How have the horses in the previous Brilliant Racing partnerships performed so far?

As of July 27, 2022, Brilliant Racing has made 104 starts with 17 wins, 18 seconds and five thirds.

Our top horses have been the multiple stakes winning Yes It’s Ginger (purchased for $40,000 as a 2-year-old in training with earnings of $325,726) and the stakes placed Eskenforit (purchased for $60,000 as a 2-year-old in training with earnings of $225,882).

As a Brilliant Racing member, will I have any say in the decision-making process?

Within a horse racing partnership, there are a lot of decisions that must be made, some are critical, others are ancillary.

For fun stuff like horse naming, we will take suggestions from members through our social media channels, narrow it down to the most popular ones, and take a vote.

If we receive an offer on a horse, or a capital contribution becomes necessary in order for the partnership to continue on, the membership will be called on to vote, which each unit counting towards the final tabulation (75% majority). Other business and financial decisions will be made by the managing partners, with input from the group’s largest unit holders. By joining Brilliant Racing, you’ll need to trust that the managing partners will do what’s best for the horses and the partnership as a whole.

Where does the money go?

Purchasing, maintaining and racing horses is expensive, but we are making it affordable by implementing a 15-month plan. It all starts with the trainer’s daily rate, which includes the stall, feed, conditioning, loving care and preparation to race. Each trainer has a staff of people they employ to assist in the process, including assistants, hotwalkers, grooms, exercise riders, etc.

Here is a basic expense guide:

SALES EXPENSES – Flights & accommodations (if necessary), vetting horses, materials
INSURANCE – Roughly 5% of sales price
LAYUP – $40 per day per horse
TRAINERS – $95 per day per horse + percentage of purse earnings
JOCKEYS – Mount fee + 10% of win, 5% of 2nd, 3rd or 4th
VET – Varies horse to horse, but we’ve built in $800 per month
HORSE TRANSPORTATION – $2,000 for the entire year
BLACKSMITH – $175 per month
ADMINISTRATIVE FEES – $300 per month (total, not per horse)

As Brilliant Racing members, will be told in advance what horses we plan on bidding on or are looking to claim?

We have to keep all of our intentions, both at the sales and at the claiming box, VERY close to the vest. It’s not that we don’t trust the members, but the more people who know, the greater chance there is of word getting out. That being said, we WILL share the hips we plan to bid on in the moments leading up to those horses entering the sales ring. We want to include our members in the excitement, and trust us, it’s VERY exciting!

Expenses are built in for 15 months. When the end of that time frame approaches, how will the status of the partnership be evaluated and what steps will be taken from there?

Fourteen months from the closing date of each individual partnership (when the hammer drops on our first purchase at auction), all debts will be settled and units will be assigned a value by the managing partners based on the funds in the account (remaining capital + purses earned) and the appraised value of the horses in our stable.

After this process has been completed, the managing partners will meet and decide if moving forward is in the best business interest of the ownership group. If the managing partners deem that moving forward is the appropriate action, they will calculate the next 3-6 months of expenses. In the event that projected expenses exceed the funds available within the partnership, members may be asked to contribute.

If the managing partners feel that the partnership has future potential, the pending capital contribution will be put to a vote, with 75% of the units needed to come back as “yes” in order to move forward. If the partnership is dissolved, the horses will be sold and the partnership will be dissolved. Based on units owned and finances at the time of termination, members will then receive any financial distribution due and the LLC will be closed.

This might seem a bit complicated, but it is important to us that we provide full disclosure, and that potential partners understand the possible scenarios.

How often do cash calls occur and what are the financial repercussions?

As previously stated, the initial investment covers at least the first 15 months of the partnership. If a cash call is needed, the amount per unit will be determined by the state of the partnership — how many horses we have and what their earning potential is vs. projected bills over the next 3-6 months. A three-month cash call would amount to roughly $300 per unit. For some perspective, in the four-year history of Brilliant Racing, there have only been three cash calls total. In other words, the way our partnerships are structured, you’re not going to get sucked into a financial black hole.

Why did the organizers start Brilliant Racing, and what is their cut of the partnerships?

The managing partners love horses and racing, and ownership is fun. In essence, we are one of you. Our experience, connections, confidence and trust in each other inspired Brilliant Racing. We have regular jobs and view Brilliant Racing as a life enhancement, not a financial one. We are in this for the challenge and to make memories but are also confident in our abilities to execute the plan and put ourselves in position to succeed.

