Thursday, June 1, 2023
Making racehorse ownership possible . . .

    Lexington, KY - Experiential Squared (E2), parent company to the popular global racehorse ownership platform, MyRacehorse, today announced a $7 million funding round.

    The funding round is comprised of several investors led by 1/ST, North America’s dominant thoroughbred racing and gaming company, through its 1/ST RACING & GAMING and 1/ST TECHNOLOGY business divisions. 1/ST RACING & GAMING operates many of the premier racetracks in the United States including Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park, Golden Gate Fields and Pimlico Race Course. 1/ST TECHNOLOGY is horse racing’s largest technology company with a portfolio of products and services encompassing 1/ST BET, Xpressbet and AmTote International, world leaders in pari-mutuel and ADW technologies.

    Launched in Los Angeles in 2018, MyRacehorse has operated on the simple premise of making racehorse ownership easy to try and accessible to a broader audience. Racehorse ownership is an aspiration for millions, but due to high barriers to entry, antiquated securities laws and lack of technology, ownership was previously unattainable for the vast majority.

    Using the MyRacehorse app, prospective owners can review, analyze and purchase a fractional share in their desired racehorse for a single one-time payment of as little as $100. The app serves as the primary platform to follow the journey of racehorse ownership via updates from the trainer, jockey and analysts, with direct and instant payouts of prize money.

    The platform currently boasts more than 50,000 active owners and 100 active horses who have won over 160 races worldwide with earnings in excess of $20 million. MyRacehorse is predominantly focused on the United States and Australia and has recently expanded to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

    “This is the ultimate strategic partnership; having 1/ST RACING & GAMING and 1/ST TECHNOLOGY as the lead investors not only provides us the capital to accelerate growth, but the strategic assets and access to enhance the ownership experience for our 50,000 plus racehorse owners,” said Michael Behrens, Founder and CEO of Experiential Squared and MyRacehorse. “1/ST RACING & GAMING and 1/ST TECHNOLOGY are progressive leaders in all aspects of thoroughbred racing and have been supportive of MyRacehorse since the beginning. The partnership affirms 1/ST’s commitment to growing ownership and further immersing fans in our sport.”

    “1/ST’s mission to introduce and engage the next generation of fans and owners in innovative and entertaining new ways aligns perfectly with the MyRacehorse concept,” said Aidan Butler, Chief Executive Officer, 1/ST RACING & GAMING. “The ability to become an owner of a thoroughbred racehorse and to be part of an ownership experience that until now has been inaccessible for many, is truly exciting. We have seen firsthand the success of MyRacehorse and we look forward to helping scale this platform across racing, wagering and beyond.”

    The core of the E2 business is a proprietary technology platform that manages compliance, owner experience, content, investing, and financial and tax reporting. E2 operates within global securities regulations to securitize its racehorses, enabling the development of the first truly legal and compliant global racehorse ownership platform serving both accredited and non-accredited investors. Over the last four years, E2 has built a robust and scalable platform to handle scale, and now is focused on feature development, including a move to the blockchain and the launch of a secondary market so owners can trade their shares. This will bring newfound liquidity to a previously highly illiquid industry.

    Both MyRacehorse and 1/ST are deeply committed to the well-being of thoroughbreds after racing, contributing charitable donations to several aftercare organizations and actively participating in the safe transition and long-term placement of retired Thoroughbreds globally.

    Legendary businessman B. Wayne Hughes recognized the early opportunity in the platform investing in seed round funding to become an active partner with his stallion and breeding operation, Spendthrift Farm. “Without the partnership of Mr. Hughes and Spendthrift Farm, we would have never achieved the rapid success that we have,” said Behrens.

    Recently, E2 began the process of seeking strategic investors to help the business accelerate its growth with a focus on diversifying into other sports and assets.

Saturday, May 27, 2023
    (Editor's note: From his first day as a steward in 1993 to this past season, I can't...

    (Editor's note: From his first day as a steward in 1993 to this past season, I can't count the number of times I entered the track through the west gate near the horsemen's parking lot and Dennis would be there holding court with one or more patrons. Every time, he would wind it up and we would end up getting up to date on various subjects. He was as low-key as someone in his position could be - an absolute gentleman. Over the years, I went to the steward's room on various occasions to get their take on a disqualification - or the lack of one - and he always took the time to explain the call. "He will be missed" is a cliche often used for those we lose, and for Dennis, it goes double). 

