There isn’t a lot of cross-over between the buttoned-up dressage community and the most exciting two minutes in sport, but on Saturday the two worlds collided. Christine Peters, who has been the manager of all things Dressage at Equestrian Canada since 2004, also dabbles in horse racing and she picked a winner… a big one. Peters is one of the many part-owners – albeit a very small part – of Kentucky Derby winning Authentic.
“It was so thrilling to be a part of and the race was amazing,” enthused Peters. “It still really hasn’t sunk in.”
Before Peters started with Equestrian Canada she worked for an equestrian magazine. She had always been a passionate racing fan and so started a racing section in the publication which gave her media credentials to attend many of the big races, including the Kentucky Derby. She was so into the racing scene that she even had her own racing newsletter for a time, but mounting responsibilities at EC didn’t allow her the time she needed to keep it going.
Interested in a way of continuing to stay involved, Peters had been looking at different syndicate options for racehorse ownership. Last fall, she found the right combination with MyRaceHorse.com which offers micro-shares of a variety of racehorses under different trainers.
“I was unsure about syndicates because you don’t have much say,” she explained. “I only wanted to be part of one with a trainer I believed in and with a horse that had a pedigree I liked and at a price that wouldn’t break the bank.”
For her first horse, Peters chose Big Mel. Now a three-year-old, the colt is by Quality Road, one of the most successful sires in North America, and in training with Bob Baffert, who trained Triple Crown winner Justify. Shortly after that purchase, Peters bought into Lane Way, a three-year-old colt by Into Mischief (the same sire as Authentic) and in training with another Hall of Fame trainer, Richard Mandella. Lane Way won his last race at Del Mar Racetrack and is moving up in class to an allowance race at Santa Anita.
Just this past June, Peters jumped at the chance to buy shares of Authentic when they were offered. The colt had raced once as a two-year-old and won, and had won his next two races placing him solidly on the Derby trail (to date he’s been in six races, winning five of them, coming second once, and earned $2,840,000 US). At the beginning of June, it was announced that the famed Spendthrift Farm had purchased the breeding rights to the colt and Peters didn’t think they would offer shares. She was surprised to receive the email from MyRaceHorse.com that they had a 12.5% interest and were offering shares of .001% of the horse for $206 US. The bonus? The shares included ownership both while he raced and as a breeding stallion.
“I was really excited that they included the breeding shed rights; that’s not common, particularly for such a great prospect,” Peters said of the colt whose sire was the 2019 Champion General Sire in North America. But she won’t be cashing cheques anytime soon.
When a horse is sold to a stallion farm while still an active racehorse, the new owners agree to base sales price ($15 million) but that increases when certain criteria – called “kickers” – are met. In the case of Authentic, the kickers include winning Grade 1 races (done), the Kentucky Derby (DONE!) and the next milestones include the Breeders’ Cup on November 7th, the 3-year-old Eclipse Award, and Horse of the Year which will be announced next January. Each of these achievements increase the amount of money that the new owners have to pay, but for MyRaceHorse.com shareholders this amount is covered with the revenue generated from racing and stud fees.
To date, Authentic has achieved two of the kickers putting the new owners on the hook for an additional $11 million which will only increase if other kickers are met. The good news for owners, however, is that if Authentic is winning prestigious races, his stud fee will be set higher, therefore generating more revenue for shareholders in the breeding shed.
“Before the Derby it was estimated that [Spendthrift] could have stood him for $20,000 per cover, but with the Derby win they estimate double that,” said Peers. “And more wins could further increase that.”
Peters continues to have her eye out for the next prospect, but after the Derby win all the other options were sold out. She says that she’ll continue to watch and wait for the next chance to be part of the game.