Fantasy Ownership Day Attracts ‘Incredible’ 300 Participants At Laurel

by | 03.18.2017 | 1:34pm
The inaugural Fantasy Owners' Day at Laurel Park attracted 300 participants

Access to the paddock and winner's circle, as well as a total prize pool of $50,000, were among the features that awaited registered participants for the inaugural Fantasy Owners Day Saturday at Laurel Park.

Designed as an introduction to prospective Thoroughbred owners, Fantasy Owners Day was presented jointly by the Maryland Jockey Club, Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and Maryland Horse Breeders, and attracted nearly 300 prospective owners.

“The attendance blew us away,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “We were expected maybe 100 people, so 300 was incredible.”

The event began with an optional morning training session on the Laurel apron, followed by a 10 a.m. sign-in period where participants were randomly paired with a horse for the day. A prospective owner's seminar held at 10:30 a.m. featured a Q&A session with top racing partnerships, racing officials and horsemen, followed by a luncheon in the Terrace Dining Room.

Before going to the luncheon, Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra surprised the participants by telling them they would be competing for cash prizes totaling $50,000 at the end of the year.

Sinatra announced all fantasy horse earnings in U.S. races would be tracked from Saturday through Dec. 31, 2017, with $30,000 awarded to the participants assigned to the first-place fantasy horse, $10,000 for second, $5,500 for third, $3,000 for fourth and $1,500 for fifth.

If multiple participants are assigned to the same fantasy horse, the share of the prize will divided equally among the number of participants. Published earnings by Equibase.com will be the source of determining earnings for each fantasy horse.

“This was our way of giving people the experience of being an owner without any expense,” Sinatra said. “It will now be our job to treat them like owners, inviting them to events and making them feel a part of our group. This day was a success, and it couldn't have been done without the help of horsemen and breeders.”

Participants will be invited to the paddock for the saddling of all starts of their fantasy horse at Maryland tracks between Saturday and Dec. 31, 2017, as well as being part of the winner's circle photo should their horse win. Final awards will be distributed during a luncheon at Laurel in January 2018.

A weekly blog with updated news, entry information, results, race video, photos, current standings and more will allow participants to track their horses at www.fantasyownership.com. Participants will also receive regular e-mails and be invited to a fantasy challenge group on Facebook.

Also on Saturday, all fans will take home a long-sleeve Maryland Jockey Club T-shirt free with purchase of a racing program, while supplies last.

  • Richard C

    The incredibly solid turnout certainly made the hard work in developing the unique program a success.

    • michelle

      Not trying to stereotype but that group looked as a whole as a bunch of people on social security income

      • Mike Oliveto

        Anything to promote racing to any demographic is a good thing.

      • Carla Parrillo

        Excuse me!!!??? who better than the SSI. Population could benefit from this. Some or most of us are retired 65+ and some like myself might be looking for a personal connection to the racing business
        I have been researching and hunting for resources of shares to invest in with this industry. 90% of the stocks are locked into Pvt accounts. Any shares available as price per share items are out of reach for the “”common class”” living on fixed income retiree such as myself. I’m not being critical of how you described the people who attended. Perhaps you meant it to be laughed at.
        So. LOL, ….And just remember one day you will be one of those SSI recipients too.

        • joe

          horse racing is not for those that cannot afford to lose all their money.

          • Carla Parrillo

            I agree with that. What I see at the tracks, and casinos, the individuals who gamble it all away were already doing this before the pensions, and SSI came on board for them.
            But some of us live on budgets allowing funds divided as needed.
            We are the ones who can’t afford to gamble it all away and wouldn’t.
            Some will look for a good investment if one comes along.

    • Carla Parrillo

      What a great concept to draw people like myself into the industry.
      Will some be encouraged to literally own or become a stock shares holder could be the very boost the racing industry needs to climb up to population standards that they need. I

  • Bryan Langlois

    Great idea and implementation of the event. Now we need to see how many of these people get serious about owning a horse or entering the business themselves. Doing it for free with no expense is one thing…going in and taking on the risk yourself is quite another.

    • Carla Parrillo

      I think this is a good idea. I have and continue to learn about this industry it could be a great opportunity for someone like me. This is not a move to just jump into, but will keep watching for the right time to involve myself.
      This is new program and one to pay attention to. I want to see it really get off the ground and see how big a turnover it gets.

  • Audrey Harvey

    For the ‘SSI’ comments. SSI money along with ‘Pension’ money along with ‘401K’ money. You get it ?

  • gus stewart

    Name me one promotion besides a handicapping contest that u had a captive audience to discuss racings difficulties and the good things about owning a horse or being a player that a marketing genious especially here in califonia has come up with that got 300 people.. aaaaaaaaahhhhhh that be never.. so maybe they may take a look a this.,,aaaaaaaaahhhhhh, nope, they dont want to be shown up. The demographics of group i dont know but the idea seems to have merit.

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