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Summer Meets Wrap Up, Why Partnerships Are Ideal for Some Investors

September 07, 2011 · By Terry Finley · Share

We’re coming into a new season in the Thoroughbred world as the main summer meets have wound down and our focus shifts to the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

It’s a busy time of year for us as our team flies to Lexington. We look at a lot of young horses, and our bloodstock agents have already been going to the farms and picking prospects for us to focus on when the sale gets started. Traditionally, we haven’t bought many horses out of this sale, but Justwhistledixie was a success for us and we have an eye on several this season, scouting out the best athletes for our class of 2012. It’s exciting because of the limitless potential, and also because the horses we buy wind up equalling opportunities for existing and new partners.
Let’s face it, partnerships aren’t for everybody - and here at West Point, we’re not the only ones who hear about that. Ask any of the other major partnership groups in racing; their principals will tell you, some people aren’t cut out to share the experience or make an investment over which they have little managerial control.

On the other hand, a partnership with West Point is a lifestyle experience, and it can put you in a situation that could change your life. Take Awesome Gem for instance. Nearing the $3 million mark in earnings, he’s taken 10 partners on the ride of their lives (and partners, your distribution check from the Longacres Mile is in the mail).

I love the comment Scott Cadwallader posted on his Facebook wall after Gem’s recent win: "An amazing day with Awesome Gem winning the Longacres Mile (G3)! The longer he completes at this level, the more I'm learning to appreciate what a truly special horse he is, and how blessed I've been to be one of the partners who own this incredible animal. He continues to take us on the ride of a lifetime and provides one thrill after another."

Sure, you could go out on your own instead, find a trainer, buy a horse, get lucky. Plenty of people have done it that way. But what we offer is a chance to diversify your investment and minimize risk while benefiting from a team of experts who will campaign your runner to the best of their ability. You pay markup costs and a management fee for that expertise, for a group of people who want to get into the winner’s circle as much as you do and are pooling all of their knowledge and resources to give your horse the best shot at making that happen. You’re working with a team with access to the best in the industry- vets, trainers, bloodstock agents, etc. You can become immediately immersed in the elite levels of this sport without having to work your way up.

It isn’t easy to make it in this game. Sometimes we hit a period where things just don’t go our way, horses get injured, and the photo finishes aren’t in our favor. It’s hard to remember that things like that happen to everyone, partnership or no partnership, across the board. How many times do you see a $2 million yearling purchase starting as a 4-year-old, or winding up on the shelf after a few starts in his 2-year-old year? Horses getting hurt, horses not working out, everybody deals with that, and that’s what makes the victories so much sweeter.

Something that always stuck with me- someone said to me, “Man, you would have thought you guys just won the Kentucky Derby,” after Montana Knight won a 25k non winners of two claimer last year at Saratoga. You should have seen the group of WPT cheering emphatically like we really had just won the Derby.

And that’s what we’re all about, that’s what gets people involved in this game. Between both coasts this summer we’ve had over 100 partners in town to see their horses run, to come and experience the magic of a morning on the backside. It’s truly amazing what being in a partnership can do for somebody - it brings people together, and whether you’re a 5% owner or a 30% owner, we all stand in the winner’s circle together.

See You At The Races!

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As a small investor at age 76; I never would be able to be involved with this great sport if it weren't for Terry and the whole West Point team. At this age I want action and plenty of it!!! Keep up the high standards ; yes, indeed, the Gold Standards. Thank you for the good times and the way you have handled the low times.
Ditto Peggy!!! Only a investor since June, and we cannot thank Terry and the team enough for this dream that has come true! :)
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