Sunday, March 21, 2010

For Love Or/And Money?

There is an interesting dilemma we're facing as a group heading into Tabby Lane's next spot. She handle a group of $16,000 Optional Claimers with energy to spare a little more than a week or so ago and now we need to look for her next spot. There is not going to be an open allowance at Tampa in the near future and we don't know if our gal is stakes quality yet. I have no illusions that she is graded stakes quality, but perhaps she's a competitor for the Hoist Her Flag Stakes or the filly & mare Claiming Crown race. Perhaps not. That's the nature of the game, right?

So the choice becomes where do we place her? Do we risk putting a tag on her and losing her? If she does get claimed at $25,000 or $32,000 six weeks after we paid $10,000 for her, is that such a bad thing? If we find an Optional Claiming race (next level up is $32,000) do we 'protect' her or slap the tag on her and try and 'save' the condition for Canterbury where claiming prices don't get quite that high? An awful lot of interesting questions to be answered in the next week or so.

Running a partnership is an interesting balancing act between fun and profit. In this business it's tough to turn a dollar. You don't get into it to make a killing and you hope that you've done a nice enough job with your partners so they know how hard it can be. You want them to have fun, enjoy watching their horse race and hopefully get a photo or two. When you have a partner like we do who went ahead and had these shirts made (the reverse says "Tabby Lane" across the shoulders and a large number 2 as she was the 2 horse in the race) it is almost the best feeling

you can have as a managing partner. Most of my partners are Minnesota based and how can you deny that this summer is going to be a fun one with folks that go to these lengths for the group?! Tabby should be very, very competitive up here. (Thanks to Annie, bartender at Old Chicago Uptown in Minneapolis for being my model and to partner Shelly for having them put together)

All that taken into consideration, can you pass up the opportunity to triple everyone's initial investment? As we all know, there is always another horse somewhere. When you slap the tag on a horse you always run the risk of selling off the next Lava Man at a bargain price. But what are the odds of that actually happening to you? Let's say we put a tag on Tabby and she runs, wins and gets claimed at $32,000 the group collects checks for $44,000. Again, we claimed her at $10,000 and she's already won once and picked up a $13,000 check. Let's not kid ourselves, for folks that bought a 5% share in her for $500 plus expenses, this is a real return on your investment! But is it short sighted?

Let's say there is no tag on her and she wins. What is the limit then? She's surely a Hoist Her Flag contender at that point. The winner's share of that Canterbury stake is $21,000. What if she is Claiming Crown material? The winner's share there is over $40,000. The summer long money dwarfs the six week money.The again...maybe she doesn't win at $32,000 and gets claimed. We sold her high. Can you go wrong with that? Maybe no one wants her that high and it doesn't matter? Maybe we have her covered and she doesn't win and someone wanted her? Did we just end up taking a cut in pay when we need to drop her into a $25,000 straight claiming race?

There are a lot of questions to answer and I've polled our group for their input. Our trainer, Bernell Rhone, will have a say in what we do as well. Really, while interesting, this is hardly a bad problem to have and I'm grateful for the opportunity to having to make this decision.

You'll know which way we went when you see her next entry!


Teresa said...

How do I get one of those t-shirts? And hope to see her in person soon--

Glenn Craven said...

Congratulations, and you're right, a nice problem to have. Also nice to have partners so excited that they print up T-shirts for the win, not to mention wardrobe models for the blog. ... You're rollin' in good fortune!

Shea said...

Why not run her in a $!0,000 starter allowance where you will have a great chance to win and no chance to lose her?

Ted Grevelis said...

Hi all - thanks for reading and especially taking the time to comment!

Teresa - I'll see what I can do!

Glenn - Thanks. So far so good, but never one to exhale when it comes to racehorses!

Shea - We would, but they haven't even run a STALW at Tampa for F&Ms since Feb 24 and nothing in the book through the first week of April. If the next book is out before we're ready to enter her and that race is there, we'd go for it!

Cangamble said...

Horses go in and out of good form, they are also very vulnerable to injury. I look at that every horse has it's price. What would you take for her today? That is how you make your decision on where to run her. If you think she is worth $25k today, run her for around 20k (adding in the expected 25% of the purse (sort of between a win and a second).

Owners tend to think their horses are worth more than they are. Trainers tend to think they are worth less.

Jack said...

I agree with Cangamble as you need to run them to win and we just won and lost a decent horse doing just that. The challange for GRS is running at a level where you might be able to finish in the money outside of MN so you can bring a competative horse back to MN to run live for the group as that's a big part of social group like ours, Emerald Bay Stables.

Now that we're down to 2 horses with one running this weekend at it's lowest level in over a year we have others we may be claiming soon elsewhere so we come back to MN with more than one horse this season.