Times are tough in the financial world. The economy continues to struggle and there aren’t too many places where you can get a decent return on your investment, if you are looking to invest. Forget savings accounts, bonds are steady but not very fruitful, and the stock market continues to ride the roller coaster. But there is one place where you can still get a decent return on your money with a little effort and a little luck: racehorse ownership.
Last week the USTA published the purse distribution totals for all tracks in the United States for last year. In 2012, there were a total of 46,771 races that awarded purse money. During the year, purses distributed on those 46,771 races were $405,567,739, an average of $8,761 per race. That’s not too shabby. But when you look at major racetracks in states where there are racinos operating (like New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware) that per race number can be a lot higher.
Here’s an example. For comparison sake I will use a mid-level claiming race. At Dover Downs a $10,000 claimer goes for a $7,000 purse. At the Meadows it goes for $8,100. And at Yonkers a $12,500 claimer goes for $9,000. And these purses may be higher at certain times of the year. So right now those tracks are offering purses that are 70-80 percent of what the actual claiming price of the horse is. Based on the purse distribution, if you claimed a horse at Yonkers in that class and got a little lucky, you could be out of him with roughly two wins and a second. And from that point on you are racing for profit, less expenses.
Pocono Downs (which is currently not racing) has to be the claiming Mecca of the world. Multiple claims are placed on multiple horses seemingly every night as people invest to capture the lucrative purses that track offers. You can look through most any program from there and find many horses in the mid-claimer level making $40,000 or more a year. When you figure your initial investment and deduct expenses, the residual profit can be much higher than just about any other investment out there.
If you are a race fan that goes to the track often, you might think that it costs too much to get involved. And granted there is the initial investment. But with the high purse levels available at so many tracks right now, the upside is worth the risk. If you get involved with a credible trainer, he or she can guide you through the process and act as your investment advisor. You will find that the process is not that hard and before you know it you are rooting for “your horse” and not just betting someone else’s.
Owning a racehorse does not come without risk as many factors play into the success or failure of the investment. But the same can be said for any other type of speculation venture. It may not be for everyone, but it is a viable option for many. That’s all you have to do is consider it.
The average person will never be able to own a football team, but owning a race horse is like having your own sports franchise. There is a game (race) every week and you get to go watch your team (horse) compete. Plus your horse will never ask for a better contract or go on strike! You can grab a beer and a program while you’re there and unlike football, betting on your horse is legal and yes, encouraged.
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