Little Red Feather Racing Blog

LRF Race Review (11.18.19)

Posted by Billy Koch on Nov 19, 2019 12:36:28 PM

photo courtesy of Benoit Photo

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Topics: Insider, Opinion Piece

LRF Race Review (11.11.19)

Posted by Billy Koch on Nov 11, 2019 5:00:00 PM

photo courtesy of DMTC

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Topics: Insider, Opinion Piece

Top 25 Things to Do in Del Mar (2019)

Posted by Gary Fenton on Jul 1, 2019 11:26:58 AM

photo courtesy of DMTC

Del Mar 2019 is here - - - and let's be honest, we've never needed it more.

Before we get to the new and improved Top 25 list, a quick thank you. To the horsemen and horsewomen of the Southern California racing circuit. You know who you are. The ones who get up in the dark and dedicate your lives to the care and well being of our racehorses. We know these last few months have not been easy. On behalf of the more than 300 active partners in Little Red Feather...THANK YOU.  

Coming off a Santa Anita meet that garnered 11 wins and over $1m in purses (ranking LRF 3rd in the owner standings), LRF is excited to send up to 40 runners to Del Mar this summer. Our partners are poised for our biggest meet ever. Obviously, then, we need something for them to do other than soaking in the sun setting on a Friday night over the grandstand.... So, without further adieu, enjoy our annual list of the Top 25 things to do this (and every) summer where the turf meets the surf.  

1. Where to plant your flag. The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is not only the nicest hotel in San Diego, but all of California. It's 5 stars in every way imaginable. Even better, this year, LRF partners receive 40% off regular room rates. The pool is so fun, I suspect partners will pass on the free shuttle to the racetrack and just watch the races on TVG. Contact us for the special partner only reservations agent. 

2. Speaking of TVG... The good folks not only provide great TV access to our races but they also give us a sweet app to gamble on our phones. More importantly, though, LRF partners can use that app this summer to receive DOUBLE ODDS on every LRF horse that runs at Del Mar. Receiving free money will always be a Top 25 item to do in Del Mar (or anywhere). 

3. While Handles Homemade Ice Cream dropped to #3 this year... it will always be #1 in our hearts. This and every year. Alice Handel belongs with the all-time greats. And now with the new and improved line system, you don't have to wait an hour to get your favorite flavors.  See you there.  Often.

4. One Paseo. Two years in the making, this much needed mixed-use development will no doubt become one of the most popular spots this summer. If you like meats, don't walk, run to the Butchery. While we all have our memories from the Del Mar Highlands, let's face it, it's time to make some new ones. 

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Topics: Opinion Piece

Horse Racing Partnerships 101: Tax Talk

Posted by Gary Fenton on May 19, 2019 11:04:30 PM

Owning a racehorse can be the most exciting investment you 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 and write-offs as investing in real estate or other business ventures. 

So, yes, it is a write-off! As long as you can pass the IRS Hobby Loss test (see below). If successful, there is a second test to determine when (and how much) you can write-down. Thankfully, it is generally accepted that investing in horse racing partnerships satisfies the Hobby Loss test.

Test #1 - Hobby Loss Tes
The IRS must first and foremost recognize your investment as a “legitimate business investment". As you can imagine, the IRS won’t blanketly allow taxpayers to write-off just any business investment.  An activity for personal pleasure that doesn’t generate profits is not a legitimate business investment but instead classified as a “hobby”.

Per the IRS, the following factors, although not all inclusive, may help you to determine if your activity is an activity engaged in for profit or a hobby.

  • Does the time and effort put into the activity indicate an intention to make a profit?
  • Do you depend on income from the activity?
  • If there are losses, are they due to circumstances beyond your control or did they occur in the start-up phase of the business?
  • Have you changed methods of operation to improve profitability?Do you have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business?
  • Have you made a profit in similar activities in the past?
  • Does the activity make a profit in some years?
  • Do you expect to make a profit in the future from the appreciation of assets used in the activity?
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Topics: Opinion Piece

Top 25 Things to Do in Del Mar (2018)

Posted by Gary Fenton on Jun 12, 2018 9:27:25 AM

photo courtesy of DMTC

Everything smells and tastes better in the summer, most notably in the middle of July! Del Mar 2018 is nearly here. Where stress levels drop to 0 (except when the stewards innocuously take down your horse) and it's sunshine until nine. With purse increases in Southern California, racing is hotter than the weather (always 78) and with over 400 active partners, Little Red Feather will descend upon the seaside track for its best summer yet. Breathe, soak it in, and enjoy our annual list of the Top 25 things to do this summer (and every summer) where the turf meets the surf.  

1. We start this year in Youngstown, OH where Alice Handel invented an ice cream so good that 2,414 miles away it creates hour long lines in Encinitas, CA. Handals Homemade Ice Cream made America great again and Alice deserves a statute next to the Cardiff Kook. 

