LEXINGTON, Ky.—Representatives from three successful racing clubs joined the seventh session of the Thoroughbred Owner Conference series on Tuesday, September 7, to talk about the perks of participating in Thoroughbred ownership through racing clubs and through microshares. The panelists were Michael Behrens, MyRacehorse; Mary Cage, WinStar Stablemates; and Gary Palmisano, Churchill Downs Racing Club.
Tuesday’s session was sponsored by MyRacehorse, the Daily Racing Form, and Mersant International Ltd. and moderated by TVG’s Simon Bray. The conference series is hosted by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and presented by Bessemer Trust, Dean Dorton Equine, Stoll Keenon Ogden, and Stonestreet Farm.
The panelists talked about the origins and structures of their groups, which range from enabling individuals to buy microshares in one horse at a time (MyRacehorse) to being able to pay for leasing rights to the club’s entire roster of horses (Stablemates). They are also all shared success stories of shareholders who entered Thoroughbred ownership through their respective racing clubs and then went on to expand their involvement in racing and breeding.
“Our goal from the get-go is to create new owners, even when Stablemates first started and was just a fan initiative, to educate these people on the industry and everything behind the scenes, that has been the goal, to prepare them for things like this,” Cage said. “Stablemates has given them that opportunity to explore racehorse ownership, and we have had several go out on their own.”
Palmisano pointed out that more than 100 Churchill Downs Racing Club members have progressed into other forms of ownership. Last year, MyRacehorse launched Edge Racing, which is a more traditional syndicate model and is designed for those who want to take ownership a step beyond MyRacehorse’s microshare structure.
“I have no doubt that [racing clubs] are becoming the breeding ground for the next generation of ownership,” said Behrens.
The racing clubs represented in the session all have plans in place for when their horses retire from the racetrack. While the WinStar fillies go on to breeding careers, MyRacehorse and the Churchill Downs Racing Club have relationships with aftercare organizations to place horses and raise money in support of those organizations.
“At the end of the day, these horses need to have a great home. Whenever you buy a horse, you need to have a plan,” Palmisano said. “The ending has to be written too, well in advance.”
All three panelists agreed that anyone joining a racing club or microshare membership should do so for enjoyment, entertainment, and to gain experience before moving into other forms of ownership.
The next session of the series, “Biomechanics in Racehorses,” will be held on Tuesday, October 5, at 2 p.m. ET. It is sponsored by Sackatoga Stable, Silver Springs Stud, and WinStar.
All sessions will be recorded and made available to registered guests. There is no registration fee for the live or recorded virtual conference series, but registration is required.
In addition to the virtual series, OwnerView will be hosting an in-person Thoroughbred Owner Conference in Del Mar, California, on November 3, to coincide with the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Registration information is available on the OwnerView website. Registration information and schedules for both the in-person and virtual conference are available at ownerview.com/event/conference or by contacting Gary Falter at email@example.com.
OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on aspects of ownership such as trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.
The need for a central resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView site was launched in May 2012.
The Jockey Club Press Release