Registration for 2016 is now closed. To be placed on the notification list for 2017 please email emeraldracingclub@gmail.com.

How much does it cost?

$500. That’s it! No hidden costs, no additional training fees, no feed bills. The program is designed that the membership fees cover the cost of training and expenses for the racehorse for the entire season.

Who’s the trainer?

Larry and Sharon Ross have been selected as the trainer for the club along with Sophia McKee as Race Club Manager. The Ross’s have had a long history of racing in the NW and are highly respected on the backstretch. Their horses receive the best of care and they run a professional, top-notch barn.

Who’s the horse?

The search is underway for a racehorse for the Club! This is an exciting component of racehorse ownership and blog post will be coming soon on the process! Once we have acquired him or her we will be introducing them to the group!

What happens if our horse gets claimed?

The Emerald Racing Club functions exactly like a real ownership group! If the horse gets claimed, the decision will fall to the members of the club on whether they’d like to pursue another horse, claim the original horse back, or dissolved the group for the year.

What happens if our horse gets laid up?

Just like in a real ownership group, we are dealing with a live animal and you never know what can happen. The trainer and Club manager are responsible for making the decisions regarding the health of the horse. If the horse presents an injury that will require time and healing it is their call to make the decision that is in the best interest of the horse.

Can I make money?

There’s always the prospect of making money if your horse wins. However, the Club is primarily designed to be educational and fun. Plus all the added benefits from being a licensed owner. Owning racehorses should be viewed as a fun hobby with significant financial commitments. Throughout the season, we will be sharing the Club financials with you so you can get a true idea of the real costs of racehorse ownerships and what it means if you win!

Racehorse ownership sounds exciting, how can I become more involved?

The goal of the Club is to put together fun, educational events and field trips to expand your knowledge about the Thoroughbred business. Backstretch tours, breeding farm tours, and a visit to the Washington Thoroughbred Sale are all on tap for club members that want to partake!

Do both my spouse and I need to sign up or is there a “couple membership”?

Each individual that would like to partake in the Emerald Racing Club must be licensed per Washington Horse Racing Commission rules regardless of % ownership. However, licensed owners can sign in guests at the security office in the backstretch. Race day passes may be arranged through the horsemen’s liaison.

Do you have questions that you haven’t seen answered here? Email emeraldracingclub@gmail.com or call Vince Bruun at 253-288-7723.

62 thoughts on “FAQs

    • Hi Joe,

      We are hoping to acquire a 3 year old with conditions, or a solid older, open claimer. The budget for the purchase price is $5,000 so we are limited and our goal is to acquire a sound horse that can run frequently for the group. The $5,000 – $7,500 class of claimers has the most opportunity to run at Emerald Downs.

  1. The ‘Can I make money?’ section never really answers the question. If the horse wins a big race do we make any money or not?

    • Hi Becci,

      The answer really is – it depends. Let’s say hypothetically the horse wins a $10,000 purse.

      $10,00 purse less 10% to the trainer, less 10% to the jockey. Leaves you with $8,000. Assuming there are no additional expenses to pay within the Club’s budget, that $8,000 would be divided by the amount of club members and returned. If we had 50 members, each one would receive $160.

      If you’d like to see the detailed budget before making your decision I’d be happy to email it but the club is designed to be a non-profit educational Club. If we are able to return money to the members at season end, that will be a bonus!

  2. It appears this opportunity is on an individual basis only. The initial fee is very attractive, given the perks associated with this offer. Is there a possibility for two perspective individuals to share the $500.00 initial investment? And if so, how would the owner passes and other perks be divided?

    • Hi Chuck,

      The Washington Horse Racing Commission requires that each owner be licensed regardless of % ownership so we are unable to split the investment.

  3. This sounds like a very creative and fun way to continue enjoying Emerald Downs and get involved to help sustain racing here in Washing State. I look forward to joining in. Woody

  4. Would owners be able to interact with the horse? Get to visit the horse outside of the track? If you bring in 2 or 3 times the amount of owners than you expected, will the horse you acquire reflect the owners’ investment? What happens at the end of the season? Thanks.

    • Hi Michiko,

      Yes! As a licensed owner, you have access to your horse to visit, take photos, feed them carrots and peppermints. Have kids? Bring them out to meet their horse! Of course, we do have stable etiquette we have to adhere to and safety considerations but there will be access to the horse in the stable area. Once the members are licensed, there will be an orientation and stable tour to explain the do’s and don’ts to ensure everyone’s proper conduct around these amazing athletes!

      If we bring in 2 or 3 times the amount of owners than we expect then we will look into the financials of acquiring a second horse. The budget for the first horse is $5,000. At the end of the season the horse will be sold.

  5. Two Questions – Do the equal share partners have to undergo a back ground check to be licensed? Two Is the horse to be sold at the end of the meet or do the owners keep the horse for racing at next years meet or meets at other tracks?

