2016 Registration OPEN

Emerald Racing Club registration is now OPEN for new members.

Registration will remain open until we reach 200 members or April 1, whichever comes first. Limited spots are available and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.

To register, download Emerald Racing Club Flyer and return via email to emeraldracingclub@gmail.com or via the instructions on the form.

Any questions, please email emeraldracingclub@gmail.com.


Merry Christmas from Charlie Thomas

If you’ve had Charlie Thomas on your stable mail, he’s all but disappeared since a workout in October at Golden Gate for his new owners.

In that workout Charlie bowed a tendon. If you’ve been around racing long enough, these are dreaded words. While not life-threatening, bowed tendons are often career-ending.

In Charlie’s case, he had a bullet work (fastest of the day) and the next day Sharon noticed something was off. When he was flexed on the tendon, he showed soreness and an ultrasound revealed the damage.

Horses have two tendons that run down the front legs. The Superficial Digital Flexor Tendon (SDFT) and the Deep Digital Flexor Tendon (DDFT). The SDFT is more susceptible to injury, and it was this tendon that Charlie injured. A hyper extension of the tendon may result in a hole or tear within the tendon.


When the tendon is injured, it is most commonly exhibited as a very apparent “bow” on the horse’s leg.


Charlie bowed his left front tendon and it was a middle bow (located on the middle of the leg). He will have to undergo carefully managed rehab to recover and be serviceable as a riding horse. Healing from a bow takes time and exercise management. There are some stem-cell treatments, but they are expensive and have mixed results. (Read more here.) Given Charlie’s age and the injury, the prospect of successfully returning to the races was carefully weighed against him rehabbing to be a sound riding horse in the future and the decision was made to retire him.

Charlie shipped back from California yesterday and Sharon believes she has someone interested in giving him a home. We look forward to hearing updates on his progress and we’ll stay posted on his journey into his second career!


Charlie Thomas Sold

Charlie Thomas was sold at the end of September to a small group of current and past Club members that will continue to campaign him in California at Golden Gate. If you have him on your stable mail, then you will continue to get alerts when he works or races.

While we had set the initial price at $20,000 as explained in the prior blog, we ended up selling him for $15,000 to this group. They had less people willing to participate than originally anticipated and since the aim of the Emerald Racing Club is to introduce people to racehorse ownership, we felt it was furthering this aim to make this adjustment to Charlie’s price for the group.

I believe they still have two 5% shares available so please email emeraldracingclub@gmail.com if you’d like to be involved and I will put you in touch with Jim Engstrom from Left Coast Thoroughbreds who put the group together.

You can find the notarized Bill of Sale_Charlie Thomas. This was then taken to the Washington Horse Racing Commission so they could register the transfer. Charlie’s official Jockey Club Registration Papers have been on file in the racing office, and this change in ownership is recorded on them. The papers then travel with Charlie to California so he is eligible to race there.

Final Financials

We are still awaiting final bills to close out the Club and reach a final determination on how much will be paid back to Club members. 100% of the funds are returned to you.

I should have those all complete at the end of October.

You’ll have three choices for payout:

  1. Put the balance toward next year’s Club membership
  2. Donate to the Prodigious Fund for Retired Racehorses
  3. Take a check for the amount

Details for this will be sent out in the final financials email later this month. Registration for next year’s Club will open to existing members in January and then open to the general public in February.


Final Try

We made one final attempt to get a race for Charlie. He was entered in extra 3 for Sunday, September 27. The race was a $25,000 claimer going 1 1/16th.

2015-09-24 14.50.39

As you can see from the entry board, the race only had 3 in it and did not go for Sunday.

Many of you have asked, “Where have all the horses gone?” Specifically, Charlie’s competition.

If you’ve been following the races, you likely already know the answer, but for the rest of you, I went back and pulled his competition and took a look at where they’ve gone to.

From August 8, $25,000 claimer going a mile (Charlie finished second)

Coach Royal

  • 8/30 Allowance where he finished 5th
  • 9/13 for $25,000 Claimer going 6 1/2 furlongs where he finished 5th

Kiss Sin Goodbye

  • 8/22 $15,000 claimer going 1 mile, finished 1st

Polish Dollar

  • 8/28 for $25,000 claimer going 6 furlongs, finished 7th

Southern Solution

  • 8/22 for $15,000 claiming going 1 mile, finished 3rd
  • 9/7 for $10,000 claiming going 6 furlongs, finished 7th

Until You

  • 8/29 for $15,000 claiming going 6 furlongs, finished 3rd
  • 9/13 ran in the Muckleshoot Tribal Classic going 1 1/16, finished 5th and last.

A number of items jump out when looking at his competition and that is most of them went down the claiming ladder. Which would make sense since they were unsuccessful at the $25,000 level against Charlie.

The other item that jumps out is that those that stayed at the 25K level had to sprint. We all know after our failed first outing with Charlie that he simply is not a sprinter and he requires two turns to be successful.

So let’s go back one more race and look at the $15,000 Claiming horses that Charlie beat on July 11:

Rocky’s Quest

  • 7/25 – $15K going 1 1/16 miles, did not finish. Horse stumbled, lost rider and hit the inside rail. He was injured and is recovering.

