Friday, October 2, 2009

Capital Anyone?

Everybody has a horse to sell these days. I don't mean that in a disparaging or negative way at all. I have been literally inundated with e-mails and phone calls from folks asking me if I want to get a group together to buy into his horse or that horse. Some very nicely bred horses and some less regal. Literally from Coast to Coast, though not from north to south - though I'm waiting on a call from someone in Texas just to round out the Nation!

The problem is capital. Or, more specifically, the lack thereof. These are uncertain times and today's release of jobs data (nearly 4% higher new unemployment claims then most estimates) did absolutely nothing to quell any one's fears. Having a couple of grand to throw into a horse is not the first thing that people think to do with any excess capital they may have.

One of the very things that makes our sport unique - you can own a piece of your very own franchise - is slipping from the grasp of the ordinary Jane or Joe. $2000, while not chump change, was affordable for many folks a while back especially if it could get you a piece of a decent racehorse, maybe give you a few wins, some backstretch visits, some "inside" scoop and live out your dream of owning a racehorse. Now...not so much. These days, even $200 has become a stretch for many and all of us are feeling it.

So what options does that leave the Managing Partner of a racing partnership? Amazingly, there still are some options:

1 - Think Smaller: Go after a cheap horse with fewer partners and knock around trying to pay the nut. Obvious shortcoming? Cheap claimers are cheap for a reason.

2 - Think Smaller Part Deux: Take a smaller share of a larger horse. Pull together a few folks and grab 10 - 20% of a $50,000 high level claimer/allowance horse. Upside - you'll can get a nice run for your money. Downside - with such a small percentage, you're at the mercy of the larger owner.

3 - Think Smaller Part Trois: Micro-fractional ownership. Get more partners in at a couple of hundred dollars each. You may be able to pull enough to buy your own horse or a larger share with a minority owner. Upside - you're calling the shots. Downside - higher administrative and accounting costs.

4 - My Partners Meet Your Partners: GRS doesn't have enough partners and partnership 'x' doesn't have enough partners. One solution is to pack up, get together and make a go of it. Upside - both partnerships can get a horse...probably a relatively nice one. Downside - decision making is a bit complicated as are fees.

With the exception of number one - this holds absolutely zero allure for me - the other three are all in play these days. One thing does remain certain, I would like to be ready to go come Tampa Bay opening to start scoping out a horse or horses to bring back to Canterbury. That was a successful model for Fizzy Pop's group and we're looking to replicate that success in 2010. From now until then, we're looking at all kinds of opportunities. I'm ready to kick into growth mode and that means more groups than the one.

As I'm writing, more and more ideas are coming into my head. There are so many more things to talk about, I think that we'll tackle this topic on Wednesday night's radio show. I hope you'll tune in, call in and let me know your opinion on this topic. I'm moving to 9 PM Central Time on Blog Talk Radio starting October 7. I'll have a few more ideas then - I hope that you'll share yours as well.

1 comment:

Turfmeister Maz said...

Very informative. Thank you.