on the map, but disaster struck just three years later when IEAH Stables – the yard Iavarone formed in 2003 – ran out of money and shut.

Years in the wilderness followed and Iavarone reckoned that for all the success, his association with IEAH cost him in the region of £6m.

Take one look at the guy though and it's clear he was never going to sit back and accept his fate.

Iavarone – who has been labelled the 'most interesting man in the world' – announced his return to racing in 2017, saying he only wanted to be involved with the best horses.

Fast forward to now and it looks like he has one in the shape of Twilight Jet.

WON BET WORTH £320,000

An unlikely bond with Irish trainer Michael O'Callaghan, from Co Kildare, was formed earlier this year that led to Iavarone purchasing a 50 per cent stake in the runner.

Twilight Jet, a winner at Newmarket last month, is a current 15-2 shot to land the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint tonight.

Victory there for Iavarone, who has been posting videos of himself and friends knocking back Champagne and cocktails in California, would land him and connections another £379,562.

Well, you need winners to fund his type of lifestyle.

Private jets with friends, the best restaurants and holidays with wife Jules and, in a nod to his Kentucky Derby win, posing alongside his Merc with the numberplate: "1THEDRBY."

Of course, it helps if you back winners as well as own them.

Iavarone pocketed more than £320,000 thanks to a winning bet slip at Tampa Bay Downs' racetrack in February last year.

Proof, if it were needed, the man's a winner on and off the track.



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