ASK THE EXPERTS How to Own a Race Horse Without Breaking the Bank Have you ever watched a horse race and

been caught up in the excitement of the fi nish? Have you ever found yourself cheering with abandon and high emotion for a horse you had never heard of not even three minutes earlier? Have you ever wondered about those people in the stands who are jumping up and down, hug- ging, and tossing around bottles of champagne and cigars? Ever watch the bevy of owners, trainers, jock-

eys, grooms, and groupies press into the win- ner’s circle, lay a hand on the noble steed, and smile for the camera? Ever watch the Mary- land Jockey Club present the Woodlawn Vase to the Preakness Stakes winner? And watched them drape the the blanket of Black-Eyed Su- sans over the winning horse? No matter how you look at it, it’s magical. And if you have done any of these things, then you are a bona fi de racing fan. But how do you go from being a fan to an

owner without breaking the bank? We con- sulted a team of experts for answers to com- mon questions about aff ordable ownership. Peter R. Bradley

III is one of the top bloodstock agents in America.


grew up on a cattle ranch in Northern California and at- tended the Univer- sity of California at Davis. His passion for racing led him

to Hollywood Park where he got his start in the industry as a hot walker. He moved up the ranks of the Southern California circuit and became assistant to trainer Gene Cleve- land. Later, Bradley was the farm manager at Brookdale Farm in Kentucky and worked with Cromwell Bloodstock Agency in charge of pri-

Q. What is the diff erence between syndicates versus co-ownership versus sole ownership? A. Sole ownership is the most autonomous but also most expensive way to own T oroughbred racehorses. As a sole owner, you are 100% re- sponsible for all expenses related to the horse. You also get to make all decisions regarding your horse, hiring an agent to purchase, hiring a trainer, etc. A syndicate can be a very cost eff ective way

to own a race horse. In a syndicate, the blood- stock agent purchases a horse and then syndi- cates it into a set number of shares for purchase. Most often, the value of the shares refl ects a

vate sales. His fi nal stop before setting up his own business, Bradley T oroughbreds, was as the head of Lane’s End’s Bloodstock Division. Gary Falter grew up in Ohio and joined T e Jockey Club Informa- tion Systems, Inc. in 2000.

He was

the Vice Presi- dent of Develop- ment and Opera- tions,


for the Equineline Portfolio service, the

Horse Farm

Health-book software for tablets, and the iPad Sale Catalog App. Since 2012, Falter has been leading the Jockey Club’s T oroughbred Own- erView, a nationwide initiative to bring a more diverse demographic into the world of race horse ownership. He previously served on the board of the Ohio T oroughbred Breeders and Owners association. Falter has also owned and bred T oroughbreds for 32 years and maintains a small breeding operation at his Red Fox Farm in Kentucky.

signifi cant mark up from the purchase price to cover expenses, with the excess going to cover management fees, and any extra costs related to the horse. Syndicates can range from 20 own- ers in a horse to thousands of owners in a horse. A co-ownership or partnership, on the other

hand, is usually a smaller group of owners that are collectively responsible for their pro-rata stake in the horse. Typically, buying into a co- ownership is the cost of the horse plus 5% to the agent who purchased the horse. Bradley T oroughbreds focuses on this type of invest- ment. We focus on slightly larger investments, but it guarantees our co-ownership groups stay small enough so that we cater to all our own- ers.” – Pete Bradley, Bradley T oroughbreds

Q. What is pinhooking? A. T e term “pinhooking” is an old Kentucky tobacco term used when a speculator bought a farmer’s young plants and later identify them with a pinned note at market. Buying the plants low and selling high would return sub- stantial profi t for the speculators. In terms of T oroughbred auctions, pinhooking yearlings describes the practice of buying yearling horses, at auction or privately, overseeing their break- ing and training, and eventually re-selling them as race-ready two-year-olds in training. T e practice can be done with weanlings to resell as yearlings. – Pete Bradley, Bradley T oroughbreds

Q. How can I learn more about potential ownership? A. T ere is a website that was developed specif- ically to encourage and support T oroughbred Owners ( On OwnerView (which is a free site that anyone can access), you will fi nd information about a wide-variety of ownership topics including trainer stats and profi les,

racing syndicate stats and profi les,

racetracks, licensing, state incentive programs, continued... | 800-244-9580


Isabel J. Kurek

Maryland Jockey Club

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