Horse racing is about thrills. Whether you are a bettor, a driver, a trainer, a jockey, a caretaker or an owner, there is something magical about watching a horse you are connected with race and hopefully win. It is that electric connection with the sport that a group called Crossover Racing is trying to ignite within dormant owners-to-be.
A vision of Diamond Creek Farm's Adam Bowden and Shaun Laungani, Crossover Racing provides the opportunity for people to get their feet wet in the ownership experience at a high level with minimal risk. For just $500 shareholders have the opportunity to root for seven potential stakes-caliber horses conditioned by some of the top names in the sport, including Trainer of the Year Nancy Takter, Chris Ryder, Brian Brown, Brett Pelling and Anette Lorentzon.
"This is about the sport and Adam (Bowden) trying to give back," said Laungani, who became involved in harness racing through Bowden in 2015 and now serves as VP and Director of Bloodstock Services for Diamond Creek Farm. "It is about sharing the experience of horse ownership and teaching outsiders. It is an outreach to people who have never been involved in the sport as well as those currently involved in Thoroughbred racing."
A one-time $500 investment provides up to 100 shareholders a one-percent stake in five-percent of the earnings of the seven horses for 2021. After the current year is over, all shareholders are paid out based on the amount earned by the group of horses and the partnership is dissolved. If the seven horses earn $1,000,000, not inconceivable considering the group is eligible for nearly $10,000,000 in stakes money, each shareholder would break even.
Rather than traditional horse ownership where extra money would have to be paid throughout the year for training, staking, veterinarian work, shipping, etc., there are no additional costs involved beyond the initial investment. Shareholders are essentially leasing the horses and share in the profits and joys of racing without having to worry about financial pitfalls or management.
The current roster of horses includes a trio of 3-year-olds and four 2-year-olds by top sires Somebeachsomewhere, Sweet Lou, Always B Miki and others. Each horse will have Crossover Racing as a listed owner but individual shareholders won't have to apply for state racing licenses.
"I watched Shakespeare training right with Allywag Hanover (third in the Meadowlands Pace in 2020) a few days ago, so I thought that was promising," said Laungani about the 3-year-old prospect under the care of Pelling. "I've heard good things about Almanac. He may be a sleeper. And they are both staked, too. They aren't in the North America Cup or the Meadowlands Pace, but they are in the Adios and they have Sire Stakes.
"Argyle is looking super-good going into her 3-year-old year and we are staking her like a big-time horse. I think all three of the 3-year-olds are staked to the Breeders Crown."
All of the horses will be managed just like any Diamond Creek Racing horse and for Laungani, he would much rather see them all succeed. "It will make it more fun for us if some of them turn into good horses because the winner's circle will be rockin' for sure," said Laungani.
While plans are still being worked out, the goal is to keep shareholders informed about the horses via a private social media group or some other digital method. Sales Coordinator Claire Peterson has been tasked with making sure that aspect of the operation runs smoothly while racing manager Marcus Johansson will oversee the stable.
Laungani admits that Crossover Racing is unlikely to be profitable for his team and prospective shareholders are just as unlikely to get rich. It is about the long-term success of harness racing. "It will be so worth it if even one person who joins Crossover goes on and becomes a fan or a more prominent owner," concluded Laungani.