Owning a racehorse is often likened to owning a sports franchise – you own a stable with high performance athletes; hire the trainer who has a full complement of staff to make sure your athletes are happy and healthy; choose your team colours; watch your athletes prepare during spring training; feel the nervous excitement going into a race; and then, sometimes, celebrate victory in the winner’s circle! There is no thrill that equals standing in the winner’s circle with YOUR horse!
The dream of owning a racehorse is an unattainable for some people. There are so many questions:
1) Where do you start?
2) How do you purchase a horse?
3) Who do you choose as your trainer?
4) When do the horses race?
5) Where do you go to get silks?
6) How much will it cost?
The multitude of questions can lead many to give up before they even get started. There is a way for almost anyone to be part of a sports franchise through two new racing syndicates in the province.
Alberta Thoroughbred Race Club (ATRC) is a special syndicate because it is open to 200 members. These members will be partners in the club for a membership fee of $300… Club members will:
• Be partners in three Thoroughbred race horses for the 2017 race season
• There are no additional costs to members for the horse for the 2017 race season
• Hold a special Horse Racing Alberta license for the 2017 season
• Accompanied backstretch access and barn tours
• Receive win photos
• Share in all earnings net of racing expenses, lease costs and operating costs
ATRC is managed by longtime horse owner and HBPA director Curtis Landry. Curtis has been involved in racing for his entire life, and learned the art of managing a racing stable from his father. With his pool of knowledge and infectious enthusiasm, he’s just the person to guide members through the experience.
ATRC has done a lot of the planning and they have their three stable horses leased for the 2017 season:
Dangerous Pursuit is a 5yr old Ontario bred mare. She has a lifetime record of 3 wins, 3 second and 3 thirds from 16 starts and earnings approaching $50 000. Danger is a very honest and competitive horse on the track and a sweetheart in the barn. She is also versatile as she has win both sprinting and routing.
Roi Des Tigres
Roi Des Tigres is an Alberta bred 2yr old gelding that will begin his career in 2017. He is by the very good sire Wilko and is the first foal from the stakes winning mare Regal Tigereyes. He has good size, a great mind and is progressing quite well early in his training.
Mr. Meaner is a Kentucky bred 2yr old gelding that will begin his career in 2017. He is by the sire Spring At Last who is also the sire of the freakishly fast Fall At Last. He is the first foal out of the mare Time On My Hands. The best word that encapsulates this guy is “wild”. He bites, he kicks and is just all out mean, hence the name Mr. Meaner. Although these traits are not ideal for a Race Club horse, they are appealing to be a race horse. Horses that are overly aggressive in life will tend to be aggressive on the racetrack as well. When racing 2yr olds, mental maturity and aggression will often trump pure natural ability. We have been working extensively with Mr. Meaner to contain these “meaner traits” without suppressing his aggression. He is showing very good progress in his maturity and training. This is also one of the last chances to own a horse sired by Spring At Last as he no longer stands in North America.
Two different trainers have joined the ATRC team and will help share their experience and knowledge with the members and will be happy for members to meet the horses during the season. Rod Cone is a veteran trainer with more than 5,000 starts and over $8 million in earnings. He has a very busy barn, but is committed to helping the members learn as much about horses and racing. Craig Smith is a young trainer and his stable is a hive of activity. Craig is known for never ending quips and friendly banter between his staff. Both trainers will work to keep the stable horses in good condition and are great ambassadors for the backstretch.