Georgia Horse Racing Coalition Finds An Old Friend
ATLANTA, Ga. (April 7, 2014) – The Georgia Horse Racing Coalition, a group of leading business and civic leaders who are dedicated to bringing first-class horse racing to Georgia, announced today a partnership with Old Friends, one of the nation’s leading Thoroughbred rescue and aftercare organizations.
Old Friends, the non-profit Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, Ky., cares for more than 125 horses representing some of the finest bloodlines in American racing, including Bluesthestandard, a multiple graded stakes winner who was bred in Georgia.
Photo by Laura Battles
“The Georgia Horse Racing Coalition supports efforts to help find all racehorses—once their racing careers are over—a new home and a new job,” says Dean Reeves, Coalition president and owner of 2013 Breeder’s Cup Classic winner, Mucho Macho Man, whose earnings are $5.580 million. “Financial support of these retired athletes will be an integral part of our legislative efforts to bring racing to Georgia. Partnering with Old Friends is an important first step in our commitment to this standard of care for horses after they leave the track.”
“Our partnership with the Georgia Horse Race Coalition will help us in our mission to spread the word about the necessity for dignified retirement and second careers for these great horses,” says Old Friends founder Michael Blowen. “By promoting these celebrated horses at Old Friends through a campaign of education and tourism, we draw attention to all retired Thoroughbreds and all equines in need, and we appreciate the support of GHRC.”
Old Friends is considered a “living history museum of horse racing,” attracting nearly 20,000 tourists annually to see such stars of the turf as Breeders’ Cup Champion Gulch; multiple stakes winners Rail Trip and Commentator and the losing-est horse in the history of racing, Zippy Chippy. Learn more about Old Friends at www.oldfriendsequine.org.
The Georgia Horse Racing Coalition is a non-profit 501 C (6) organization whose mission is to educate Georgians about the value that horse racing will bring to our state by generating jobs, tax revenues and tourism. The Coalition is working with state leaders to pass legislation allowing pari-mutuel wagering in Georgia in order to encourage and support a statewide racing industry, including a state-of-the-art entertainment complex. Learn more at www.gahorseracing.org.
Steve Crayne, Executive Director
Georgia’s Jewels of the Triple Crown
Georgia has 2 Jewels of the Triple Crown! Susan Easton Burns artist for the 2014 Kentucky Derby interviewed by 17 Year-Old Bunny Hinzman in the March / April Issue of Southern Racehorse
Hawkinsville Harness Racing Festival April 4th & 5th
Over 100 years ago a love affiar with Harness Racing began in the small town of Hawkinsville, GA, in Pulaski County. Since that time, several world champions have been trained on the Hawkinsville tracks. The Georgia red clay and mild climate make an excellent combination for conditioning young horses.
For almost forty years, Pulaski County has celebrated its enduring bond to harness racing with the Annual Harness Horse Festival. The festival prides itself on an outstanding facility, community spirit, and fantastic entertainment. So follow the picturesque Ocmulgee River right into the heart of downtown Hawkinsville, and be prepared to experience Southern small-town living at its best. Hawkinsville Harness Festival
Watch Him Run: Mucho Macho Mans Stars in Breeders’ Cup Classic Rematch
The largest purse of the year thus far will feature a Breeders’ Cup Classic rematch between Mucho Macho Man, Will Take Charge and Game On Dude.
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SOUTHERN RACEHORSE TO COVER THOROUGHBRED INDUSTRY IN GEORGIA AND SOUTH CAROLINA
Southern Racehorse magazine today announced that it will provide coverage of the Thoroughbred industry in Georgia and South Carolina in partnership with the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition and South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. In addition to covering the industry in those two states, the magazine will include important updates and news from each organization and will be mailed to their members and supporters.
Southern Racehorse (www.southernracehorse.com) has similar agreements with the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma and also covers the Thoroughbred industry in Louisiana.
“Both Georgia and South Carolina have a long and rich history of Thoroughbred racing, breeding and training, even though neither currently has pari-mutuel racing,” said Denis Blake, Editor and Publisher of Southern Racehorse. “That tradition continues to this day, as Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man is Georgia’s hometown horse, and the Aiken, Camden and Elloree areas of South Carolina offer some of the finest training centers in the world. We aim to highlight the accomplishments of the horsemen, horsewomen and horses associated with Georgia and South Carolina.”
