Article Profiling WPT President Terry Finley from the West Point Alumni Association
Those watching the nationally televised Preakness Stakes on May 17th and the Belmont Stakes on June 7th were probably focused on the story of Big Brown, the Kentucky Derby winner that was attempting to win the Triple Crown. However, members of the Long Gray Line and the US Army no doubt saw something equally interesting to them - a gray colt sporting black and gold silks, and owned by an entity called "West Point Thoroughbreds." When the colt named Macho Again finished second in the Preakness and paid $17.40 for his effort, interest in West Point Thoroughbreds began to spike. Just what is the connection between West Point and thoroughbred racing?
The connection is Terry Finley '86, who founded West Point Thoroughbreds in 1991. Finley, a lifelong racing fan who worked at Philadelphia area racetracks during his high school summers, has developed a formula that allows investors to become involved in horseracing without being exposed to huge financial risk. Every year, Finley and his team purchase young, unraced horses and sell shares of them to individuals who may be reluctant to foot the entire bill for a racehorse on their own. West Point Thoroughbreds then manages the career of each horse; from training, to racing, to eventual sale or retirement. The end result is that the "partners" experience the thrills of participating in horse racing with minimum financial exposure.
Finley notes that integrity is the primary key to the success of West Point Thoroughbreds. "The partners know they can trust us, and everything we do is transparent. Racing is a risky business and there is no guarantee of financial success, but the partners know that they will always get our best effort; we do what we say; and we never deceive them. I learned that at West Point - it's at my core, and it's how I run my business," he said.
From humble beginnings in 1991, West Point Thoroughbreds has steadily grown to become one of the top owners in horse racing. In 2007, horses owned by West Point Thoroughbreds earned nearly $4.5 million, ranking it fourth in the nation. In addition to Macho Again, West Point runners have competed in the Kentucky Derby, the Breeders Cup, and other top races. This year, the company's horses have already earned $2.2 million, with most of the big money races scheduled for later in the season.
With his success, Finley believes in giving back as well. He established the "Thoroughbred Thank You Fund" as a way for the racing industry to express its gratitude to the men and women serving on active duty. Its goal is to send troops to major races each year. He also arranged for the Cadet Glee Club to sing the National Anthem at last fall's Breeders Cup at Monmouth Park, and is a significant donor to West Point and to his Class Gift Fund.
With the emphasis on integrity and the values instilled in Terry Finley by West Point, there is no doubt that the black and gold colors of West Point Thoroughbreds will be seen in major races for years to come.