It looks like we will have 179 members this year. I believe that this is the second highest number of members we’ve ever had. (The record is 202 back in 2015, I believe it was) That means we have $44,750 in the bank account to get started.
What we want to have are two horses to be ready to run here opening weekend (May 4). Two horses seem to work well for a number of reasons: we get to run more frequently which gives everyone a chance to get in the paddock and more race day opportunities; should one falter we still have a shot at being successful; two horses generally provide us with a lot of opportunities to talk about running a horse and the invariable number of surprises they provide!
Keeping in mind that we also have this finite sum to work with, we want to make sure we keep enough money in the bank to pay expenses. As you will see, keeping a horse in training costs between $2200 – $2500 a month. With multiple horses, of course, the expense also multiplies.
Assuming $5000 a month for expenses for 4 months ($20,000), this leaves us $24,750 in the account to go shopping with. We’ll be looking at taking a shot by claiming a more expensive horse ($12,500 or so) and then trying to privately purchase a lesser horse at the end of the Oaklawn meet that will prove to be useful here as well.
Our license application as a group is being processed in Arkansas today. We need to register as a group and every member over 5% has to be licensed as an individual (that is only one person, me, so nothing to worry about there). We also have to designate Nevada Litfin, our trainer, as authorized agent. This allows him to claim horses on our behalf without me having to be there and sign every claiming slip. The cost of the group license is $60 while the authorized agent form is another $38. This will need to be done in every jurisdiction where we will race.
Bottom line is, as of tomorrow afternoon, we should be ready to start buying horses.
Tomorrow we will post what we’re looking for when we’re shopping as well as how the claiming process works.