Tom Simon, owner of Vinery Farms near Lexington and Summerfield, Fla., hopes to reward Thoroughbred racing’s current fans as well as attract new horse players through a fantasy stable game entitled “DerbyDreamer.com.”
Beginning Feb. 17, DerbyDreamer.com (www.derbydreamer.com) will give players who purchase and build a fantasy stable of current North American runners a chance to win a $10,000 cash prize for earning the highest point total each month. Purchasing a fantasy stable for one year costs $12, and contestants will be given a chance to compete for a grand prize of $120,000 in cash.
“Tom Simon came up with the idea as a way to draw more people into the industry, and it’s a passion of his, so we’re really doing it for the good of the game,” said Tom Ludt, general manager of Vinery. “As you know, our business is losing more and more media and fan attention, so hopefully this is a way to draw in the younger generation and anybody that likes the fantasy games."
Ludt said if the fantasy stable is successful, Vinery hopes to give some of the proceeds to various charities.
“We’d love to get to the point where we’re profitable and can (tie it to a charity), but we’ve got an enormous amount of money invested just to make this happen. It will be very interesting what kind of response this gets over the next three or months. Hopefully it catches.”