INTERVIEW WITH DREAM TEAM RACING

Today’s Horse Racing Business presents an inside look at the racehorse partnership known as Dream Team Racing (click here for the DTR website). Dream Team Racing received a great deal of publicity in 2011 when the stable’s Mucho Macho Man (owned with Reeves Thoroughbred Racing) competed in all of the Triple Crown races and finished third in the Kentucky Derby. The colt’s trainer, Kathy Ritvo, had literally received a new lease on life in 2008 when she underwent a heart transplant (click here for a USA Today article on Ms. Ritvo).

Following are performance metrics for DTR entries over the past three years:

2011 47 starts–15% wins and 53% in the money (7 wins, 8 places, and 10 shows)
2010 55 starts–15% wins and 53% in the money (8 wins, 13 places, and 8 shows)
2009 37 starts–14% wins and 51% in the money (5 wins, 9 places, and 5 shows)

HRB When was Dream Team Racing founded?

DTR Dream Team Racing Stable was founded about six years ago with the first horses going to the track five years ago.

HRB Who are the executives operating the partnership?

DTR Dr. James Culver (President) manages the stable’s operations, horse purchases and farm/track/trainer relations & Kostas Hatzikoutelis (Vice President) oversees client relationships and sales & marketing efforts.

HRB What is their occupational experience outside racing?

DTR Dr. Culver has been a successful real estate manager and IS software developer. Mr. Hatzikoutelis has been involved in the wireless/telecommunications industry for more than 20 years.

HRB How did they become involved with racing partnerships?

DTR Both have been investing in syndication partnerships for over ten years and have been involved in owning more than 100 thoroughbreds.

HRB Where do you acquire most of the horses you offer to potential partners?

DTR Dream Team Racing conducts a lot of research at most major yearling and two-year-old sales (the latter being the least preferred way). A big part of the stable’s success rests in the many relationships we have at the farm level. There are many eyes and feet on the ground identifying potential opportunities, so it is not uncommon for us to purchase horses privately. We tend to have a ratio of purchasing one out of every 90 to 100 prospects we evaluate.

HRB What is the price range you typically buy in?

DTR We have identified that the best opportunity for success (in terms of providing the best possible owner’s experience and potential for return on the investment) for our partners is from $50K to $85K at initial offering.

HRB Do you mark up the purchases and, if so, usually by what percentage?

DTR There is no fixed mark-up amount. Since we purchase less than ten new opportunities each year, we are able to directly manage the costs and are very proud to offer a minimal mark up. The mark up generally ranges from $10K to $20K based on the anticipated budgeting demands of each purchase.

HRB Is each horse purchased a separate partnership, or do you ever package several horses into a single partnership, or do some of each?

DTR We have considered bundling horses together but with the varied needs of our investing partners, we offer each horse individually and provide our partners the option to select what suits them best.

HRB What is the smallest financial percentage that one can purchase to become a partner? And what is your philosophy for offering partnership interests in this increment?

DTR We offer ownership shares as low as 1% (one share out of a potential 100) for each horse. Our philosophy is simple; “…make horse ownership as affordable as possible; the sport, not just Dream Team Racing Stable, needs more new owners to come in and those that are in ownership currently, to stay in the game.”

HRB How much financial interest does Dream Team Racing typically retain in each horse?

DTR It varies from horse to horse but in our current string, Dream Team owns an average range of 30% to 50% of each horse and this is what we prefer since part of our value is in having “skin in the game.”

HRB Are all of your purchases either yearlings or 2-year-olds?

DTR Yes

HRB Any prospects coming up to their first race soon?

DTR Yes, there are several to look for including a young three year old in Dale Romans’ barn named Saint Of Saints. Witch Way North is a lightly raced filly that is training in south Florida for a Gulfstream Park debut on the turf. Also, the yearlings all appear very precocious and we expect them to start running this summer as two year olds.

HRB Does Dream Team Racing act as the general partner and the investors as limited partners?

DTR Yes, correct

HRB Who are your trainers?

DTR We feel fortunate to have some of the best horse people in the industry tending to our horses; they include, Bill Mott, Dale Romans, Kathy Ritvo, Bill White, Josh Signs, Pat Quick and we also have excellent conditioners at the farms in developing the young prospects prior to reaching the track in J. D. and Carole Rio at the Nelson Jones Training Center in Florida and Frank Smith at the Elloree Training Center in South Carolina.

