HALLANDALE, FL. Readers of this blog and my Blood-Horse articles know that I am a strong proponent of racehorse partnerships because of their ability to bring new owners into racing. Some people who begin with a partnership eventually become sole owners, while others prefer to stay with the partnership format. Many partnerships make ownership affordable to folks who do not have deep pockets.
Recently, Kostas Hatzikoutelis, vice president of Dream Team Racing, invited me to explore a partnership up close by visiting Palm Meadows Training Center to watch two of the Dream Team Racing colts—in training with Dale Romans–work 5/8ths of a mile. I did so this past Friday and then joined Jim Culver, president of Dream Team Racing, and Kostas at Gulfstream Park on January 28 to view Mucho Macho Man compete in the $400,000 Florida Sunshine Million Classic Stakes. Dream Team Racing and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing own this 4-year-old colt. Mucho Macho Man finished third in the 2011 Kentucky Derby and was the only colt to contest all three Triple Crown Races.
I spent several hours with the Dream Team Racing partners in their suite and then went with them to the paddock. We watched the race from the Gulfstream apron in front of the starting gate.
Ramon Dominguez placed the 2-1 (second choice in the betting) Mucho Macho Man just off the pace-setting Turbo Charger for the first mile at which time he seized the lead and then held off a late-closing Ron the Greek by 1 ½ lengths in a time of 1:47.96 for the 1 1/8 miles. Trainer Kathy Ritvo had him in top shape and he looked the part of a sleek and muscular racehorse.
When Mucho Macho Man was about to cross the finish line, the men and women from the Dream Team and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing groups erupted in a huge ovation and celebration. Kostas Hatzikoutelis jubilantly grabbed Jim Culver in a headlock that looked to come straight from the World Wrestling Entertainment repertoire.
The Dream Team Racing partners hail from all walks of life, from various age groups, and from diverse geographical locations. A common trait is that they are obviously enthusiastic racing fans. Jim Culver and Kostas Hatzikoutelis are astute business people, but they do not depend on the Dream Team partnerships for their livelihood. They are most of all racing fans and their affection for racehorses and horse racing is evident. The way they treat their partner-investors is exemplary, carefully answering questions with the utmost respect.
In the months ahead, Horse Racing Business will occasionally present a question and answer dialogue with some racing-partnership executives. The first one will be with Dream Team Racing, sometime in February or March.
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