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Can Bourbon Slush Attract Owners?


Published: December 12, 2010 2:52 pm ET

Last Comment: January 12, 2011 4:14 pm ET | 11 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Frank Antonacci is delivering a gift idea for the holidays, and he’s using a horse rather than reindeer. He hopes it ends up being a present to the industry, as well.

In an effort to promote the sport and attract new owners, the 27-year-old trainer and the Lindy Farms Racing Stable are selling shares of their trotter Bourbon Slush, who was purchased as a yearling for $11,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale in November. One hundred shares will be sold for $500 apiece. Shares will be limited to three per individual. There will be no additional costs -- such as for training or veterinary bills -- for the new owners.

“I believe there needs to be a grass-roots effort for this industry to survive and thrive,” said Antonacci, whose grandfather Sonny Antonacci started the Connecticut-based Lindy Farms in the mid-1960s. “The trainers, the drivers, we need to do all we can do to promote the sport and bring in new owners and bring new interest. I feel that responsibility and I’m going to try to do this.

“I want to get people that aren’t in the business. I didn’t do this so that guys in the business think it’s a really good deal and want to get involved in it. The idea is to bring it down to a level where it’s plausible to a bigger population. I’m going to reach out to people in all walks of life that might have an interest in owning a racehorse or being involved in something like this. It gives them a level of entry where it’s not a major risk.”

Antonacci plans to use the Lindy Farms website, Facebook and Twitter to reach a wide audience. He also will use social media tools to keep owners of Bourbon Slush informed about the colt and hopes to host “open house” type gatherings for owners at the family’s farm.

“I think that’s the most exciting part about this,” Antonacci said. “I see it as a great opportunity to promote the industry. I think if we keep the communication up to date, and people know what’s going on with the horse, hopefully that experience alone is worth something to them. We know there is a risk the horse won’t race. But if people feel they’re getting some value that way, then hopefully they’ll try it again.”

Bourbon Slush is a son of Sand Vic-Jeans N Rings and his staking will include the New York Sire Stakes as well as the Hambletonian. Lindy Farms has been involved in the ownership of five Hambletonian winners and Antonacci rose to prominence in 2008 when he trained Crazed to a second-place finish in the race and later won the Colonial and Matron stakes.

Antonacci, who graduated from Boston College with a business degree, plans on racing Bourbon Slush through the summer and fall as a 2-year-old, and then will decide whether to sell the horse at auction or keep him for his 3-year-old season. The horse will be sold, at the latest, at the completion of his 3-year-old campaign.

“If there is a shortfall, there will be no assessment; Lindy Farms will take care of the shortfalls,” Antonacci said. “Any purse earnings are held in an account. At the end of service, when the horse is sold, all the sale proceeds and purse earnings are distributed.”

Antonacci is hopeful the horse will be successful. His family includes world champion Dicks Bell.

“He’s a nice athletic looking horse,” Antonacci said. “He looks like an athlete. We’re selling the dream.”

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit

January 12, 2011 - 4:14 pmCarlo, rethink your comment;


rethink your comment; we currently have horses all over the province going for purses that are extremely disproportional to their value and not enough money being wagered on them to pay the hydro bill. That said - this current condition will not last for ever.
On to the matter at hand; I think everyone can appreciate the complexity of a catch driver/ trainer/ owner relationship and the decision making process leading up to a 2 min. (approx.) racing event. The idea of indicating your intent with a horse (trainer), could get pretty fishy too if you indicate in the form that you are heading to the back of the bus and then wire the field at box car odds. It just seems like a whole new can of the same worms if you will.

I like the way the profile of the young catch driver is evolving. They love to win . , and often dont even ask or care about the trainer's intentions, they may have watched your horse race before, study the book a bit and then grab the lines. I like this attitude - kind of like, "if you are into saving your horses for next week when they are tighter or are looking to teach him how to race - put someone else down to drive b/c I've got a dash title to win here and don't have time for stuff like that". I'm sure punters like this attitude as well.

December 19, 2010 - 1:06 pmMr Antonacci, I applaud

Peter Smith SAID...

