Justin Nicholson, President
Ninety North founder Justin Nicholson was introduced to the sport at a young age when his father, Ronald, started buying horses in partnership under the name Kimran Stables in the mid-80’s. Always fascinated with the strategy behind horse selection, Nicholson studied the game until he felt he had developed a good sense of how to develop a successful roster of horses. In 2009, Nicholson formed a partnership composed of himself, his father, and some family friends. This new stable, AJ Suited Racing Stable, has quickly become one of the prominent names on the New York racing circuit. Despite a fairly modest number of horses, the AJ Suited name has been among the leading owners at Belmont Park consistently over the past few years.
Confident that he has developed a feel for racing, both as a sport and a business, Nicholson is eager to bring the thrill of thoroughbred ownership to others, whether they are newcomers to the sport or longtime fans looking to be involved more directly.
Personal: Nicholson is originally from New York City, but presently resides in West Chester, PA. Aside from racing, he is an avid golfer and sports fan. He graduated with high honors from Emory University, and attended Georgetown University Law Center.
Kathryn Sharp, Chief Operating Officer
Kathryn Sharp has been an important part of Ninety North from its very beginning, assisting with the founding of the company and the recruiting of new clients. Though Sharp did not grow up around horses, she has quickly become a fan not only of the sport of racing, but very much of the animals themselves. Among her most important contributions, Sharp spearheaded the launch of Ninety North’s Facebook and Instagram pages, both of which continue to help connect clients and fans of Ninety North to the equine athletes and their personalities and quirks.
In addition to the responsibilities above, Sharp is the staff photographer at Ninety North, and provides most of the photography for our social media presence. She is also the point-person for race-day accommodations and Ninety North events.
Sharp comes from a strong academic background including graduating from Emory University with bachelor’s degrees in Astrophysics and Writing, and a Masters in Health Physics and Nuclear Nonproliferation from Georgetown University. Her hard-working and analytical approach to business and racing have proven invaluable time and time again to the Ninety North team.
James “J.J.” Toner, Trainer
Jimmy Toner began his training career by setting a record for the youngest trainer to win a race in the State of New York, and never looked back. Throughout his career, Toner has been a mainstay on the New York racing circuit, conditioning many graded-stakes caliber horses in recent years.
Toner is widely recognized as a fine horseman, and of genuinely good character. He pays close attention to each of his horses, and has a keen instinct for anticipating physical problems before they occur. Because of his attention to detail, Toner is known for helping horses realize their potential, and for finding talent that may have otherwise been overlooked.
While Toner is most often regarded for his adept handling of turf fillies, such as current top 3-year-old filly Winter Memories, he has shown great versatility during his career. With graded stakes winners on different surfaces, at different distances, and at different ages, Toner has shown that he can truly do it all.
Notable horses trained by Toner (past and present) include:
Blazing Fury, Buzz My Bell, Flying Chevron, Gritty Sandie, Memories of Silver, Soaring Softly, Winter Memories, and Wonder Again.
Kelly Rubley, Trainer
Rubley joined the Ninety North team as an assistant to Jim Toner in 2012 and from that time until December 2014 was responsible for overseeing the string of horses at Fair Hill Training Center. Rubley recently announced her decision to become a full-time public trainer, under the title KMR Racing Stable. Ninety North presently has a small contingent with Rubley and we hope they will be valuable parts of the launch of a promising career.
Tim McMurry, US-Based Bloodstock Agent
Tim McMurry’s knowledge of the horse racing business is difficult to match. He has worked for several prominent racing outfits in various capacities, including his most recent work as the head of Lane’s End Farm’s bloodstock department. He is also the founder of his own company, Fleetwood Bloodstock, which is a well-respected name in the industry.
McMurry’s role for Ninety North is to assist us in acquiring horses for private purchase and at sales within the United States. He has contacts nationwide and does a tremendous job keeping his finger on the pulse of the business and bringing potential deals to our attention.
Adam Driver, International Bloodstock Agent
Adam Driver is the managing director of Global Equine Group, an international racing management and consultancy company, and will serve as both international bloodstock agent and racing manager for Ninety North outside of North America.
Driver is a qualified veterinarian, specializing in racehorses. He has worked as an equine veterinarian in many different countries, including the UK, Dubai and the US. Driver has brought his experiences and skill-sets as an equine veterinarian to the sales-grounds, taking a practical approach that discerns whether a horse may be successful despite physical flaws that may make others disregard it. When not at the sales, Driver scouts out horses racing in South America and Europe that might be suitable for racing in the US.
Driver has built up a network of trustworthy and like-minded professionals during his time working as an equine veterinarian around the world, for owners such as Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and has gained valuable insight and experience in many different racing environments. This network provides an excellent opportunity for Driver to assist Ninety North in campaigning horses outside the United States.
Dr. Barry Eisaman, Layups and Breaking/Training of Young Horses
Dr. Barry Eisaman has consistently been one of the best in the business at prepping yearlings and juveniles to begin their racing careers. While he is probably best known for his skill at pinhooking horses, Eisaman has developed horses for owners like the Nicholson family for many years. The list of horses that have started their careers at Eisaman’s Ocala farm could easily be mistaken for a compilation of the best horses in training over the past decade or two. Included in that list, for 2011 alone, are the winners of the Belmont Stakes, the Kentucky Oaks, the Jerome, the Rebel, the Louisiana Derby, and several others.
Dr. Eisaman’s farm, run in conjunction with his wife, Shari, also offers a place for injured horses to work through their rehabilitation. Eisaman’s veterinary background makes him an ideal candidate to oversee these horses, and we have a great deal of confidence that horses sent to Eisaman’s farm will come back to us ready to go.