Monday, September 28, 2009

Partnerships

Partnerships for claimers and horses of racing age are well documented and out there. (Chick has a good list here). In Ontario and elsewhere for standardbred partnerships, Online Harness Owner and others seem to be doing quite well. But there are very few (that I can see) that solely focus on yearlings.

Yearling partnerships seem to be the ones which I am most interested in, for a few reasons:

1) The Home Run - Claimers and others can provide a lot of entertainment in harness racing, but rarely do we see a home run ball. You can not claim a horse for 20k and race him in the Jug.

2) You Will Probably Lose Money - People in the yearling game know that they will probably lose money. We have for a hundred years. In other partnerships they seem to sell "you can make a ton of money" and there is pressure placed on everyone to do that. For those of us trying to hit a homer and have a good horse, we know our investment will probably be gone.

3) Spreading the Risk - Buying say 10 yearlings at a modest price, can allow two or three to be successful and they can come close to carrying the others. If my stable buys two yearlings outright that is all we can afford and with two bullets in the gun you have to get very lucky.

4) Built-in Patience - People attracted to yearling partnerships should have more patience than a claiming partnership group. Winning, and winning now is not an option with young horses. In fact, patient trainers like Chuck Sylvester and Blair Burgess almost annually hit some sort of homer with modest stock.

I think yearling partnerships are built perfectly for the harness game, and if you have five or six you might be able to get more interest in our game. I thought at times about starting one, but being busy with a lot of other things I let that slide. Maybe it is something to revisit for next years sales, as I think it makes a ton of sense.

Does anyone have any thoughts on yearling partnerships? Started one, tried to start one, or wanted to be a part of one?

3 comments:

Cangamble said...

I think the best way to get into horse racing is through partnerships, but a newbie needs to enter it with runners (ie claiming).
Moderate success, which includes losing just a little, and then enter the yearling game.
I think trying to sell newbies on the idea of buying yearlings first is not the way to go.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Cangambles comments, however for owners familiar with the sport and risks, I think it can and does work. Again PTP hits the right topics; spread the risk, go for patience, have clear goals (when to sell how many starts in each season, etc.) One of the reasons any kind of partnership fails is lack of attention to EVERY detail. Usually the downfall of partnerships is indecision about when to sell, if the horse is for sale during the season, when to cut the loss if it a bomb, and sometimes lack of agreement about where and when to race. The single most important factor is complete and total trust between the group and the chosen trainer.
The Mentors group for new owners here in Ontario is a great example of how to make a yearling partnership work.
Regards, Rebecca

Rick said...

The biggest problem with partners on yearlings is selling them. Sometimes you have to pull the trigger and if the horse is doing fairly well they are hard to part with. I think a yearling partnership where at the end of the two year old seasons, some are culled, and at the end of the three year old season all horses are sold is something I would be a part of. If your group over time gets known for selling horses of quality as part of the agreement, you will get good prices and can sink it back into the yearlings that fall.

Rick