Looking back on 2011 in racing, Horse Racing Business writer Bill Shanklin identifies two positives that bode well for horse racing's future, both involving racehorse ownership. One is the emergence of limited partnerships as a legitimate means for owning horses racing at the top levels, and the second is the entrance into the sport by high profile American business entrepreneurs.
The victory by Team Valor International's Animal Kingdom, winner of the Kentucky Derby, showed that a diverse group of owners can pool relatively meager resources and have a chance to compete with the best.
“As a result of the partnership structure of ownership, a collection of everyday people–whose names will never register with racing historians–possess what eluded some of the most esteemed names and biggest spenders in racing—a win in the Kentucky Derby or Breeders' Cup,” Shanklin writes.
The second trend is embodied by such celebrities as Mike Repole (Vitaminwater), Kevin Plank (Under Armour clothing) and Bobby Flay (celebrity chef) who have become active in racing, bringing awareness of the sport to a wider audience.
“Racing has shown it has appeal for eminently successful younger entrepreneurs who know how to create a brand.”
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