This year’s Kentucky Derby winner is ‘co-owned’ by Mumbai bloodstock agent | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: When three-year-old colt Authentic beat the hot favourite Tiz The Law to win the Kentucky Derby, the big daddy of American thoroughbred racing, on Saturday, Pedder Road resident Gaurav Rampal was over the moon. The 41-year-old bloodstock agent had become the first Indian co-owner of a Kentucky Derby winner.
Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by John Velazquez, Authentic was third in demand in a 15-horse field, the smallest since 1998.
“Due to travel restrictions I couldn’t travel to the US, but I enjoyed every moment of Authentic’s upset win here in Mumbai,” Rampal told TOI.
Rampal, however, was not the only owner of Authentic who was celebrating. There were 4,200 of them!
‘Owning a champion horse means more than the money’
The 4,200 ‘micro-owners’ of Authentic were watching him win from their homes. For the first time in its 146- year history, the stands at Churchill Downs were empty thanks to Covid-19.
“There is a California-based company called MyRace-Horse which promotes microownerships. They had a 12.5% share in Authentic and they were selling 12,500 shares at $206 apiece. I was aware of the colt’s pedigree apart from the fact that he had won four of his five previous starts. So, I decided to invest and bought a share on June 29,” said Rampal, who is one of the leading bloodstock agents in India.
Apart from MyRacehorse founder Michael Behrens, B Wayne Hughes holds a majority share in Authentic.
So how much will each micro-owner get from Authentic’s victory? It’s not easy to figure it out. The total purse is $3 million, of which the winner lands $1.86 million. The jockey and trainer each get 10% of the purse while other expenses, such as barn rental fees and veterinary bills, may be paid from the winnings. MyRace-Horse will get 12.5% of what’s left, and that money will go to the micro-owners, based on how many shares they own.
“That may be a small amount but that’s immaterial. When you are one of the owners of the Kentucky Derby winner, it means a lot to me,” said Rampal. The picking of a winner of this prestigious race will certainly enhance his professional image as a bloodstock agent. Rampal was also instrumental in buying the 2014 Indian Derby winner Alaindair for his owners and last year’s Pune Derby and Indian 2000 Guineas winner Trouvaille.
But being a micro-owner does not mean you will not get anything in return. Successful stallions are deployed as studs with breeding fees of around $200,000 per mare. “But that depends how the stallion’s career shapes up,” said Rampal. “Hardly 5% of stallions succeed in attracting big money,” he added. Despite being in Mumbai, Rampal enjoyed the privilege of being an owner every day. “MyRaceHorse kept supplying us all the details about Authentic’s daily progress online,” he said.
Incidentally, Rampal says he might initiate the concept of micro-ownership in India. “It’s the future of horse racing. But the biggest challenge remains convincing the racing mandarins in our country,” he said.

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