Victor Cozzetti is among those
offer a way to cut costs, while still enjoying
thrills and frills of horse racing
by Matt Massey
itting in the press box 32 years
ago at Longacres, Vic Cozzetti could feel the excitement. He and his fellow
media members wanted the thrill of owning a Thoroughbred racehorse.
No one really wanted to go it alone, but everyone
wanted the experience. So, with Cozzetti leading the way, the group finally
stopped talking and banded together to defray the expense of ownership. Twenty
media members decided to form Media Stables and claim a racehorse.
We had talked about Media Stables for a while, so
finally we claimed a horse named Shooting Drake for $5,000, said
Cozzetti, then a public handicapper and today still touting picks as Victor
The Predictor on his website, www.predictorsays.com. I was
the instigator on that deal. We lost him via claim in California for $25,000.
We split up the money and saved $10,000 to re-invest and put that in some
We bought a yearling for $8,000 and
named him Media II. He was a nice colt, but he never broke his maiden.
It was the start of a life as a syndicate manager
for Cozzetti, who estimates hes put together more than 100 successful
ownership groups since he moved into it full-fledged in 1981.
We try to make it a fun thing, and its not,
How much money am I going to make? Cozzetti said.
Its about enjoying the horses. Its fun to feed them carrots,
watch them get saddled for the race and run. The ultimate goal is to have them
win, but youre not always going to get a horse like Jazznwithwindy,
Exclusive Molly, Asummerforwindy or an Iron Lark Miss.
Its some extra excitement if youre
going to go to the races anyway. Its a way to get your feet wet first
without investing a lot of money.
successes and failures in syndication, but when its a shared expense the
failures become a little more palatable and less of a hit on the pocketbook.
When I went into syndication, Barbs
Boy was one of the first I syndicated, Cozzetti said. It took him
27 times to break his maiden. I used to swear at him in the press box.
On the flip side, there are successes like
Cozzettis yearling purchase of Washington-bred Jazznwithwindy for $2,500
at the 1995 WTBA Winter Mixed Sale. The gritty mare went on to make $391,741
most of it on the competitive California racing circuit after
getting claimed for $10,000 after 19 starts with Cozzettis then Susan
Kaye Stables II.
She was the big
earner, said Cozzetti of one of the best returns on investment in WTBA
Stakes winner Iron Lark Miss
($75,120) and stakes-placed Captains Too ($78,122) were two runners of
note for Cozzetti at Longacres. More recently, Cozzetti syndicate runners
Exclusive Molly ($115,773), Si Madre ($55,198), Vying High ($16,921) and
Asummerforwindy ($75,399) have given thrills at Emerald Downs under Vic-Tory
Stables. Exclusive Molly, a $4,700 yearling purchase at the 1999 WTBA Winter
Sale, was claimed for $32,000 after 21 starts with Vic-Tory Stables V and
trainer Larry Wolf.
Its not so much
the initial investment, Cozzetti said. With most people, its,
Can you handle the monthly assessments, the day money, ponying, vet bills
and all that stuff?
managers, like Cozzetti, take care of many details of horse ownership for the
group. In addition to selling of shares, they line up equine insurance if
needed, send out monthly billing statements, provide weekly updates on the
horses progress, keep a register of owners and number of shares, produce
financial statements, keep all accounts up to date and distribute purse money.
Under his Vic-Tory Stables name, Cozzetti
currently manages syndicates for two broodmares, two yearlings and two
weanlings, as well as maiden three-year-old gelding Larrthestableguy, named
after Cozzettis trainer Wolf.
longtime shareholder David Cooke purchased the 2006 WTBA Winter co-sales
topper, a Mutakddim filly for $26,000. The filly is named Fall Forest and will
make her three-year-old debut next season at Emerald Downs.
Cozzetti is currently syndicating a Private
GoldBig Headache yearling colt with a heart-shaped blaze on his forehead
which was purchased by Wolf at the WTBA Summer Yearling Sale this past
September. He still has some shares available. (The colt was consigned by the
Washington Thoroughbred Foundation for Austin Rogers and is from the final
crop of the broodmare lease program.)
syndicate can help satisfy that urge to enjoy horse ownership. It also can
defray what could become a costly venture if tackled alone.
In addition to Cozzetti, others locally who are
involved in syndication of racehorses are: bloodstock agent Dana Halvorson,
trainer Tim McCanna (Kings & Queens Stable and Quadrun Farms LLC), trainer
Grant Forster, Benchmark Farm (Glenda Roberts), Mary Lou Griffin (Griffin
Place), Vicki Potter with Donovan/Torres/Rising Star Stable IIs Courting
Seattle and Scott Gruender (www.horseplayersracingclub.com)
. . . or one could make inquiries to a reputable trainer for recommendations
on how to become involved.
Thoroughbred Horse Society (CTHS) of Ontario, Canada, is currently advertising
its own campaign for syndication. Theyve started a new owner investment
program with the slogan Share The Cost, Enjoy All The Thrills.
It could very well be, Split the check, profit
Matt Massey, a Maple Valley resident, has
covered horse racing in the state of Washington for various publications since
1991, including the Thoroughbred Times, The Seattle Times and the former
Valley Daily News in Kent. Massey was first introduced to the sport of
horse racing when his father, Melvin, was the state veterinarian at Longacres
in the late 1970s.
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