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, 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.

17 thoughts on “Syndicates and Partnerships

  1. The question I have is – if nobody in our “syndicate” wanted to sell Tribal Waters, why would we ever enter him in a claiming race that was at a lower level than what we bought him for? Losing him and losing money seems to be a lose-lose scenario.

    • TW was ran at and claimed for substantially more than we purchased him for.
      If we didn’t run TW in claiming races he would have never ran and would have never won. I too agree that having a horse claimed can be a drag but the fact is running TW at the level he was ran at was actually a Win-Win-Win scenerio. He won two races and we had him claimed for a handsome profit.

      • TW was purchased for 8k and claimed for 12.5k. That’s just over a 56% profit

  2. Syndicates & Partnerships
    Did a first cut search of the list of Partnerships & Syndicates; most had multiple subs. For example Blue Ribbon had at least 12 partnerships. Saratoga West had multiple groups with 96 entries in 2015. Overall Saratoga stats:
    • 19 wins, ~20%
    • 14 2nds ~14.5%
    • 14 3rds ~14.5%
    • That is ~49% “Show” or better
    • total winnings of $138,785.
    • Average winnings per entry $1446.

    Will have to dig deeper but a few of the individual Partnerships, (or Syndicates) probably had a very good year while the average probably lost on the year when all costs are considered.

    Assessment: You need a qualified consultant to advise you which new Partnership or Syndication may be a good fit for you.

    Question: Are there qualified consultants?

    • Can’t help think that’s so we won’t claim him back–which I don’t expect we would this late in the season, as well.

  3. So this might be a silly question but…. was Charlie Thomas ( I think ) used in the picture that Emerald Downs sent out for Italian Day? It looked like Leslie in our silks!!

  4. OK, so what do we know about “K & W Racing”, trainer Larry Ross, who claimed Tribal Waters out of today’s seventh race? Is this a couple of you guys? Inquiring minds would like to know …

  5. TW definitely didn’t look to appreciate the torrential downpour just before and during the 7’th. Good job by Gaylin by not pushing him into getting hurt and just letting him do his thing. I hope we can get his last win photo on line soon but its sure exciting seeing his likeness used for the Irish day advertisement. Do we know what Charlie’s next targeted race is?

  6. While Watching American Pharoah race at Saratoga I was heartbroken to see Jockey Jose Lezcano trying to hurt Pharoah. Very sad for the sport to have it go down that way, anyway I couldn’t be happier that all of our Jockeys at Emerald Downs are way above such behavior.

      • Just my opinion but as he put Frosteds chest into Pharoahs hip it seemed as if he was way more interested in putting Pharoah into the fence than he was winning. I have to agree with Espinosa, Lezcano was trying to hurt Pharoah.

    • Jeff: My wife and I are interested and have emailed Sophia about this a few times. Hopefully she’ll put all interested parties in touch soon. — Mark

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