Mr Antonacci, I applaud greatly your initiative and wish you and your soon-to-be partners every success with it. And please, don't waste your time explaining yourself to the inevitable nay-sayers that will and have cropped up to knock you. This is a good thing you are doing for our sport and if it attracts even one future owner you can consider it worthwhile... just wish I had $500! :)

December 16, 2010 - 2:44 pmThis could be great exposure

This could be great exposure to our sport regardless of what happens to the horse. To the doubters here is what you do; find $500 that you dont need, buy or give a share in this partnership. Consider the money gone and hope for the best all the while having a bit of fun, hearing and telling stories about your venture. When or if the horse breaks his leg off, judging by the current price of meat, you will probably get a check in the mail with only one digit to the left of the decimal. Turn the page and continue on with your life or - refrain from going to Tim Hortons for about three months and you'll have recouped your investment.

December 15, 2010 - 7:10 pmI think it's unfortunate

I think it's unfortunate that people are so skeptical.

I'm a thoroughbred player and owner, and I signed up because the setup was very clear and transparent. I also have heard very good things about the Antonaccis, so I have no reason to be skeptical.

At the end of the day the $500 investment is lower than anywhere I know of to get involved with owning a horse. Knowing that there won't be future bills also makes it a great gift. I think it's a fantastic idea, and one that should bring new blood to the standardbred game.

Great idea!

December 14, 2010 - 10:10 amIt is one of the few good

It is one of the few good ideas to spring up in many a year. The devil however is in the details. I.E. suppose the horse breaks down etc or becomes unraceable what happens. Do the original participants still have a credit balance. I am sure Mr Young was not insinuating anything untoward was or will be done but I would strongly suggest Mr. Antonacci prepare all the participants for every likely possibility both positive and negative!

December 13, 2010 - 5:28 pmThis is something great!

This is something great! People with a rich tradition and heritage in our great sport working with potential new owners.
The thought of new owners having the opportunity to meet the bright, young and talented horseman Frank Antonacci and
possibly visit the class operation of Lindy Farms is awesome. The youth of our business is the strength of our future!!
Bravo on this great initiative.

December 13, 2010 - 3:35 pmI applaud your initiative.

Norman Hall SAID...

I applaud your initiative. Too bad the usual cynics, usually the ones who have never lifted a volunteer finger in this sport, got the first kick at your can. I would love to be part of the experience but I guess I don't qualify being an old fart who has enjoyed ownership in the past. In fact my first horse was a syndicate horse with me as one of ten partners. The experience was great. It also helped that she was the best three year old in the Maritimes. Being part of a horse is a great way to start. I wish you success and based on the pedigree I think you have a winner.

December 13, 2010 - 9:31 amIts a shame that you would

Its a shame that you would read my comment so incorrectly.I never made any reference to any attempt at ripping people off.I only stated that people who have no real knowledge of this business and who may also may have limited resourses will get the perception of being ripped off if there is no return.I cant tell you how many former owners I know who were involved in partnerships that eventually thought they got ripped off by someone.The trainer,the driver, their partners etc.It is infact one of the primary reasons we have less owners today. The real ownership experience includes some idea of whats going on.1% of a horse with no bills,limted communication with trainers, drivers etc is not an experience that would entice for further participation.It becomes no different then buying a penny stock.May I suggest that you plan a specific date when all the owners can participate in a seminar.They can also watch the horse train,see the workings of the barn.Most importantly, also develop comradery, which is the real ownership experience.I applaud your attempt at attracting new owners and hope it succeeds.

December 12, 2010 - 10:36 pmso sad! the perception that

so sad! the perception that people have on the horse racing industry is the following "not an honest industry". that being said, 100 shares x by five hundred dollars equals fifty thousand dollars.($ 50,000) the horse was bought for eleven thousand, balance remaining thirty-nine thousand.

training costs per day about, maybe sixty dollars? or more? multiply by 30 days in a month, equals one thousand eight hundred. ($1,800.00) per month multiply by 12 months equals twenty one thousand and six hundred.($21,600.00) plus, the cost of feeding and vet bills per day about, maybe.....eighty dollars per day or more?

so, eighty dollars multiply by 30 days equals two thousand four hundred dollars multiply by 12 months equals twenty eight thousand and eight hundred dollars.($28,800.00).

operation cost per year about, let's see, 21,600 plus 28,800 equals $50,400.00 dollars per year.(please keep in mind that these are only rough figures, not exact figures.)

the questions that future owners would like to know, if possible, are the operating costs, mr. frank antonacci. a detailed account of, day by day expenses, would be appreciated. more details must be known. which race track will you be planning to race this champion? thank you!