Kiss Sin Goodbye – see above.


  • 7/25 for 15K at 1 1/16 mile, finished 2nd
  • 8/14 for 15K at 6 1/2f, finished 6th
  • 8/29 for 15K at 6 f, finished 8th

St Nicholas Abby

  • 8/1 for $12.5K at 6 1/2f, finished 3rd (Tribal Waters beat)
  • 8/16 for $12.5K at 6f, finished 8th
  • 9/7 for $10K at 6 f, finished 8th
  • 9/18 Starter Alw/$10K at 6 f, finished 7th


  • 10K at 1 1/16 miles, finished 1st
  • 9/12 for $15K at 1 mile, finished 3rd

Oldtimers Vision

  • 7/25 for $15K at 1 1/16 miles, finished 3rd
  • 8/14 for $15K at 6 1/2f, finished 3rd
  • 8/22 for $15K at 1 mile, finished 2nd
  • 9/12 for $15K at 1 mile, finished 5th

Even from this race there was only one horse that moved up and that was Kiss Sin Goodbye who Charlie saw in his next race. This is also the only horse that has continued to enter the $25K level going long with Charlie.

Charlie essentially outran his competition. His competition either remained at the $15,000 claiming level or shortened up to sprints in order to run.

If he ran back at the $15,000 level after finishing second for $25,000, we can make a safe assumption that he would have been claimed. And given that Tribal Waters was claimed, we wanted to keep Charlie at a level that he could run at and hopefully not get claimed.

So what happens to Charlie now?

Those of you that have expressed an interest in continued ownership of Charlie have been connected and we have offered Charlie to this group for $20,000. A fair price given his successful run at the $25,000 level, but a bit less than his last claiming price so this new group of owners can have an opportunity to acquire a good horse and embark on their own ownership. He’s fit and ready to run and should be able to have a good run in California over the winter.

The sale is not complete. We are giving this new group time to meet, discuss financials and evaluate their participation. Everyone needs to be comfortable with their expectations and have their questions answered before committing because ownership is a huge personal responsibility.

Party Update

Most important item – Seahawks game WILL BE on one of the big flat screen tvs in the tent.

  • Tent will be available at 1 pm, first race 2 pm
  • Food served 3 pm – 4 pm.
  • BBQ Beef Sandwiches
  • garlic and herb roasted chicken
  • mashed potatoes and gravy
  • housemade potato chips with dip
  • BLT salad
  • Fresh and marinated vegetable platter with ranch dip
  • watermelon tray
  • fresh baked cookies
  • beverage station and cash bar

If you’ve RSVP’d (see previous blog), then I’ve got you on my list. I’ll see you there!

Save the Date

The fun isn’t over yet. You’ve been personally invited by El Dorado Farms to attend their Open House and Stallion Presentation on Sunday, October 4.

More details to come.








Party RSVP

Please click here to RSVP for the party.

Event is open to ERC member plus two guests so please indicate how many in your party when you RSVP.

Races start at 2 pm on Sunday, September 27. Party will take place in the Trackside Tents rain or shine. It may be a little cool, so please dress appropriately. Non-alcoholic beverages and food will be provided.

See you all soon!


Race Doesn’t Fill – Charlie Will Not Run This Weekend


Charlie was entered in “Book 9” for Sunday, September 20. Book 9 was a $25,000 Claiming Race for three year olds and upward going one mile.

As you can see from the board, only one horse entered (Charlie) and the race was called off.

As of now, there are no further races in the condition book for three year olds and upward going long. So unless another extra race is written, Charlie Thomas is done racing for the season.

He has been entered every weekend for the past three weekends and unfortunately, the races just didn’t have enough horses to make them go.

Charlie Thomas will be sold privately. There is a small spin-off group from the Emerald Racing Club that is interested in purchasing him to continue running in California over the winter. If you are interested and have not yet emailed me, please do so at emeraldracingclub@gmail.com and I’ll put you in contact with the group.

Year End Party

The Emerald Racing Club year-end party is set for Sunday, September 27. An RSVP will be posted later this weekend so we can get a count on who can make it.

Thoroughbred Showcase – Saturday, September 19

Being a responsible racehorse owner means being responsible for your horse after their career has concluded. In the case of Charlie Thomas, he is fit and ready to continue racing and will be sold for that purpose so we don’t have to face the retirement question. But what if we did?

What happens when your horse can no longer race and you need to retire it? Not all horses are suitable for the breeding shed.

It is your responsibility as an owner to find the horse a good home, and plan for supporting the horse financially for however long that may take. Often, your trainer can assist in marketing the horse and helping to find it a good home but the ultimate responsibility falls to you – the owner.

Buyers are seeking different things when shopping for an off the track Thoroughbred (OTTB). Thoroughbreds can do just about anything, but the biggest demand comes from eventing, hunter/jumpers and dressage. And these buyers want a SOUND horse, meaning a horse without injuries that would prevent it from partaking in the rider’s chosen discipline.

