Little Red Feather Racing Blog

LRF Cares is Formed to Help Retired Thoroughbred Partnership Racehorses

Posted by Gary Fenton on Jan 11, 2016 7:12:42 PM

Horse Racing Partnerships First Charity Designed to Care for Partnership Horses After Their Racing Careers.

I am so excited to announce the formation of LRF Cares, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization which will provide aftercare for horse racing partnership horses and other noteworthy causes.

The first goal of LRF Cares is to make sure every Little Red Feather horse, whether they retire in LRF colors or not, is given a proper chance at a second career. If a second career is not obtainable, LRF Cares will find suitable homes for all of its horses.

In the past, LRF found homes or second careers for its retired racehorses, like McLovin above, who became a well-known hunter jumper. Now, LRF Cares will take over this responsibility and hopefully add in a tracking system to keep up with retired horses and jump in if needed.

Owning racehorses comes with great responsibility and my father instilled in me the importance of giving back. Besides a full time job, and four children, I watched him donate his time to making our community of Beverly Hills, CA better (over the span of 20 years, he was Mayor, Board of Education President and Treasurer). I’m hopeful we have and will continue to make a similar impact in the horse racing industry.

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Topics: Horse Ownership Tips

I Don't Understand..What are the Different Types of Races in Thoroughbred Horse Racing!?

Posted by Gary Fenton on Jul 7, 2015 9:37:00 PM


If you understand the above photo, this blog is not for you. However, if you're like the other 99% of the world, you need someone to explain why there are so many different types of races in thoroughbred horse racing!  

The easy answer can be summed up in one sentence - thoroughbred horse racing gets its revenue from gambling and gamblers bet on races that are evenly matched.

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Topics: Horse Ownership Tips

Seriously, How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Racehorse?

Posted by Billy Koch on Jul 2, 2015 12:48:09 PM

In last week's blog, we discussed the cost it takes to keep and train a thoroughbred racehorse. However, as you might have guessed, there is another - sometimes substantial - cost when entering the Sport of Kings and that is the actual purchase price of the equine athlete.

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Topics: Horse Ownership Tips

Seriously. How Much does it Cost to Own a Racehorse?

Posted by Billy Koch on Jun 23, 2015 11:34:00 AM

Early this morning at the gym, a professional athlete asked me what I did for a living. When I told him I was in the horse racing business, he responded - as most people do - with “REALLY? WOW! VERY COOL! DO YOU KNOW BOB BAFFERT?” After this exchange, the very next thing out of his mouth was, “I heard it’s like $20,000 a month to keep one of those. Expensive right? Seriously, whether you own singularly or invest in horse racing partnerships, how much does it cost to own a racehorse?”

The truth is, it does not cost $20,000 a month to own a racehorse. However, it does cost around $45,000 a year to maintain a racehorse in training (in Southern California) and we will gladly break down the numbers for you.

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Topics: Horse Ownership Tips

What is the Condition Book in Thoroughbred Horse Racing?

Posted by Gary Fenton on Jun 19, 2015 11:49:00 AM


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Topics: Horse Ownership Tips

Top Seven Complaints People Make After Investing in Horse Racing Partnerships

Posted by Billy Koch on Jun 17, 2015 10:40:09 AM

Investing in a horse racing syndicate makes the barrier of entry into the world of horse racing far less daunting. These partnerships like Little Red Feather Racing, do most of the heavy lifting while you, the investor, may sit back and enjoy the ride. Inevitably however, there will be mistakes made along the way as you find out which partnership is right for you.

Listed below are the top seven complaints we hear from investors who may have joined the wrong partnership.

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Topics: Horse Ownership Tips

How do Thoroughbred Partnerships Pick a Jockey for Their Racehorses?

Posted by Gary Fenton on Jun 9, 2015 9:35:00 AM

Horse owners or the general partner of thoroughbred partnerships face an important decision before every start.  Who do you choose to ride your horse?

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Topics: Horse Ownership Tips

Is Investing in a Thoroughbred Racehorse a Tax Write-Off?

Posted by Gary Fenton on May 26, 2015 12:25:00 PM

Owning a racehorse can be the most exciting investment you will ever make. But, it is first and foremost an investment. If treated like the business that it is, the IRS affords many of the same protections as investing in real estate or other business ventures.  Below is a basic guideline to whether you can write-off your investment in horse racing partnerships like Little Red Feather Racing or West Point Thoroughbreds.  For a more thorough analysis please see LRF’s Tax Guide to Investing in Thoroughbred Partnerships.

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Topics: Horse Ownership Tips

How Do I Buy the Best Horse at a Racehorse Auction?

Posted by Billy Koch on May 21, 2015 12:24:09 PM

Next week - May 26-28 - we're (Little Red Feather Racing) headed to my favorite place on earth, Del Mar, CA, to the first ever Barrett's two-year-old in training sale at Del Mar. On the sales grounds are roughly 150 two-year-old racehorses that will go through the sales process - a breeze on Tuesday, physical inspections on Wednesday, and the live auction on Thursday. As a manager of horse racing partnerships, these sales are one of the most important aspects of our job. Our clients expect us to find the best horses at the best prices. Period.

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Topics: Horse Ownership Tips

Are Horse Trainers Entitled to a Bonus When You Sell a Thoroughbred?

Posted by Gary Fenton on May 12, 2015 12:24:26 PM

Most people don’t know, but horse trainers expect a 5% “bonus” when an owner sells a thoroughbred racehorse for a profit. For example, a horse racing syndicate purchases a horse for $100,000, races the horse successfully, then later sells a horse for $1,000,000. In such instance, due to the nice profit, the trainer expects 5% or $50,000. 

This is a hot-button issue with many owners and horse racing syndicates. In almost every case this bonus is based on a handshake, industry norm. There is nothing in writing.

As managing partner of horse racing partnerships, we are immensely appreciative of the work our trainers do.  They spend countless hours, many before we wake up in the morning, supervising and caring for our horses. 

An owner though, recently told us he was taken aback when the issue arose. “I purchase the horse, and pay a daily training fee and 10% of purses. We win a few races and I see a small return...but I'm not still not in the black with this horse or the other nine I've had with the trainer.  Finally, I'm lucky enough to receive a big payday and my trainer tells me it’s ‘standard' to receive 5% of the purchase price. But I’m still generating a loss from all my horse investments.” 

The horse trainer (think of someone like Bob Baffert), of course, sees it differently. "Most people think we make money on our day rate," one trainer recently told us. "I know I don't. I earn my living on the 10% commission from purses. This bonus is important to me."

When horse racing partnerships address the issue the response is usually straight forward. As fiduciary of our partners investment we can’t legally “hand out” a non-contractual bonus. We do explain the “industry norm” to our partners and some actually want to pay it. So, we leave it up to the partners.  I suspect the same percentage of partners of thoroughbred syndicates pay the bonus as do other owners.

Unfortunately, there is no right answer. Personally, we agree with both sides. Trainers shouldn’t have to base their livelihood on whether their horses are profitable. They are experts in their field and should be paid as such.  The real issue is… why is the rule “unwritten”?  Nobody likes hidden fees. Wouldn't transparency resolve the issue? Trainers should make it clear in writing when receiving a horse that the training fee is day rate, plus 10% of purses, and 5% on a sale.  At this point, the owner has the right to agree or walk away.  Most will stay.

Let's move deals like this from the back room out into the light and make positive change through transparency and communication.

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Topics: Horse Ownership Tips

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Our blog aims to inform you about fractional racehorse ownership and to entertain those interested in the sport of kings.

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