Two Owners And The Road To Gold Cup And Saucer Glory

Published: August 24, 2022 11:58 am EDT

Harness racing fans around the world witnessed a historic performance at Charlottetown Driving Park when Sintra tied the track record in 1:50.1 in the 63rd edition of the Gold Cup and Saucer on Saturday night. The “WOW!” from track announcer Vance Cameron still echoes in the minds of many who witnessed the event. 

To say everyone that is involved with this horse is happy with the results would be an understatement. It is hard to describe the emotional rollercoaster an owner must go through during those two minutes of watching their horse race. In the case of Sintra, there were 28 people watching to see how their horse performed. Sintra is owned by and by the various fractional owners that purchased a share of him.

The fractional group behind Sintra includes Darryl Wisniewski, 64, a longtime horse owner from Willowbrook, Illinois, and Moncton, N.B. resident Trevor Frizzell, 36, who has had family involved in horse racing for a long time but is just starting to get his feet wet in the ownership game.

Both owners have been in and around horse racing for most of their lives. Although they both have different backgrounds and come from different places, they both started their journey in the sport at a young age. 

Frizzell has been connected through his father and grandfather. In 2020, he decided that it was his time to enter into the ownership side of the sport.

“It’s been something I’ve been around my whole life,” Frizzell told Trot Insider. “My grandfather and father both raced horses. It was something I always wanted to get into more. [Fractional ownership] gave me the perfect opportunity. The pandemic came around and I found myself looking around for things to do. I felt it was the time to dip a toe in and it all took off from there.” 

Wisniewski was also introduced to the sport by his father as a young lad. When he got older, he decided to get involved more officially and has been in horse racing for more than 40 years now. After some misfortune, he was able to find success connecting with Anthony MacDonald and

“I used to live about five blocks from Hawthorne [Racecourse],” Wisniewski told Trot Insider. “I used to just walk there with my dad. When I was in my late 20s, I saved up some money and bought into a couple of horses. I had that going until about eight years ago when Balmoral and Maywood closed down. So, I was out of business for a year and a half until I heard Anthony was speaking at a local off-track betting parlour [about]. I went down to see him and talk to him. It was only a couple of months after that, I contacted him again and bought 25 per cent of two horses and I’ve been with him ever since.”

Frizzell had been familiar with MacDonald and the setup of his stable, so starting fractional horse ownership with TheStable was an easy choice for him. 

“We’ve known Anthony’s family for a long time,” he said. “I had some friends that were already involved so it was always at the forefront of being the first choice of ownership when I wanted to get involved.”

Both Wisniewski and Frizzell have different ownership structures at the moment. Wisniewski currently owns anywhere from two to 13 per cent of 40 different horses. Wisniewski is happy with his involvement as he has reached his goal to have a horse he owns racing almost every day. Frizzell owns one per cent in six different horses and he is very happy about the position he is in.

The two owners purchased their shares in Sintra at different times. Frizzell actually got in on the horse just after the Gold Cup and Saucer trials. He jumped at the chance to potentially be a part of the winning ownership group.

“The opportunity to own a potential Gold Cup and Saucer winner was too good to pass up,” said Frizzell. “It's one of those races that everyone around here wants to win their entire life. Going into it, he [Sintra] had a great chance to do it so when I had the opportunity, I took it.”

Wisniewski, on the other hand, was in on Sintra from the beginning when the horse was first purchased by MacDonald and in July.

“If you follow horse racing, you should know who Sintra is,” said Wisniewski. “I got an email from Anthony [asking] if people were interested and I was, right away.”

Wisniewski proudly watched the big race at home, with the emotions starting to build as Sintra approached the finish. 

“A great run [in the trial] but that one topped it off,” said Wisniewski, referring to the $100,000 final of the Gold Cup and Saucer.  “I don’t get too sentimental but halfway down the stretch, I started getting tears in my eyes because I know how much it meant to Anthony to win that race.”

Frizzell was able to watch the event live in person. He has attended multiple Gold Cup and Saucers so the festivities were a norm for Frizzell but this one was extra special.

“I’ve been to every one since I can remember,” he said. “We decided to do our normal routine this year. We took a trip out to the farm to see the horse in the morning. There was a lot going on for distractions. The whole day goes by so quickly until about 10:30 p.m. It was so surreal. When he hit the stretch, and you know he’s going to win the race, I had all the emotions come rushing in.”

Both owners are ecstatic with the results and they could not be happier with being fractional owners.  

Frizzell, being a newer owner, has been having a blast and he is open to sharing about his good times.

“I tell people all the time, if it’s something you’ve been thinking about doing, you should because it’s totally worth it,” said Frizzell. “I’ve had so much fun this past summer. I’ve had a lot of luck with everything I’m involved in. With the fractional model, it’s not super expensive and you can control where you are going in terms of money. You can own a share of just one horse or branch out. It’s completely up to you.”

Wisniewski, being a longtime owner, is also having a blast with his fractional ownership endeavours and he thinks it provides the perfect opportunity for new people to get into the sport.

“It’s a good thing to get people's feet wet,” said Wisniewski. “Even if you don’t know much about the horse, you can just pick off its name or where the horse might race. Put up the one per cent and see if you like it.” 

(A Trot Insider exclusive by Trey Colbeck)

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