2. The La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club and Hotel is a hidden jewel with a slew of activities for both adults and kids. We highly recommend spending a night at this historic hotel. Private beach access in San Diego is rare. Take advantage of it. 

3. We love food. And BBQ. And last year we discovered the most authentic BBQ west of Texas. The Grand Ole BBQ in North Park serves it the Grand Ole way - - until they run out of food. Lines form starting at 6pm for dinner. Get there after 7:30pm and you're eating at Chipotle.

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Topics: Opinion Piece

Horse Racing Partnerships 101: Buying the Best Doesn't Mean Paying the Most

Posted by Gary Fenton on Oct 12, 2017 12:29:50 PM


In a recent blog “Seriously, how much does it cost to own a racehorse”, the costs of ownership were broken down to around $45,000 for routine maintenance and training fees excluding stakes nominations costs. Keep in mind that the costs are generally split between shareholders of horse racing partnerships making them a little more affordable. Many people go into horse ownership for the thrills and the experience, but in the end horse racing partnerships are a business with the end goal of producing a profit for its partners.

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Topics: Opinion Piece

We Once Saved a Horse's Life Stuck in Quarantine....She Runs Tomorrow at Del Mar

Posted by Gary Fenton on Jul 20, 2017 12:01:44 PM

We've won the Breeders' Cup and pinhooked horses for millions of dollars. And I promise you the biggest win in LRF history or my career will always be the time we saved Tooreen Dancer's (IRE) life.

The word "we" is a also big one. Saving a horse's life stuck in USDA quarantine takes more than one person. It involves lawyers, senators, heads of big organizations and two governments. No one will ever be able to tell me we don't care about our horses because one Christmas I saw an industry come together to save this one.

And she runs tomorrow in the 3rd race at Del Mar.

It was typical day at LRF when European Bloodstock Agent Niall Dalton called with the hope of an Irish prospect. Among other reasons, we liked the way she fought winning her debut at Dundalk so we made an offer and ultimately purchased her. 

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Topics: Opinion Piece

Top 25 Things to Do in Del Mar (2017)

Posted by Gary Fenton on Jun 6, 2017 11:18:08 AM

Del Mar 2017 is here! Where racing is king again and the only talk of field size is how busy 19th Street Beach gets before noon.

No matter what's happening in the world there is always Del Mar. Breathe, soak it in, and enjoy our list for the Top 25 things to do this summer (and every summer) where the turf meets the surf.  

1. There is only one thing better than waking up in Del Mar. Heading straight to the The Naked Cafe for breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day and you will never have a bad one starting off with the Buff Breakfast Burritos.  

2. Spend the morning at the barn. The backside is horse heaven. See how hard your trainers and their staffs work and we promise you won't feel like they are just running up day rates not running your horses.

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Topics: Opinion Piece

Horse Racing Partnerships 101: We Miss You Barry Abrams

Posted by Gary Fenton on Mar 25, 2017 1:19:10 PM

Trainer Barry Abrams retired last year and California racing is not the same. He co-owned the great California stallion Unusual Heat (a horse he claimed) and had a style of training not seen in decades (and still not emulated).  He was also a mentor to a young syndicate named Little Red Feather.

My favorite Barry Abrams story is this.  
He sold us and our partners 80% of a CA Bred horse named Unusual Beam and almost immediately the horse got hurt and needed 8 months off. As you can imagine this wasn’t an ideal start to the new partnership. So, Barry came to me and said, I have another horse!  As my eyes rolled, he explained the other horse, the CA Bred Lindz Winz, was just coming back from a similar injury and the same partners should “trade” 25% of Unusual Beam for 25% of Lindz Winz. 
TRADE!?  Is this Major League Baseball? 
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Topics: Opinion Piece

OBS March 2017: The Short List

Posted by Gary Fenton on Mar 13, 2017 2:56:39 PM

The important OBS March 2YO-in-training sale is set for tomorrow, March 14, 2017 and LRF is here trying to find the next Midnight Storm for our horse racing partnerships. Auctions are incredibly exciting. With 2YO’s even more so. It feels like the NFL combine. You have these incredible athletes and it is your job to find Tom Brady from a very talented pool with like-minded competitors swimming around you.The process of finding your horse takes talent, patience, and like anything in life….hard work. Anyone can look when a sale is over and say “I could’ve had that horse for $5,000 more.” The problem with that statement is a sale moves forwardly, not backwards. There are 677 horses at OBS March, so the odds of landing on the same horse as LRF is actually 1 in 677. And when sale is over and the horse is ours… no, you can never, ever just buy that horse for $5,000 more. The only way to buy a horse at auction for the sales price listed is to start at the beginning, like everyone else, and whittle the 677 horses down to your short list. Then you must survive the auction itself and become the winning bidder. It’s grueling.

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Topics: Opinion Piece

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