If a racehorse continues to race with injuries, their after racing value drops in the eyes of the OTTB buyer. It becomes the responsibility of the owner to decide when the right time is to retire their horse with consideration for their quality of life and ability to continue on in a second career.

For that purpose the Prodigious Fund (remember the $5 payment to Thoroughbred Retirement?) is hosting the Thoroughbred Showcase. This is an event to bring together prospective buyers with horses looking for new homes.

The event is Saturday, September 19 and is held in the temporary stalls at Emerald Downs. We have 27 horses entered in the Showcase and expect 50 prospective buyers to be shopping for their new partner. The event is open to the public and begins at 9 am. (Available horses are posted at www.facebook.com/prodigiousfund). Consider making time to come to the Showcase. You’ll see some familiar names of horses that were running this year, and you’ll even see Starlet of Seattle, who was racing around Griffin Place when we went for farm visits.

Starlet of Seattle - a 12 year old broodmare ready for a new career. She'll be available for viewing at the Thoroughbred Showcase.

Starlet of Seattle – a 12 year old broodmare ready for a new career. She’ll be available for viewing at the Thoroughbred Showcase.



No Racing For Charlie This Weekend

Despite multiple attempts, the races for Charlie did not fill so he will not be racing this weekend. We had the same situation last week when Charlie was entered and he was the only horse entered in his race.

We will try again next weekend.

Just a note on barn visits – Sharon is going for knee surgery next week so she will not be at the barn in case you were planning to visit. Arturo will be in charge so if you visit, please be respectful of the barn help and know that they may be attending to other things.

A reminder to use caution around the horses. Charlie has been getting a bit spoiled and I know he tried to bite after the treats ran out!

Save the Date -ERC Year-End Party

Save the date for Sunday, September 27 for the Emerald Racing Club year end party in the trackside tents! More details will be forthcoming as it gets closer.

Win Photos

The win photo from Tribal Waters last race is available from the track photographer. Contact Erin Palmer 503-380-0430 or stop in the track photographers office.

Erin was also able to get some photos of Charlie training this past week. Sharon reports he is training well and ready to run if we can get a race.

_J3T4257 _J3T4258



Syndicates and Partnerships

Syndicates and Partnerships

A “syndicate” is a group of individuals combined to own a horse. Any horse could be “syndicated.”

Historically, in horse racing, racehorses were owned by a single person or organization/farm. You could easily see why it was called the Sport of Kings given the costs of racehorse ownership that we’ve been reviewing monthly.

The most famous syndication was when Secretariat was retired to stud at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky. He was syndicated as a stallion for 32 shares at a total price of over $6 million dollars. No word on the syndication price for American Pharoah.



We could also classify the Emerald Racing Club as a syndicate. With 188 owners, you each owned .53% of the horses.

Syndicates evolved to spread the costs of racehorse ownership among multiple individuals. It’s a great way to “buy-in” on a racehorse without huge financial outlay and you can find the level that is appropriate for you – whether it’s 50% ownership share, or just 5% ownership share.

Say for example, a group of you got together to buy a yearling. That’s a syndicate. Or one person could purchase a yearling and then seek out partners to campaign the horse – that would also be a syndicate.

A syndicate or partnership would be a logical next step if you’d like to continue to dabble in racehorse ownership outside the realm of the Emerald Racing Club.

For your convenience, we’ve gathered together a list of 2015 Syndicate and Partnerships that race at Emerald Downs and the contact person. This is by no means a complete list, but it is a starting point. Each syndicate is a bit different, so find the one that is right for you!

Here are some questions to consider to enter a syndicate responsibly:

  • Ask questions! It’s your money and you are entitled to know how it’s being spent. What percent of the horse will you own? What percent of expenses will you pay?
  • Understand the structure – who will make the decisions regarding the horse? Is there a syndicate manager? Will the trainer make the decisions? Or will it go to the person with the majority interest in the horse?
  • What expenses are involved, how much will you owe, and what can you earn back?
  • What type of horse or horses do you want to own? A yearling that may take two or three years to make it to the racetrack (if it makes it)? An actively racing horse? A first time starter?
  • Will you be able to visit your horse? Is this important to you?
  • Where will the horses race? If it’s important to you to see your horse race in person, then a local syndicate is a good option.

Some of you have indicated a desire to further your interests in racehorse ownership, be it this year or in the future.

Missing Tribal Waters? Want to claim him? Consider putting together your own ownership group!

If you could email me at emeraldracingclub@gmail.com, I will begin putting you in touch with each other in case you’d like to band together to start your own partnership.


I also wanted to pass along an excellent video series produced in the UK “How to Make a Racehorse.” It follows four youngsters as they develop for the races and is quite a good little online series. Keep in mind some of the terminology and methodology is a bit different in Europe versus the US.

Tribal Waters Wins, Is Claimed

Tribal Waters did it again! Tribal Waters won the 9th race under jockey Leslie Mawing.

Full chart here.

You can watch the replay at http://www.emeralddowns.com > Racing > Race Replays.

Tribal Waters was claimed out of the race by John Parker and goes to Candi Tollett’s barn.

Photos will be posted later this week. Based by the crowd in the win photo – I believe most of you saw the race in person!