December 12, 2010 - 9:54 pmMr. Young, Thank you for

Mr. Young,

Thank you for taking the time to comment on the "Bourbon Slush" syndicate. However, I would ask you to go to the website link that is given in the article to fully understand the experience that is being provided. I believe that once you take that time to read the information and view the numerous pictures and videos along with the "soon to come webcams" (I have an IT guy flying to FL on Wednesday-my expense) and how much we are already involving people via social media, you will not only rescind your previous comments but you will applaud all of us at Lindy Farms that work tirelessly to bring new people into the sport. The sport you and I both love. During a time where the economy is down trodden and the industry news pages are full of depressing stories about track closures, NYC OTB closing, and the possible bleek future at the Meadowlands, I ask you not to be so pessimistic. This may be the only positive story to hit the news waves in a long while, please help us make it a success.

In fact, I have been overwhelmed by the amount of people that have jumped in immediately to be involved. Since Friday at 6 pm when we went live I have been swamped with people reserving shares, inquiring further, and applause from within the industry. There has been such a high level of response that I think we may need to include another horse in the partnership to accommodate everyone and not ruin anybodies Christmas. I must add, these are new faces, not the same individuals that we already see at the racetrack and sales arena. These new faces are also young, most of those already signed up are under the age of thirty. What is also exciting is that many people signed up from states that either no longer or never had a harness racetrack (Texas, Washington, Nevada etc.) I have been refreshed by the enthusiasm that this new blood will bring and has already brought to the game. These people are genuinely excited. It is the most buzz I have seen around harness racing in a long while.

We are selling more than 1% of a racehorse. We are creating an experience. Giving people the opportunity to join the extended family at Lindy Farms and all of harness racing to achieve and be part of something great, on and off the track. We all know, and I make no false pretense otherwise, that this game is risky and the odds of success are usually pretty low. However, I believe that we have created a way to bring people a socially valuable experience within harness racing. Something that brings more value than just dollars and cents. We have provided an opportunity for people that have always been curious of the world of horse racing to get involved, to take the first step with a guiding hand. As well as bringing them together with many others in the same situation to socialize learn, enjoy, win and/ or lose together.

As our information says the cost is one time, no further bills. Lindy Farms will cover any shortfalls. This is why I must take great offense with your insinuation that we are in any way shape or form trying to rip anyone off! The opposite is actually the case. We are absorbing all the risk that usually spooks the first time owner and keeps them from coming back. I especially take offense to this insinuation due to the fact that over the last 50 years in the sport starting with my grandfather we at Lindy Farms and the Antonacci family have always been actively working to extend the scope of the sport and operate with the utmost integrity. We have consistently been ambassadors to this great game not only in this country but all over the world. My grandfather is in the Hall of Fame. My father is on the executive board of the Hambletonian society. My father and my uncle are also part of the partnership that owns the Red Mile. Through their own personal detriment this group brings you the "Grand Circuit meet at the Red Mile" each year. I myself try to be involved in every way to make this business better, including service on the Board of Directors for the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and by executing new and innovative ideas like this one.

At Lindy Farms we strive to run a first class operation and my door is always open to those who love the game. I invite all of you that have never been to our stable in Kentucky/Florida or the farm in Connecticut to come by. Join the thousands and thousands of people from all over the world whom have already done so over the last 50 years. I can make you two promises: YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED and to quote your words Mr. Young you will not feel "ripped off." You may in-fact want to get involved in promoting this great sport. If so please contact me and I will speak with you "personally."

Frank M Antonacci

December 12, 2010 - 4:13 pmPeople are skeptical when it

People are skeptical when it comes to horse racing partnerships.And you are trying to create one where ownership gets a tiny fraction of net earnings with probably little to no interaction of the owners with the trainer. I wouldn't call that an ownership experience. If the horse loses money,we will have 100 more people who think they got ripped off. They are selling 100 shares.How many shares are held by the original ownership? On the surface it sounds like each owns 1% per share. The original owners have also created a cant lose program where all their costs are reimbursed. Do they have any participation if the horse wins?

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