HRB How do you decide which trainers receive what horses?

DTR As the horse gets closer to racing, we identify which trainer would be the best fit for each individual taking into consideration the circuit the horse will run on, the ability level of the horse, and of course where the horse would have its opportunity to reach the highest possible potential for our partners.

HRB What are the main racetracks at which you race?

DTR Dream Team is primarily an East Coast operation and we use the Kentucky (Churchill, Keeneland, Turfway), Florida (Gulfstream Park, Calder), New York (Belmont, Aqueduct, Saratoga) circuits but have had horses run in Louisiana (Fair Grounds) & West Virginia (Mountaineer and Charles Town) and Finger Lakes in New York.

HRB How did you acquire Mucho Macho Man?

DTR We acquired MMM through his breeder and early conditioner, the Rios in Ocala. This was the stable’s largest individual initial purchase for our partners and it has proven to be a great acquisition. We were very high on this promising young colt and we took the risk based on his natural athleticism and his good mind. We syndicated him off a value of $80,000.

HRB What are the plans for him in 2012, after his big win in the recent Florida Sunshine Million Classic Stakes?

DTR Kathy Ritvo has done a great job with the big boy (Mucho Macho Man) and she will provide some recommendations soon on where we go next. The important thing is that he is doing great and came out of the Classic in fantastic shape. We expect to make a decision on his next spot during the week of February 20.

HRB What is your favorite memory from the 2011 Triple Crown races? And what are your recollections from the walkover from the barn area to the paddock for the Kentucky Derby?

DTR The walkover from the barn to the paddock for the Kentucky Derby was fantastic, but it went by too fast; we should have been allowed to take a couple of laps around the track to take it all in. There were so many wonderful moments and so much going on during Derby week that it is tough to single out any event. But one thing for sure, to have a modest entity like Dream Team be on that big stage with our partners and friends (some who have invested as little as $800 per share) is amazing. Our fondest memory is probably standing up and cheering our horse down the stretch of the Kentucky Derby with a chance to win; it was something indescribable.

Closing Comment from DTR Dream Team Racing has been successful in getting more horse-racing fans to join the ranks of Thoroughbred owners. The organization offers an attractive value proposition and competes at various levels of competition.

HRB Thank you.

Copyright © 2012 Horse Racing Business

Comments

  1. A friend of mine bought into one of the well-known partnerships and later found out that the managing partner marked up his horse by 40%, and the horse turned out to be a cheap claimer. Dream Team apparently treats the partners better. 40% markups are outrageous and drive away participants in racing. Refreshing to read about an outfit that does not gouge.

  2. Do you know what the average win percentage is and in the money percentage for racing partnerships? How do Dogwood, West Point and Team Valor compare on these?

  3. Mucho was my horse in the Derby. Third place isn’t bad! Hope he makes the BC Classic in Calif.

  4. Do you intend to do more of these? Interesting.

  5. Dream Team Racing Stable encourages any interested investor to do the appropriate research. This is a great sport with a lot of fun to be had and enjoyed. We are probably a bit more open than other syndicates with our business model which is why we are confident in our ability to provide the highest value opportunity.

  6. I have followed Dream Team for awhile as a potential syndicate to buy in on, but would like to know why they don’t run their horses very often. Their stable holds around 20 horses and they may race 3-4/month. If anyone involved with the stable sees this, perhaps they could address the lack of performance from the stable as a whole.

  7. Dream Team is a young but growing venture with almost 200 partners. So far in 2012, we have raced four times with all four efforts finishing in the money. In those four starts, we have a first, two seconds and a third with earnings of $254,500. Any specific questions should be directed to info@dreamteamracingstable.com

  8. Valerie Cannata says

    I am a partner on one DTRS horse and it has been wonderful. I feel like I have a new family with Jim and Kostas. The experience is no different than owning 100% of the horse (I’ve done that, too, in the past), I just get to share it with others.

  9. Dan Beagle says

    I own 1% of WWN and I’m made to feel like I own 100%. DTR treats their owners like family. And when you get a trainer like Dale Romans, whom I feel is the classiest trainer I’ve ever met, it makes the racing experience that much more fun.

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