Daily Racing Form Purchased By Z Capital Partners

by | 07.26.2017 | 8:17am
The Daily Racing Form, founded in 1894, was not sold at the recent Churchill Downs meet

Private equity management company Z Capital Partners has purchased Sports Information Group, the parent company of Daily Racing Form.

The purchase was announced in a July 25 press release from Z Capital Partners, the private equity management arm of Z Capital Group, which describes itself as “a leading global alternative investment manager focused on opportunistic, value-oriented private equity and credit funds” with $2.3 billion of regulatory assets under management.

“The big opportunity for us is to digitize the print side of the business, which the former owners started to do—it's expensive and there is still a way to go to make it fully function, and then the online gaming offering,” said Z Capital Group CEO James Zenni in an interview with Bloomberg's Jason Kelly on Bloomberg Markets. Zenni said his company started watching Daily Racing Form about four years ago.

The release said terms of the deal would not be disclosed.

“We are thrilled to join the Z Capital family,” said SIG chairman and CEO John Hartig. “Z Capital's financial strength, experience, insight, and operational expertise will help Daily Racing Form and the company's other platforms continue to enhance and expand our digital offerings and better serve our loyal readers and customers, while staying true to the publication's rich history and its market-leading brand.”

Daily Racing Form was advised in the transaction by JEGI I Clarity.

Daily Racing Form has covered horse racing since 1894, publishes up to 2,000 unique pages of statistical and editorial copy every day, in as many as 20 daily editions, 364 days a year, and includes a companion website that provides news coverage, race results, exclusive handicapping tools, as well as sales and auction coverage through DRF Breeding, and access to the account deposit wagering site DRF Bets.

In February Z Capital Partners completed a purchase of Las Vegas-based Affinity Gaming in a deal that valued the casino owner at $580 million. At the time Affinity Gaming owned 11 casinos, including five in Nevada.

  • Barry

    As soon as the sale became final, the website eliminated the stakes schedule from the handicapping section. Not the new direction I was hoping for.

    • Dan

      I don’t think this is related

  • Drew Mollica

    God please bring back the Newspaper Racing Form, I might actaully buy one again if they do! One can always hope!

    • longshot

      I was going to write the same comment, you beat me to it. And start putting the race charts back in.

      • Andrew Mollica

        Wow do i agree with that!! Pleae bring the charts back it was why I purchased the damn paper inthe first place! The level of stupidity in hte marketing and publishing of this once brilliant paper shocks the conscionce and how about a dauil;y column and around the ovals! Joe Hirsch where are you! Rest his soul!

  • surfola

    I quit buying them years ago. It’s more of a guessing game now. Ten bucks for a form, and then there’s the program, and admittance….too much!

  • adavids

    I use to like the big fat simulcast book..they stopped selling that on about 10 years ago. .I think if they sold individual programs for $2 each..would make more sense. .I only bet 1 or 2 tracks a day..I don’t need 12 tracks jammed into a small progam

  • kcbca1

    I had a problem with a product I purchased from them and was overcharged. After roughly 10 calls to get the proper credit refunded I gave up and just placed a stop payment on my CC. It’s not like I did not warn them. I guess the call center is in Indiana not that it matters.

  • Umpscous

    Sometimes that works as good as anything

  • longshot

    I saw a girl hit a 1500$ tri just because all the jocks were wearing green

  • greg

    GREAT, the Form has gotten so cheap that to read anything requires a subscription, hopefully they’ll get rid of some very dead weight, “handicappers” who only pick 5/2 shots and under i.e. Brad Free, and can generate better articles (Sorry ray)

  • Mike Oliveto

    I’m hoping the new ownership cleans house and brings in a tech capable staff that understands the need for a usable online presence and a high level of customer service. The current website is quite possibly the worst destination I’ve seen that’s not some kid’s middle school project.

  • Stewart Winograd

    Arrogate’s last three races were for purses of $10 million, $12 million and $6 million. Last weekend he was running for $300,000. Smith might not have ridden his heart out, but I suspect Baffert figured to win on memory and hadn’t been training him aggressively either.

    • Michael Shea

      If there is one thing I do pay attention to in handicapping, it is the works by Baffert horses. If they are not sharp, (Arrogate’s were dull), skip it. Baffert routinely blows them out in their last work. Arrogate’s last work might have been a bullet, but it wasn’t his typical work and that was enough to make me a viewer instead of a bettor.

  • longshot

    I remember 15 years ago when I was in Hot Springs, you could go in the track kitchen and by a form that had AQU, OP, and FG only for 3$.

    • Milton Friedman

      Wow, tremendous lesson on the impact of inflation. Did fries 🍟 come with that???

  • Tango F

    Private equity firms: God’s proof that the wealthy do not need any more tax breaks

  • CE Butler

    The “FORM” is an expensive mess and has been for years. The price is up to $10.00 on track $12.00 off track. Next time you’re at the track take a look around and very few people have the Form. I’d say the average age of a reader is 65 w/most younger people opting to buy the track program.

    They have out priced themselves and I don’t see this new group doing much to change that. The “FORM” sadly like racing is dead; it just hasn’t fallen down yet.

  • stevemak

    This is quite a decline in value (from another article): “Z Capital is buying Daily Racing Form’s parent company, Sports Information Group LLC,
    for less than $100 million, according to a person familiar with the
    matter, who asked not to be named because financial terms were private. Arlington Capital Partners formed Sports Information Group and acquired Daily Racing Form for a reported $200 million in 2007.”

  • kuzdal

    And the baton is passed to the next owner….

    Some of us old folks love to remember the days when DRF had competition from The Racing Times. And there was an attempt to be informative, as journalists should be. Today…..

    Past Performances have been replaced by “horse body language advisers”.

    Programs are used to emphasize one’s point about the last time they were at the casino. And

    You wonder why you drove all those miles, through the rain, to get to Saratoga….when you could’ve just “played my numbers” online.

  • Doug Bennett

    The recent on track price increases to $10.75 and $11 now make sense – there’s a new toll booth collector in town. DRF is a near monopoly and has some pricing power…but only because they have Beyer speed figures. Would love to review that license agreement.

  • Jon Luman

    The public, if you can find any of them engaged in betting on horses, will have to protect themselves. With information and observation that can not be found in a racing form.

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