The annual Forbes 400 for 2020 is out and it includes at least five billionaires who are prominent racehorse owners. Two of them are part owners of recent Kentucky Derby winners.

The wealthiest racehorse owner/breeder (with farms in Ireland and the United States) at number 96 on the Forbes 400 is John Malone, who made his fortune in cable television and has an estimated net worth of $6.5 billion.   The remaining four are Gayle Benson, widow of Tom Benson and owner of GMB Racing (number 249/400 on the Forbes 400 at $3.3 billion); B. Wayne Hughes, self-storage pioneer, owner of renowned Spendthrift Farm, and co-owner of 2020 Kentucky Derby winner Authentic (number 299/400 at $2.8 billion); Brad Kelley, owner of famed Calumet Farm (number 339/400 at $2.5 billion); and Vincent Viola, electronic trading entrepreneur, owner of St. Elias Stables and co-owner of 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming (number 339/400 at $2.5 billion).

Forty-two members on the Forbes 400, with a combined net worth of $271 billion, own controlling stakes in teams in major sports leagues.  Two of them—Gayle Benson and Vincent Viola—are racehorse owners.  Ms. Benson owns the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association and the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League, while Mr. Viola owns the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League.

(After the Forbes rankings were published, another member of the Forbes 400, Steve Cohen, became the 43rd controlling owner of a major sports team, when he purchased 95% of the New York Mets baseball club for the highest price ever paid for an American sports franchise, $2.4 to $2.5 billion).

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