Saturday, September 6, 2008

After a Successful Summer, Now We Grow

Canterbury Park has shut down for the season and with the departure of the horses to various tracks around the country, my thoughts have now moved ahead to expand this business. We have had (knock on wood) a nice run with Fizzy Pop and we're hopeful for a good fall at Remington as well. Now it's time to take stock of what has worked and what has not and start gathering up partners for the next go 'round.

Right now there are 22 people on the "please let me know when the next group is starting" list. How many of those that decide to write checks is unknown. I will be spending this month trying to determine exactly that. E-mails will be going out to all these interested folks in the next week. That list may grow by some of you - who knows!? Drop me a line ( and let me know your interested.

It looks like we'll have shares priced around $1,250 and, if fully subscribed, each share will be worth 2.5% of the total. I am undecided on where to run this group, however. Bernell and Fizzy are in Oklahoma, but I'm not sure if Remington is the best places to claim horses. A better option may be the Chicago area for this next group and then we'll go back to Bernell in Tampa after the first of the year for the subsequent group. The summer goal is to run and be successful at Canterbury. Should we end up with a horse that exceeds our expectations, then we will let that horse develop to it's potential even if that means by-passing Canterbury for greener pastures. But that is putting the cart WAY in front of the horse (ouch...sorry).

I had toyed with the idea of starting up a 'high limit' group, if you will. We would go ahead and gather up shares totalling about $100,000 and hire our friend and bloodstock agent extraordinaire David Miller to buy us a horse at Keeneland this fall and shoot for the moon (or at least a stakes quality horse!), but I think that's jumping the gun this year. That said, I'm keeping that thought in the back of my mind for a year or two down the road. Keep your eye on this space - it could happen!

For right now I want to get Group Two off the ground and have Group Three following up on it's heels. Then I'd like to take the time with my trainers with the right horses in the right spots to make each group as successful as it can be. We can't win every race, but we can spot the horses so we have a shot in every race. That's really all we can ask. Of course, part of that is not claiming just to claim, but to keep an eye out for opportunity. That may knock sooner or it may knock in a month or two - the key is patience. I admit, I'm not the most patient person in the world, but when it's rewarded it tends to reinforce the behavior. I like to think I've learned the lesson.

So I'm off this weekend to try and craft a note that will entice folks, make them comfortable with investing with us (and, as we all know, investing really isn't the right term for buying horses) as well as laying out the offering as clearly and straightforwardly as possible. I certainly appreciate my friends Jeff, Lloyd and Russ proofing the document as a consumer would and providing excellent feedback. Also, I would also like to thank Frank Vespe and Steve Zorn for their valuable input on agreements and terms. Click on their names to go to their very informative blogs and websites. Yes, they offer their own partnerships, but so what? There is certainly room enough in this business for all of us and I love to plug not only fellow TBAers, but also quality partnerships that operate with character and integrity.

In a month or so you will all know the results. It could be embarrassing, it could be overwhelming or could end up somewhere in between. One thing you can be sure of, you'll hear all about it here!


Winston...not really said...

As any Emperor knows, no Empire is too large or unwieldy. With that in mind, if you think you might give Chicago a go, let me know. I might be able to scrounge up enough poor souls to buy into a share or two.

Ted G said...

Thanks, Winston. I will do that. I should know more details in the next few days after I vet some trainers (borrowing the campaign vernacular of the day!).