Talkin' Horses - Live Discussions

Terry Finley West Point Thoroughbreds

Thursday July 12, 2007 at 12 p.m. (ET)

Terry Finley is the founder and president of West Point Thoroughbreds, Inc, one of the oldest and most successful partnership companies in the industry. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Finley is a former Army Captain and Airborne Ranger who holds an MSBA from Boston University. He has been involved in the Thoroughbred industry for more than 25 years, gaining hands-on experience working with Thoroughbreds as a teenager and starting racing partnerships in 1991.

Starting from humble beginnings in 1991 with a $5,000 claimer named Sunbelt at Philadelphia Park, West Point Thoroughbreds’ has ascended to the pinnacle of the sport with multiple grade I and graded stakes winners.

West Point Thoroughbreds’ notable horses include grade I winners Dream Rush and Flashy Bull as well as graded stakes winners Awesome Gem, Ethan Man, High Finance, and Seattle Fitz.

Over the past 4 1/2 years, West Point Thoroughbreds horses have earned nearly $7 million in purse earnings and won over 150 races.  In 2007, West Point Thoroughbreds has won eight stakes races with five different horses including seven graded stakes with four different horses.

From May to early July 2007, West Point Thoroughbreds has won five graded stakes including the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), Prioress Stakes (gr. I), Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II), Nassau Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. II), and William Donald Schaefer Handicap (gr. III).

Finley has been the subject of features on ESPN, CNBC, USA Today, The New York Daily News, Kiplinger's Magazine and The Blood-Horse Magazine among others.

Since its inception, West Point Thoroughbreds has campaigned over 400 horses, and Finley’s company has introduced over 2000 individuals to Thoroughbred ownership.  Specializing in the syndication of two-year-old racing prospects, West Point Thoroughbreds currently has approximately 60 horses in training.

Finley is dedicated to all facets of the industry serving on numerous industry boards including the NTRA Horse PAC Board of Directors and New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Board of Directors.

Chicago, IL:
Thanks for taking some questions Terry. You seem to be a very involved owner. Do you help select all your prospects or do you use agents for the most part? What are some of the most important qualities you look for in a prospect? Thanks!

Finley:
Well, it’s a team effort.  Our primary bloodstock agent is Buzz Chace, but I attend all the sales and inspect all the horses myself as well.  We come up with our short list, and we decide on who to go after and who to eliminate.  In the end, I make the final decision, so I am very involved in the selection process.  I’ve been doing it for over 15 years now, and I’ve gained a lot of institutional knowledge.  One thing that is very important is that you have to keep your number of distractions down at the sale and be as focused as possible.

As for what I look for in a horse, I like to look at the whole package – their overall makeup, how they carry themselves, their attitude and their overall demeanor.  I want to buy a horse that moves well and looks like an athlete doing it.  Then, they have to vet well or we will skip them.  We also pay attention to pedigree.  We have a lot of partners who are savvy about a horse’s breeding and the influences of their bloodlines.  So we want to cater to their wants and needs, too.

Lexington, KY:
Pomade, shine juice, or baby oil on your scalp?

Finley:
What did that old advertisement say? Only my hairstylist knows for sure. All those years when I had hair, who knew my scalp had such a great shine?

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