    • Hi Dan,

      Each member of the club must undergo and pass a background check to be licensed. If they are unable to be licensed, their monies will be returned less the licensing fees. The horse will be sold at the conclusion of the meet. Perhaps a member of the Club will purchase the horse and continue to race it!

  6. Is there a cap on the number of owners , will a second horse be added if ERC receives a large number of applications for the initial horse ,would you consider a second or different trainer for the second horse for diversity.

    • Hi Rod,

      We will accept up to 200 owners. If we receive a large number of applications we will consider purchasing a second horse. We will continue to use the same trainer for the second horse.

  7. I realize that only one person can be an owner. You also said there are passes. My question is: Would there be passes for every activity as my husband and I like to do things together?

    Second question, on some of the back track activities can you only watch when your horse is training or anytime and again would there be a guest pass?

    It is a great concept. i have a friend doing something like this or exactly this.


    • Hi Susan,

      The licensed owner may sign in guests to the backstretch for training and stable visits. You may visit at any time but there is some stable etiquette we’ll go over as a group. We want everyone, including the horses to stay safe! Guest passes are available the day the horse races so your husband may join you at the races.

  8. Good luck , I a hoping you receive a great response with advertising and promotions , and are able to add a second horse.

  9. I am very interested in joining this as I’ve been thinking about joining a partnership for a long time and this seems like a good introduction. Will it benefit someone who works part time and travels a bit? I certainly realize the race/workout schedule will be based on what’s best for the horse, but how about the educational/orientation sessions? Will they be held more than once in case we can’t attend a scheduled one? Or will there be some other way to catch up, like videos?

    • Hi Chris,

      This is perfect for someone that can’t be hands on 100% of the time. Blog will be updated weekly so owners can follow along and we will post video and photos as we get them. We will have multiple opportunities for the educational field trips and activities.

  10. Is there any liability above the $500 that the owners would share? If there are vet bills, or anything else that might bring costs above the amount collected by the 200 owners, how would those be paid?

    • Hi Rob,

      No. All you owe for participation in the Club is $500. Any additional costs beyond what is budgeted will be covered by Emerald Downs. So no hidden fees, no vet bill, nothing!

  11. Hi i was thinking about doing this and I have just one quick question. I’m kind of waiting on my tax return to come back and if it doesn’t come back until late March (hopefully not the case) are the only ways to pay by check or fax? Or could i stop by an office/address to leave a check at in Auburn on say March 31st if needed? Thanks

      • One more question, when will the first meeting be? I forgot that I am on vacation march 30th through april 5th.

      • Hi Josh,

        The first meeting isn’t schedule yet, but won’t be until we begin live racing on April 12. Once registration closes April 1, we’ll start sending out our Club schedule.

  12. Meetings or information sessions ? is there any scheduled prior to opening day for interested parties. When is the deadline to register or will it remain open throughout the season ? Will there be other meetings throughout the season for registered owners of this club and will owners of this club and horse be able to attend other horsemans meetings such as HBPA , WTBA, ect.

    • Hi Rod,

      There are no scheduled meetings as of now. Any activities and orientation meetings will be scheduled after registration for Club membership closes on April 1. As a licensed owner, you automatically are extended membership to the HBPA. The WTBOA is a separate membership with annual member dues. I can supply you with the contact person for both if you’d like to pursue an active membership.

    • Hi Rob,

      Owners are permitted to wager at the track and encouraged πŸ˜‰ to support their horse in said manner. That’s part of the fun!

  13. What is Larry Ross’s daily fee? And does club manager Rosalia Noronha-DiPietro get paid to manage the club? If so how much and what is her background?

    • Hi Ed,

      The Ross’ charge $55/ day. Here at Emerald Downs that is a pretty typical day rate. All the financials of the Club will be shared with Club members on a monthly basis. Rosalia is not being paid and is volunteering her time to help manage the club along with a number of other behind the scenes volunteers that are helping with this program. Rosalia manages a racing and breeding farm in Enumclaw and sits on the WTBOA board.

  14. HI Sophia ,thank you for the information, in regards to the owners license ,what is the expiry or term 1-3 years etc. ,will the license become void if the horse is sold or claimed and can it be used or is it honored at other racetracks in other states or jurisdictions.

    • Hi Rod,

      Your license is valid for one year and remains valid even if you no longer have a horse in training. The license is only valid in WA state. Each state has unique rules regarding the licensing requirements.

  15. This is such a great idea! I have been promiting small horse ownership for years! πŸ˜‰ So happy this is more open for the public. I shared on my social media. Good luck!