The Georgia Horse Racing Coalition (www.gahorseracing.org) is a group of leading business executives who love horse racing that have joined in an effort to bring first class horse racing to the state of Georgia. Their goal through private investment and no tax-related or state funds is to bring to Georgia a state-of-the-art entertainment complex built around horse racing.
“We are very excited to be part of Southern Racehorse and look forward to sharing our stories for years to come,” said Georgia Horse Racing Coalition Executive Director Steven Crayne.
The South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (www.sctoba.org) operates with the goal of promoting the Thoroughbred industry throughout the state and region while highlighting the positive aspects of breeding, training and racing.
“SCTOBA looks forward to our partnership with Southern Racehorse,” said SCTOBA President Lee Christian. “It will provide a great platform for what is going on in training and breeding in South Carolina.”
The Average Guy Can Be A King
Oil tycoons. Middle Eastern shieks. Professional sports club owners. Captains of industry. Sons and daughters of old-money families. This is the stereotype of the racehorse ownership fraternity.
But while all stereotypes have a measure of truth in them, this one – like most others – shouldn’t be accepted as gospel. The truth is, ownership of a racehorse isn’t out of reach for individuals of more modest financial means.
Maybe you can’t win the Kentucky Derby, but…
Oh, wait. Yes you can. It happened 10 years ago when Funny Cide, purchased by six average guys from rural town of Sackets Harbor, N.Y., won the Derby AND the Preakness Stakes.
Jon Constance, one of the self-styled “hicks from the sticks,” says he doesn’t regret the day he was talked into going into a partnership with five high school friends to buy a thoroughbred. Only one from that group, health care executive Jack Knowlton, knew anything about horse racing, and his experience was with harness racing.
“If you have a little bit of extra money, $5-10 thousand, and you want to get into a hobby and want to enjoy yourself – as opposed to buying a motorcycle or a new boat – racehorse ownership is great alternative,” said Constance, who was an optician at the time he got into the racing game.
He pointed out that the first horse the friends bought, Sackets’ Six, didn’t bring them a lot of money. He was purchased for a mere $17,500 and won three races, earning roughly $100,000. ”Just enough to pay the veterinarian and the trainer,” Constance said. “We really weren’t in it for the money, but we just had a blast. The fact that you had a horse racing around the track, and people are screaming, its such a great feeling.”
Ed Stanco knows that feeling. Stanco is an insurance company executive who heads a syndicate that owns Princess of Sylmar, one of the best 3-year-old fillies in North America and the winner of three Grade I stakes races in 2013.
It would be fair to describe me as upper middle class,” Stanco said. “I am not what you call rich. No one in our syndicate is, but we have had the same group of people, of various financial means, since 2008. All are guys who have decent incomes, but are mostly middle class. One in our syndicate is a retired New York City bus driver.”
Stanco said he has loved horse racing since he was 10 years old.
Pletcher, trainer of Princess of Sylmar, is one of the leaders in his profession. His resume includes a Kentucky Derby winner, two Belmont Stakes winners and four Eclipse Awards as the Trainer of the Year. Princess of Sylmar was foaled by Stanco at Sylmar Farm in Chistiana, Pa.
Funny Cide and Sylmar are exceptions. Still, there are plenty of who don’t have the bank account of a George Steinbrenner who get into ownership, have a good time – and maybe even see their horses win.
It’s even easier for the average individual to buy into harness racing, as standardbreds are generally less expensive than thoroughbreds.
Syndicate opportunities for both thoroughbreds and standardbreds can be found on several Internet sites.”Harness racing is the sport of the average man,” said Bob Smolko, an accountant in Cleveland who owns two standardbred racehorses and gives seminars for potential horse owners. “It has its roots in rural America, the county fairs. Thoroghbred racing has its roots in British aristocracy. “The owners are mostly guys who aren’t making tons of money, but are having fun.”
