Saturday, November 15, 2008

Back to Cali

Caving into peer pressure, I'm back racing in California. While I'm joking, consistent prodding from Lloyd and Russ and an opportunity presented to me half in jest by Jeff resulted in Grevelis Racing buying 10% of a gelding named Valid Port (above) today to dip a toe back in the California waters. Porter (Valid Wagner - Taffy Davenport - Miswaki), as he's known around the barn, is a 3-year old gelding with a lifetime record of 18 starts, 4 wins, two seconds and a third and career earnings of $86,730 under the care of trainer Armando Lage.

My purpose here was two-fold. One was to see, after the debacle of the past with a California based partnership, if I could wash that taste out of my mouth. Secondarily, and maybe more importantly, I got a deal and a half on the share. I know the other partners involved, so it wasn't like I went into this blind. I know he's sound and a hard trier. He's won a few times, so he knows the taste of victory. In fact, I even waited a few extra days so I could get a report from Armando before I pulled the trigger. He looks to be a nice mid-level claiming/occasional starter allowance horse that I got at a mid-lower level claiming price. There is nothing wrong with that!

Now I need to get licensed in California. In theory, that shouldn't be too hard. But unlike their counterparts in OK, FL and MN, the California Horse Racing Board's website does not very clearly delineate licensing requirements. There was a mention of a fingerprint waiver, but no mention of the states that they accept from or the form to fill out. Unfortunately I am leaving tomorrow night for the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, so this ought to be a circus the next week or so trying to get all this nailed down!

My hope is we get a few wins out of Porter (just trying it on for size) and make some money, of course. My greater hope is that I can build a positive relationship with Armando, wipe away the memory of the OS experience and see if GRS can expand into California with the hope of some measure of success. Interestingly enough, I've already been approached about offering some of my percentage out as kind of a "starter" kit for new owners: offer up 1% for a couple of hundred dollars and no fees until after the first of the year. While intriguing, what's most notable to me as that there ARE folks out there that DO want to own racehorses. It's not the desire that's missing, it's the price point in these economic times. I think that is a small , encouraging sign for the industry. These days, I'll take any sign I can get!

So as they say in all those office e-mails: Please join me in welcoming Valid Port (or at least 10%of him) to the Grevelis Racing team. We look forward to watching you run!

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Boy are those some ugly silks on that