1. What are my responsibilities as a Ninety North partner?
Being a Ninety North partner is quite easy. Everything that we can possibly handle on your behalf, we will attempt to take care of for you. However, there is one area that will require some involvement on your part: licensing. Every state requires that horse owners (typically those who own at least 5%) be licensed to run in their jurisdiction. Ordinarily, licensing is done at each individual track, meaning that partners would have to fill out forms several times a year. However, we plan to provide our partners with the required forms to enroll in the National Racing Compact. The Compact takes your information and stores it on file so that whenever we need to have you licensed in another state, we can just call them up and they will take care of it. This process will cut down the paperwork that partners have to fill out. Other than that, Ninety North partners need only worry about paying their bills.
2. Do I have to deal with tax preparation?
No. Ninety North has an accountant who will prepare the appropriate forms for partners each year. The cost of the accounting will be billed to the partnership, but is well worth the small expense to ensure no panic around tax time!
3. I’ve heard that horse racing syndicates often include hidden mark-ups and undisclosed purchase prices. Is this true?
The answer, unfortunately, is that both parts are true in many cases. Prices of horses that are purchased privately often are not made public, and syndicate owners in some cases do not make the purchase price known to their partners either. Instead, they offer only a final “syndicated value” that reflects the purchase price plus a mark-up of an unknown amount. Even in cases of horses bought at auction, where the price is in plain sight, many partnerships have mark-ups of 25% or more! Ninety North prides itself on full disclosure and lower commissions and fees. While horses must be syndicated for an amount greater than their market value in order for Ninety North to maintain its operations, we believe that our profit should come from the success of our horses rather than from simply selling shares. Therefore, we set our syndication prices at 15% higher than the market value, which allows us to pay for employees, office space, and other relevant expenses. Our profits come in two ways. First of all, we take 10% of the net profits of each horse in the instance that there are profits to share. Secondly, we take 5% as a sales commission when a horse is sold at the end of his/her career. In sum, the more success you have, the more success we have! Ninety North will also always maintain a share in each horse, so you know that some of our money is right with yours.
4. Is horse racing ownership a profitable venture?
This is always an important question, for new owners, especially. The answer is, in some cases, yes, but in many cases, no. One can only imagine the number of people that would be in the racing business if it were reliably profitable in addition to fun! We encourage all potential partners to consider the possibility that, like any other investment, they may lose what they put in. Therefore, we urge anyone considering joining Ninety North to bear in mind that thoroughbred ownership is primarily an investment in the experience rather than an investment in the hopes of financial gains. I can say, though, that nothing precludes you from making a profit on racehorses. One of our goals in selecting stock is to pick horses that have upside to create a profit during their racing careers. Moreover, many horses, especially fillies, will have breeding value at the end of their careers and can be sold to either recoup some of the initial investment or make a profit, depending on how well they have done during their careers. We will always strive to improve your bottom line while still ensuring that partners get the most out of their racing experience.
5. What is included in ownership?
The most obvious answer is an interest in the horse(s) up for offer. However, there are many more exciting opportunities and benefits for our partners! Being a Ninety North partner entitles you to access to the member’s section of the website, including bulletins and updates on the entire Ninety North roster. Partners will also receive first notification of any upcoming offerings, giving partners “first dibs” on new prospects. When first joining 90 North, partners will receive a welcome package of custom merchandise to bring all new members into the team environment we hope to foster. Moreover, Ninety North partners have access to our stable locations at Belmont Park and Saratoga Racecourse in New York, Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, and Palm Meadows in Florida. Finally, we will offer our partners any assistance we can in making travel arrangements to attend the races, even if we do not have a horse running on a particular day. The Ninety North team has experience at many racetracks across the country and if we can offer hotel or restaurant advice or any similar information, we will be happy to do so.