  16. Who will be allowed in these special areas at race day. Obviously 200+ guests won’t work.??

    • Hi Justin,

      There will be a rotating schedule for the paddock to accommodate the owners. Based on availability, we plan to set aside a reserved seating section for the Emerald Racing Club. As far as the Winner’s Circle goes…you’d be surprised how many people we can fit!

      • Are the “buddy passes” going to just be based upon availablility? A certain amout per day? year? ect? (Thank you for the quick response. This is a great idea and opportunity!)

      • Hi Justin,

        Each owner will be allotted 4 guest admission passes to be used on the day the horse races. The owner will receive free admission for the entire season with their WHRC license.

  17. What is the minimum amount of people you need to make this work? How many people have signed up so far? Is it possible for you to give us updates on how many spots are left? Thanks

  18. Woohoo, we’re close to all systems green. I sent in my application. Do you intend to hold the payments until after April 1 or should I expect that will go through soon and I’ll know you received it. Are you emailing folks that their applications were received? I’m very excited about taking part in this experience!

    • Hi Chris,

      We are processing payments as we receive them so if you are paying with a credit card you should see it process in your account. Email communications will begin April 1 once everyone is registered! Then you’ll receive weekly updates about your horse.

  19. $392 (500-108) x 200 = $78,400. $55 x 180 days = $9900. 50 owners $19,600…200 owners is $78k. Can you please detail what is being done with the investments if more than 50 up to the 200 is brought in? It sounds if 50 is the essential number to run a horse. If you’re able to draw in over 100-150 or even 200 that is a lot of money. Where does it all go? Is there anyone else not listed that draws a fee, Emerald Downs?


    • Hi Travis,

      I am sending you the budget separately to your hotmail account as I can’t post an attachment here, but the budget is built off a threshold of 50 members, not 200. Realistically in it’s first year, we believed 50 is an achievable number. Should we get 100, then we will look into acquiring another horse. If you play with the numbers in the excel sheet, you can see the reduction in the account over the course of the season. We did have to make some assumptions regarding the horses earnings as well as reasonable expenses.

      All monies in the account will be returned to Club members after expenses are paid at the end of the season up to $500 per person. If there is additional monies to be distributed after that it will be determined by a majority vote of the club, i.e. donate money to retired racehorses, other charity, or return as profit. The Clubs financials will be shared here on a monthly basis so Club members can track the “real” costs of racehorse ownership.

  20. Good financial questions by Travis. I feel the more that is known up front about the real costs of ownership of a racehorse at the racetrack will be encouraging to new investors. Glad to have him on board.

  21. Sophia – I am very interested and will be completed the form tomorrow night. Can I fax or call it in for credit card? Also, does this give me free parking and access for the racing season. Just moved from CA. Also, are guest passes available for spouse when I attend the races?

  22. Sophia – How is the participation? I’m assuming the numbers are over 100. I’m on the fence wanting to join, as I only attend on Fridays. Can you update us on the progress with participation and the plans to acquire a second horse? I would be more interested in joining with a the thought of seeing a second horse.

    • Hi Jason,

      Just spoke with you on the phone but wanted to answer on here as well so everyone can get an update. At 110 right now. We are struggling at finding a horse at the level we planned – $5,000. So may increase our price slightly – which means a horse running at a little bit better level. Still might be room for a second horse pending final numbers.


      • Hi Sophia! Thanks again for all your diligence in putting the ERC together. I’m looking forward to April 13th. I was also wondering if there is a way to find out who the current purchase prospects are? I’d love to be able to get a glance.
        I would prefer having a better level higher price horse then two cheaper ones πŸ™‚

      • Hi Susan,

        Great question! Once the horse is acquired, we’ll have a blog post on the “horse shopping” aspect of acquiring a horse for the Club. Last week we dropped a claim on Halo La at Golden Gate but we were “outshook.” We aren’t publicizing our prospects prior to dropping a claim since that could change based on the Ross’ professional assessment once they see the horse in the paddock on race day. It’s quite fascinating all that has gone into the search for the perfect horse and I’m looking forward to penning the blog for Club members.

  23. Is there going to be a forum the owners can all chat together about our horse(s) during the season or will it pretty much be in the comment sections of the articles on the front page of this site?

    • Hi Jamie!

      Currently in the comment section so it’s easier for me to find the questions and answer all in one place! We’ll get things rolling and then if a forum develops out of owner involvement we can do that as well!

  24. Sophia, I have two questions. Yodeler had never run with blinkers until his last three races and he did well and seemed to like them. Will Sharon put them on here at Emerald? In Yodelers P.P.s on Sept. 22 2012 he ran at Stockton, am I reading it right that he tied a track record for the distance 103 and 2 fifths for five and one half furlongs? If so does it still stand? Thanks, Pete

  25. I would be interested for next session, could you please let me know when the registration would be. Also, what is the monthly financial obligation? on top of the $500 dollars.
    Thanks Marvin

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