This story starts in the middle of May, shortly after the Kentucky Derby. I received a telephone call from a prospective client wanting to discuss starting a new racing partnership. As part of my equine law practice, this is not uncommon.
We discussed the potential venture. During the conversation, we talked about the pros and cons of starting a racing partnership. The pros being that it was a wonderful way to offer new people an opportunity into racing, it was more affordable than single ownership and it can be a tremendous amount of fun if you are very lucky. The cons being the reality of the racing game, injuries, soreness, bad partners who you don’t know and the fact that the vast majority of racing owners lose money.
Having watched as people within their family owned and raced horses, the general partners were not dissuaded by the negatives. They knew the pitfalls and were prepared for the pushback I gave them. I don’t want to receive a call and say great, let’s start your partnership and find out six months later you have failed and your partners have vanished. That’s not good for the game but more importantly it’s no fun for you. These partners had a plan and they wanted to push forward 100%.
Over the next few weeks as the remainder of the Triple Crown races were being run, the formation of Loudmouth Racing LLC began to take shape. Drafting the Operating Agreement, the Subscription Agreements and making sure that all legal aspects were in shape, the partners began raising capital. They wanted to race and they wanted to race by Saratoga.
The two managing partners, cousins Stephen Valente and Mike Valenti met with potential investors, trainers and people throughout racing. They did their homework, which is business is 90% the way to success. They determined that they wanted to claim a horse and hope to run back during the Saratoga meet. The partners advised me that they got their financing so that they could make their first claim in the Belmont Spring Meeting.
They claimed Aussie Prayer, a 4 year old New York Bred on July 8th. Aussie Prayer won the race she was claimed in. This means that the first start that Aussie Prayer could run in would either have to be a higher claiming level or an allowance race. An allowance race means that it would be a jump up in competition against New York Breds at the most difficult track to get a win. The allowance race filled as the 6th race on the opening Saturday of the 2016 Saratoga meet, which coincided with the first race of the day being broadcast nationally on the Saratoga Live television show.
As the 6th approached, the Valenti and Valente families and friends gathered in the paddock. There was hope and optimism that this horse could run well. It was not necessarily going to be easy and the competition was tough. The horse broke midpack and stayed there until the top of the stretch. Then Hall of Fame jockey John Velasquez put the gas pedal on. The horse took off and won drawing away.
To think, this partnership had not been in existence before May. This was its first horse, racing in its first start. That is unlikely, but to have that start on a Saturday in Saratoga? Unheard of.
Congratulations to my friends and clients for showing that dreams can come true.
If you are interested in forming your own partnership, or learning more about horse partnerships, email me at [email protected] or call me at 518-430-0005.