Smolko stresses that even though racehorse ownership might be fun, and seem like a hobby, it must be run as a business in order to get the tax benefits from ownership. That’s where his seminars enter the picture – teaching the new buyers the rules from the perspective of both an owner and a CPA.
Roberts pointed out that Dogwood Stables, less than a three-hour drive from Atlanta in Aiken, S.C., is dedicated to helping ordinary folks form partnerships. Dogwood, in fact, calls itself the originator of the partnership concept. Its policy, according to the stable’s web site, is to buy moderately priced horses with good bloodlines for maximum return.
That idea has worked well. Palace Malice, the 2013 Belmont Stakes winner, is stabled at Dogwood.”The ultimate story for getting a cheap horse was Seattle Slew,” Roberts said, referring to the Triple Crown winner of 1977. “He was bought for only $17,500.” That was a bargain even in 1977 dollars, and a price a few middle class individuals in a partnership or syndicate could certainly meet.
Horse racing might be the Sport of Kings, but getting involved in ownership doesn’t have to cost a king’s ransom.
Stephen J. Byrne, Contributing Writer, Georgia Horse Racing Coalition
Listen to Dean & Patti Reeves Talk GA Horse Racing, Sat. at 12:30pm ET on Sirius Ch 93 & XM 209
Georgia’s Hometown Horse Mucho Macho Man Honored With Secretariat Award Saturday, 11th Jan.
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Contact: Nate Newby
MUCHO MACHO MAN TO BE HONORED FOR SECRETARIAT VOX POPULI AWARD
Santa Anita Event Jan. 11 to Feature Poster Give-Away and Autograph Signing
ARCADIA, Ca. (Jan. 8th, 2014) – The West Coast will toast horse racing’s past and present in true Southern California style on Saturday, Jan. 11, with the annual presentation of the Secretariat Vox Populi Award at Santa Anita Park followed by the California premiere of Landlocked Films’ documentary Penny & Red: The Life of Secretariat’s Owner.
The celebration for the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic and Secretariat Vox Populi Award winner Mucho Macho Man will begin the day at Santa Anita Park with a commemorative poster give-away and autograph signing. His owners, Dean and Patti Reeves, and jockey Gary Stevens will join Penny Chenery’s designees — her son John Tweedy and Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay — to sign autographs and meet guests beginning at 11 a.m. Following the signing, Tweedy and Pincay will present the custom-made Vox Populi trophy to Stevens and the Reeves in a public ceremony scheduled to be broadcast live on HRTV.
Mucho Macho Man was the clear favorite in the voting for the annual Vox Populi, or “Voice of the People” award. The tenacious 5-year-old was sidelined for five months earlier in the year as he fought both bacterial and viral infections. Still, the strapping bay’s earnings for 2013 were nearly $3 million with only five starts, and his impressive wins in the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Classic propelled him into the limelight and further enhanced his popularity among racing fans.
The excitement on Jan. 11 will continue into the evening with the California premiere of Penny & Red, presented by Santa Anita Park and Secretariat.com, at the Krikorian Theatre in Monrovia. This revealing film, produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker John Tweedy and narrated by actress Diane Lane, is a 60-minute documentary that gives Penny Chenery’s honest reflection on her storied life as “The First Lady of Racing” and her incredible experience of owning “America’s Horse.”
Proceeds from the premiere will benefit equine welfare and rescue efforts through TROTT (Training Racehorses Off The Track) and the Secretariat Foundation. The evening will begin with an optional VIP reception at 6:30 p.m., where guests are invited to join Tweedy and other racing celebrities for hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Following the screening, guests will be invited to ask Tweedy questions related to the film.
Various ticketing levels will be offered for the premiere. General admission is available
for $40. Premium admission, which includes reserved seating inside the theatre and access to the
VIP reception is available for $95 per ticket, while the Deluxe package, which includes premium
admission, reserved seating plus a commemorative DVD of the film autographed by Mrs.
Chenery, is offered at $150 per person. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Secretariat.com or
by calling 949-813-9566. Tickets may also be purchased at the door pending availability.
For more information about Secretariat or the Vox Populi Award, visit Secretariat.com.
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Mucho Macho Man Breeders’ Cup Classic Ringtone
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HRTV Presents Mucho Macho Man
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