How an average person can own a race horse - WDRB 41 Louisville News

How an average person can own a race horse

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Have you ever wonder what it's like to own a race horse? It's not that hard to own your own piece of a thoroughbred.

WDRB's Sterling Riggs explains horse syndicates and how you too can get in the game.

Horse racing is known as the sport of kings. Spend a little time in Kentucky and you'll find plenty of people who claim to own a race horse.

The power of a thoroughbred using every muscle to cross the finish line first is why people from across the world descend on Churchill Downs.

A myth about horse racing is that only incredibly wealthy people own races horses. That's simply not true.

Horse racing syndicates allow people from all walks of life a chance to own a piece of the dream.

Louisville native Joe Montano is involved in several syndicates. His father Angel has been a trainer at Churchill Downs for more than 40-years.

This family team is proof that you don't need endless cash to turn a profit on the track.

"Basically you pull your money together. You pull 50-thousand together, you try to claim a horse for 25-thousand and then have the rest of the money to offset any other expenses. The goal is to avoid a cash call," said Montano.

Joe says most of the time several principal owners own the majority of the horse. Those owners can then split their shares and sell off smaller shares to friends.

"Some people can get in for 1-thousand dollars. We have some syndicates that it takes $25,000 to get involved in. It varies," says Montano.

Joe says horse ownership is like being a member of a country club. Some people get in to it for the social aspect and want to walk with the horse to the paddock in front of adoring fans and others just want to turn a profit. But racing is like the stock market, nothing is guaranteed.

"One day you are on top of the world because you just won. The next day your horse is sick for whatever reason," said Montano.

Joe is adamant that owning a race horse is not for everyone. "I have some friends that want to get in, but they don't quite have the temperament to be involved in this game. There are highs and lows in this business. You must maintain an even keel," said Montano.

So how do you get in the game? He says the best way is to do a little internet research and ask around. He says you'll be surprised who you know that might have an ownership stake in a horse.

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