LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- When Justify entered the winner's circle after Kentucky Derby 144, it was just the start for the Triple Crown winner. But for Jack Wolf, it was two decades of work paying off.
"You get looking too far down the road. You do have to take it one day at a time with these horses," said Wolf, who is chief executive and managing partner of StarLight Racing, a syndicate he founded in 2000.
"StarLight through the years, I think we've had 11 or 12 Derby starters," he said.
While he's quick to downplay Justify's Triple Crown achievement as just a little luck, it was a big win for the group.
"Myself personally never really got too nervous. The horse just instilled all this confidence in you," Wolf said.
Now they're back for Kentucky Derby 145, this time with two chances at the garland of roses.
Just like with Justify, StarLight owns a portion of Improbable, trained by Bob Baffert. The group owns all of Cutting Humor, the Todd Pletcher-trained horse.
"This year we've got Cutting Humor that's probably going to 25-1 and Improbable here he'll probably be 7- or 8-1, so I'm a little nervous this year," Wolf said.
"It might increase the expectations a little bit, but I think people who have been in the sport a while understand it's pretty cyclical. So you have ups and downs, and you hope there are more ups than downs," said Lansdon Robbins, one of about a dozen StarLight partners. He joined the group in 2009 after years of buying horses on his own.
"We get a group of 10 to 12 and get to split the risk, which makes it more economically sensible if that's even possible," he said.
Minimizing the risk is a big draw when it comes to horse racing partnerships.
"Jack and his crew certainly make it easy, and we don't really have to deal with the day-to-day management. They handle that, and so you look at it as an investment," said Rick Kueber, who is the new guy when it comes to StarLight.
"Last year was my first Derby as part of the group so I'm one for one, three for three in Triple Crown races, so I think odds are against me," he said.
As StarLight gears up for another "Run for the Roses," even with last year's Triple Crown success, they're focused on one race at a time.
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