Photo: Carpe Vinum winning an allowance race at Del Mar. Benoit Photo
FRANKLIN, Ky. (Wednesday Sept. 9, 2020) — MyRacehorse.com, which sells micro-shares in racehorses for just a few hundred dollars for each piece, is still flying high after their horse Authentic won last Saturday’s Kentucky Derby — and while carrying their black silks with the white horse-head emblem.
Five days later, the unique partnership business will try to win the another big-money 3-year-old race: This time with the California-based filly Carpe Vinum in Thursday’s $500,000 Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Oaks at the RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs.
Carpe Vinum is 8-1 in the field of 12, with two also-eligible horses. She’ll be ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat, fresh off the Del Mar riding title.
“It would be a tremendous thrill,” Michael Behrens, founder of MyRacehorse.com, said of possibly winning the 1 5/16-miles Dueling Grounds Oaks. “One of the cool things about MyRacehorse is that it’s turning into MyStable. The best part to me of the business model is because our price point is so low, they can own part of several horses. On Derby Day, we actually had five horses running — obviously Authentic being the marquee and bringing unbelievable tears of joy by so many people. A couple of hours after that at Del Mar, a horse named Tizamagician ran (and won an allowance race). He had such a passionate following, I was seeing social media posts saying, ‘I didn’t think I could top the Derby feeling, but this one is my horse. I followed him before he got to a race.’
“I’m seeing that in Carpe, because they bought her at the sale. They watched her have to be turned out because she just needed time to grow into her body. It took her a little while to get to the races. They saw her first workout. She took a couple of tries to break her maiden, then she surprises in that nice (allowance) race at Del Mar at 6-1 odds off a long layoff. They’ve been along for the whole journey, and they have so much more emotionally invested. They feel like it really is their racehorse.”
Behrens said Carpe Vinum is special to the mega-micro partnership because she was one of the first unproven prospects they’d purchased at 2-year-old auction last year. The venture started out buying into made racehorses, such as Grade 1 Cotillion winner Street Band. Behrens said the business model didn’t change as much as the demand changed, encouraging MyRacehorse.com to buy horses either outright or significant ownership interest.
“To win a race of this stature, to make it to the top echelon of the division, I tell you there will be quite a bit of people who will acknowledge it might be a bigger thrill than winning the Derby,” Behrens said. “This is a big race, a half-million race for a horse we paid $200,000. It’s not only the prize money but the potential residual value” as a broodmare.
“If we can get her home, I know that group adores her.”
Compared to the 5,314 investors owning 12,500 shares in MyRacehorse.com's 12 1/2-percent stake in Authentic, the Phil D’Amato-trained Carpe Vinum is a small group - “only” 250 investors buying 600 shares in MyRacehorse.com's 60-percent stake in the filly, with Joey Platts owning the remainder. The filly’s investors paid $320 per share for a 10th of a percent. Authentic’s investors paid $206 for 1/1,000th of a percent, with that including both racing and breeding rights.
Since the Derby went off at shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday, MyRacehorse.com has blown up with people interested in buy a tenth, hundredth or even a thousandth of a percent of a horse, Behrens said.
“It looks like since the Derby there’s been over 2,100 new people subscribe," he said. “We sold out in a couple of hours for anything we had left on the website. Now people are just signed up to be notified of the next one. They’re coming in every couple of minutes.”
Carpe Vinum, which means seize the wine in Latin, has won two of six starts with a pair of thirds and a good fourth in Santa Anita’s China Doll Stakes. In her last start she was a respectable fifth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 22. Her team believes the Dueling Grounds Oaks’ distance will work to her advantage.
“She’s one we’ve always been high on since purchasing her at the Ocala sale in April last year,” said Joe Moran, racing manager for MyRacehorse.com's California operation. “She was always a horse who got better as time went on, who continuously improved… She impressed us from Day One in the races — that when it was game time to run, that’s when she showed up. She’s never let us down in the races. She’s not the greatest racehorse in the morning. But on race day she’s a fighter and that’s what we love about her. The added distance is going to be key for her. She seems to want to run all day. It would be a big win for us.”