By Mike Henry, Tampa Bay Downs

    Dennis Lima wore a variety of hats during his 30 years as an Association Steward at Tampa Bay Downs – mentor, friend and confidant foremost among them.

    “He was somebody you could always talk to, and you could trust him to give you good advice,” said Tampa Bay Downs racing official Jenn Moore. “And he treated everybody equally. He was so down to earth and never got riled up.

  “It (his passing) is just a huge loss for everybody.”

    Lima, who died Wednesday at age 77 after a brief illness, judged the races from the stewards' office atop the Oldsmar grandstand next to the announcer's booth. He and former Tampa Bay Downs announcer Richard Grunder formed a lasting friendship based on numerous shared interests and a deep respect for each other's knowledge and professionalism.

    “He was a very even-tempered guy who handled himself the same with all types of people, from grooms to Hall of Fame trainers,” Grunder said. “He had the perfect personality to be a steward. He read the films really good, knew the job inside-out and any tough situations that came up, he would take the reins and make the call. I've been in press boxes from the Pacific Northwest to Florida, and he was one of the best I've ever worked with.

    “Plus, he was just a fun guy to be around. He was a witty, old New England son of a gun.”

    Lima gained respect from horsemen, jockeys, other track officials and even fans for his thorough knowledge of the sport's rules and regulations and his ability to apply them without bias. “You could ask him a rules question and he would rattle the answer off the top of his head,” Moore said.

    As much as Moore, Grunder and so many others at Tampa Bay Downs came to feel like family around Lima, their knowledge of his background in racing was primarily limited to working with him here on a daily basis. About a lifetime ago – actually, closer to 60 years – Lima rode a train from Rhode Island to Florida with a shipment of horses bound for the Tampa Bay Downs (then Sunshine Park) barn of trainer Doc Canzano.

    Lima took off soon after graduating from Pawtucket West High School in Rhode Island, not far from Narragansett Park, where his older brother Eddie had turned him on to racing a few years earlier and helped him get work as a groom and hotwalker.

    After returning north in 1964, Lima trained his own horses in New England, was an assistant trainer to Ned Allard and worked as a jockey's agent.

    Believing his future to be in the racing office, Lima served with the Massachusetts fair-racing circuit and at Suffolk Downs in Massachusetts and Rockingham Park in New Hampshire as a placing judge, paddock judge and entry clerk. He was named an alternate steward at those tracks in 1987, becoming a full-time steward three years later. He worked in that role at Rockingham from 1990 until the track closed in 2002.

    By then, he was well-established at Tampa Bay Downs, having been hired in 1993 as an Association Steward by then-General Manager John Grady. Lima also worked from 2003-2021 as a State Steward at Delaware Park.

    Lima's credo as a steward was straightforward, as he outlined 10 years ago to a reporter. “The most important thing is to be as fair and consistent as possible with our rulings and our judgment calls during the races. For me, the most rewarding aspect of this job is when you finish a meet knowing you have done your part to keep it as safe as you can for the horses and the jockeys.”

    He was also attuned to the importance of maintaining the public trust, saying during that same interview the one major change he would make to racing would be to “establish more uniformity in medication rules and penalties, especially with so many trainers shipping horses from state to state.”

    Lima is survived by his wife, Celeste; their children, Monique and Shaun; several grandchildren; and a son, Dennis E. Lima. He was pre-deceased by a daughter, Melissa. Per his wishes, no service will be held.

    In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Suncoast Hospice Foundation, 5771 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33760.

Monday, May 22, 2023
Jive scores at Gulfstream and collects $43,000 . . .

    The honor of getting the first 2023 winner by a Florida freshman stallion goes to Journeyman Stud's St. Patrick's Day, a son of Pioneerof the Nile and a full brother to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. 

    Jive, a 2-year-old colt bred by Jennifer A. & Gillian K. Johnson, won a $65,000 maiden special at Gulfstream Park and collected a healthy check for $43,000. He was a $23,000 OBS Winter purchase by Brian Cohen out of Richard Kent's Kaizan Sales consignment. 

    With Edwin Gonzalez aboard, Jive rushed up to contest the pace in the two path at the first quarter, battled head-and-head around the turn, and proved best at the wire by three-quarters of a length. He was clocked in 1:00.20 for the five furlongs and received an Equibase 'E' speed rating of 80.

    Journeyman Stud's Khozan was easily Florida's leading freshman sire in 2019 with 18 winners and progeny earnings of $1,258,512, and has been the state's leading general sire every year since.


