Jack Knowlton, managing partner of Sackatoga Stable, gave an owner's perspective to about 30 prospective clients at new owner's seminar at Pimlico Racecourse the morning of May 16. The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association produced the seminar that also included presentations on various topics from accounting to conformation evaluation.
Knowlton, whose racing stable has been thrust into the spotlight with the victory by their Funny Cide in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), discussed the rise to glory of Sackatoga Stable, then offered strong advise for the prospects. "You have to do your homework in finding a trainer," he said. "Talk about the financial aspects of the game. Have a mental game plan of where you want to go.
"If you live in a state with a good state-bred program, consider it," he said. "Our success is that we have played in that arena." Funny Cide, a New York-bred, had solid earnings against New York-breds before racing against open company.
"Find somebody you have confidence in -- that is the critical factor in being successful," he said. Trainer Ferris Allen echoed Knowlton's sentiments. "Interview a few people," the Maryland-based conditioner said. "People that have already been where you want to go and ask them how they got there."
Gay Fisher, TOBA's director of marketing and communications, hosted the seminar and gave an update on The Greatest Game program. She noted 18 prospective owners from their first marketing effort had been paired with advisors, and most had contacted them. A second round of new owners/advisor pairings would be done soon.
The Greatest Game ran their third of six ads in Friday's edition of USA Today. The ads, running the Friday before and the Monday after the three Triple Crown events, cost about $23,000. The four-color, one-sixth of a page ads, offer a phone number or Web address to contact. According to tracking done by Fisher, have gotten a good response.