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Frequently Asked Questions
Q) What does Winners Circle Racing do?
A) We assemble standardbred racing partnerships comprised of investors willing to share ownership of a racehorse and fulfill their dreams of being involved in harness racing.
Q) Who manages Winners Circle Racing?
A) The Managing Partners are Matt Zuccarello and Charlie Longo. Matt, a graduate of Adelphi University with a major in Business Management, co-founded a Thoroughbred racing partnership group prior to forming Winners Circle Racing with Charlie Longo. Charlie is a graduate of Iona College with a BBA in Marketing. Both attended the U.S. Trotting Association Driving School and have owned over 30 horses combined. Learn about the rest of the team in the "About" section.
Q) What privileges am I entitled to as an investor with Winner Circle Racing?
A) Investors are welcome to visit the barn in the mornings and watch your horse go about his daily routine. On race day, you can join us in the paddock, meet our trainer and watch as your horse is equipped and prepared to race. When your horse is lucky enough to reach the wire first, share the joy and exhilaration of entering the Winner's Circle for the victory photo. Other benefits include free race programs, Winners Circle Racing T-shirt, an invitation to our Hambletonian Party at the Meadowlands and holiday dinner.
Q) How much does it cost to take care of a racehorse?
A) A racehorse training cost can vary significantly depending on many factors and can range from $2,500 -$3,500 per month. This would include the following average costs:
Training Fees - They are charged per diem. Training centers located in the New York-New Jersey area often charge as much as $55 -$90 per day due to higher overhead costs. Being based at Yonkers Raceway enables Winners Circle Racing to save investors 25-50% per day off that figure. Essentially, we are paying for basic feed such as hay and grain, straw for bedding, the services of a groom who is the person assigned to the day-to-day care of our horse, along with the trainer who oversees the operation of the stable.
Equipment Costs – On occasion, we may need to purchase equipment for our horse. This could include necessities such as a blanket, cooler, bandages, wraps, halter, bridle, knee and tendon boots and other miscellaneous items.
Farrier Charges - Horses generally need to have their shoes replaced every 4-6 weeks. This will average about $150.
Veterinary Fees - Horse are required to be vaccinated yearly and health test are to be administered by a vet. We would estimate annual cost to be about $2,500 barring any major illness/injury.
Transportation Costs - This can be costly if you’re based at a farm or training center. Shipping can average $125-$200 per race depending on the track you're traveling to. We do not incur shipping cost when we race at Yonkers. However, there may be instances where we race at other tracks. Those tracks would include the Meadowlands, Monticello, Saratoga, Harrah's Philadelphia and Pocono.
Paddock Fees - We hire a groom on race nights to prepare our horse to race. His responsibility is to bring the horse to the paddock, equip him to warm-up and race, bathe him after the race and return him to the barn and clean his stall. For these services, he is typically paid $75 per race.
Stall Rent - Generally runs $200-$400 per month at other facilities. We do not incur this cost as Yonkers does not charge stall rent.
As you can see, horse ownership can be an expensive proposition and is not for everyone. That's why fractional partnership groups are a great way to get involved as these expenses can be shared by the entire group. You only invest what you are comfortable with.
Q) When will I receive my bills or profits?
A) The trainer will bill our stable at the end of each calendar month for the previous 30 day period. Monthly statements will be emailed to investors shortly thereafter. If our horse sustained a loss for the month, the investor would be billed for their share of that loss. If our horse realized a profit for the month, the investor would receive a check less expenses via mail or electronic funds transfer for their share of the profits. All bills should be paid to the managing partners by the 15th of the month via money order, check, PayPal or Venmo. Please note that there may be a delay in receiving vet invoices on work done at end of the month. These charges will appear on the following monthly statement.
Q) How will I know when my horse is racing and how do I receive information on my investment?
A) Our new website is the primary vehicle for obtaining racing information. Entries and results can be viewed by clicking on the United States Trotting Association link. WCR will also communicate with the group by email. The race draw is usually announced 4-5 days before the race. If you are unable to make it to the track, go to our website and click on our race link to watch your horse run via live stream. WCR will also relay results and other pertinent information by the following day. This may include feedback from the trainer or driver concerning the horse's performance. WCR will also provide general news updates periodically via email or our live Twitter feed on the Winners Circle Racing website.
Q) Does Winner's Circle Racing Stable insure their horses for mortality or major medical?
A) No, we do not. Purchasing life insurance is a decision we feel each partner should make individually. These policies can be expensive (usually 3% to 6% of the horse's value) and statistically speaking, the odds of a racing horse dying is low. We also believe purchasing medical insurance is not a sound financial decision for horses. This type of insurance is expensive (ranging from $700-$1,000) per year. Most injuries do not require surgery and this type of insurance (along with life insurance) can be costly.
Q) What risks are involved in owning a horse?
A) Any racehorse is a risky investment. They are living things, subject to illness, injury and death. We can take many precautions but there is no way to prevent the potential for the danger that is inherent in racing. An investment in a racehorse is only recommended for those with relatively moderate to high net worth or for those who have experience in and /or a strong understanding of the business.
Please give serious consideration to becoming an investor with Winners Circle Racing. Remember, our mission is to introduce a new generation of fans and owners to the wonderful sport of harness racing. WCR has made ownership affordable so come join us and experience 100% of the thrills for a fraction of the cost. See you in THE WINNER'S CIRCLE!
Q) How is purse money distributed?
A) Standardbred races are paid out as follows: 50% to the winner, 25% for 2nd, 12% for 3rd, 8% for 4th and 5% for 5th.