Sunday, May 21, 2023
Favored Mage disappoints in 3rd . . .
    BALTIMORE – National Treasure led from the start and held off a game Blazing Sevens the length of the stretch to win the 148th Preakness Stakes, Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, by a head Saturday at Pimlico Race Course.

    The 1 3/16-mile Preakness was the centerpiece of a spectacular 14-race program featuring 10 stakes, six graded, worth $2.75 million in purses. The Preakness Day celebration included InfieldFest headlined by popular music and recording artists Bruno Mars and Sofi Tukker.

    Owned by the partnership of SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital and Catherine Donovan, National Treasure ($7.80) completed 1 3/16 miles in 1:55.12 over a fast main track to earn his second career win from six starts and first in a stakes.

    The wire-to-wire victory by National Treasure came on a day in which his Hall of Fame trainer felt a full range of emotions. Baffert saddled Arabian Lion for a victory in the Sir Barton Stakes to lead off the stakes line-up, but the celebration came to an abrupt halt when heavily favored Havnameltdown sustain a fatal injury two races later in the Gr. III Chick Lang.

    Baffert had been tied with 19th century trainer R. Wyndham Walden for the most Preakness victories before National Treasure joined Triple Crown champions Justify (2018) and American Pharoah (2015) as well as Lookin at Lucky (2010), War Emblem (2002), Point Given (2001), Real Quiet (1998) and Silver Charm (1997) as a Preakness winner.

    Meanwhile, it was the first Preakness triumph in 13 tries for Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who ran second with Kentucky Derby winners Animal Kingdom in 2011, Baffert-trained Authentic in 2020, and Itsmyluckday in 2013.

    In all, Velazquez won four races on the Preakness program, including stakes victories in the $100,000 Sir Barton with Arabian Lion, also trained by Baffert, and $100,000, Gr. III Maryland Sprint aboard Straight No Chaser.

    Breaking from the rail against six rivals, the smallest Preakness field since Snow Chief topped a field of seven in 1986, National Treasure made the lead easily on his own and settled into a rhythm while going a quarter of a mile in :23.95 seconds and a half in :48.92 while racing slightly off the rail ahead of Maryland-bred multiple stakes-winner Coffeewithchris, a son of former Pleasant Acres Stallion Ride On Curlin.

    National Treasure went six furlongs in 1:13.49 when he was eased out by Velazquez and met by a challenge from Blazing Sevens, winner of the 2022 Champagne that was following a similar blueprint for trainer Chad Brown of skipping the Derby to point for the Preakness, a strategy that proved successful with Cloud Computing in 2017 and Early Voting last year.

    Blazing Sevens and National Treasure hooked up at the top of the stretch and battled side-by-side down the lane, brushing near the sixteenth pole and again approaching the wire, before Velazquez coaxed one more jump out of National Treasure. It was 2 ¼ lengths back to Kentucky Derby winner Mage in third. Mage, the race favorite, loomed up behind the first at the top of the stretch but hung late while racing a little erraticly. 

    Red Route One, Chase the Chaos, Perform and Coffeewithchris completed the order of finish. First Mission was scratched.

    National Treasure fetched $500,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2021 and graduated at first asking last September in a 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight test at Del Mar. The bay Quality Road colt ran second to stablemate Cave Rock in the American Pharoah at Santa Anita and third behind 2022 juvenile champion Forte in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to end his 2-year-old season.

    This year, National Treasure finished third by a length in the one-mile Sham on Jan. 8 and then ran fourth for former Baffert assistant Tim Yakteen in the April 8 Santa Anita Derby  before being returned to Baffert for the lead-up to the Preakness.

    National Treasure is the 12th horse since 1909 to win the Preakness from Post 1, including American Pharoah, and the first since War of Will in 2019.

    The 2023 Triple Crown series concludes in the June 10 Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. Baffert was non-committal following the Preakness on whether he would bring National Treasure back in the 1 ½-mile ‘Test of the Champion.’
Saturday, May 20, 2023
She sold for $105,000 at OBS March . . .

    Richard Bahde’s Taxed was overlooked at 11-1 in Pimlico’s Gr. II, $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, but moved to contention on the turn, took command a sixteenth from home and drew off to win by 3 3/4 lengths.

    It was the first stakes victory for the 3-year-old filly by OBS graduate Collected, consigned by GOP Racing Stable Corp., Agent, to the 2022 OBS March Sale, and sold for $105,000 after breezing an Under Tack eighth in :10 1/5. Trained by Randy Morse, she’s now 8-2-2-0 and has earned $379,644.