There was a lot of work put into establishing the partnership and it continues while maintaining it – from the recruitment of members, to legalities and contracts, to keeping track of the financials, to all the research and hands on work that goes into the sales, to investigating potential claims and private purchases, to the management of the horses, to the design work and website, to communicating with our trainers and each other about important decisions, to the newsletters and social media communications, to race day coordination, and so much more.

Here is the breakdown of how Brilliant Racing LLC (our managing partners) will be compensated:

  • For each partnership, the managing partners will receive three (exempt) units total
  • 5% agent commission on all horses purchased at public auction, private purchases and claims
  • 7.5% of purse earnings
  • 5% on horses sold (including sales such as Keeneland November breeding stock or January horses of all ages, claims and private purchases and only if sales price is equal to or exceeds the amount Brilliant Racing LLC originally paid for the horse)
  • $300 per month management fees (total, not per horse)

We want our partners to be proud members of Brilliant Racing. To feel invested in what we are doing far beyond the financials. Camaraderie is our number one goal!

Can a member leave a partnership while it is still ongoing?

A member wishing to sell their interest must be prepared to find his or her own buyer. Potential members should be prepared to be involved for the length of their Brilliant Racing Partnership (at least 15 months in partnership IV).

Does every partner need a racing license and will everyone have all the benefits of ownership?

We very much encourage all members to purchase a Kentucky Racing license, at minimum. Once you become a Brilliant member and our horses are purchased, we will gladly help walk you through the process. If you own 10% of any of our partnerships, chances are you will need to be licensed in whatever state we race. Once again, we will help facilitate that process.

How will the partnership be informed on our progress?

With constant updates on Facebook (public and private page), Twitter, Instagram and via e-mail. We have been lauded for the consistency and quality of the information we provide, a service that is lacking within many partnerships. We keep you in the loop, big time!

As a private clocker based in Kentucky, Brandon Stauble is constantly observing our horses train. Joe Kristufek works has a prominent role at both Churchill and Fair Grounds. He visits our horses on the backstretch regularly. We will provide consistent, and honest, updates on how our horses are training, along with photos and videos.

How do you choose your trainers?

It’s important to us to employ excellent horsemen with reasonably-sized stables who are tremendous caretakers and partners on the journey. We look for trainers who don’t push their horses too hard, have a patient approach, give every individual an opportunity to reach their potential and are easy to communicate with. Much like our members, our trainers are part of the family. That’s the Brilliant way.

Will members be able to communicate with our trainers and visit the horses?

The life of a trainer is hectic. They have lots of clients besides us, therefore the managing partners will serve as trainer liaisons. We’d appreciate if you communicate with them, through us.

Our trainers welcome having visitors to the barn. That’s a part of the reason we chose them. We want our Brilliant Racing partners, and their families and friends (within reason!) to have a personal connection to our horses.

Just please coordinate all barn visits through our managing partners. Take advantage of this aspect of the partnership. The backstretch at a racetrack is a magical place!

Are there any personal tax ramifications?

Not unless you opt out of the partnership and show a profit on your initial investment.

For more detailed information, visit the “tax issues” section on the Thoroughbred Owner View website

How will the managing partners determine which horses we buy?

Our first and only priority is to maximize the funds we have been allocated.

Brilliant Racing was born in the fall of 2017, and since that time we’ve established our name while developing some great relationships across the industry. The ability to partner with other owners and groups gives us a lot more financial flexibility.

We will target Keeneland September and Fasig-Tipton Fall yearlings with a combined chance to inspect and analyze thousands of horses.

During the lead up to the sale, the managing partners will work tirelessly to come up with a preferred list of horses that could potentially fit into our budget, while simultaneously keeping our lines of communication with other partnership groups open. We are all in search of the BIG horse, and partnering up increases our chances to find them.

Once the auction begins, anything can happen. This is where the fun begins. We will be bidding against other owners and partnerships for the horses we like.

Depending on the horse, outside partner interest, and the cost involved, Brilliant Racing will most likely own between 25-75%, with 50% being our sweet spot. Our yearly stable expenses will be re-calculated as each prospect is purchased. When it comes to our financial reserves, we will always err on the side of caution.

At this level, it’s all about value based on upside. To be clear, we will not sacrifice the potential quality of our stable just to “pick something up”.

Each individual Brilliant partnership officially begins when the hammer drops on our first horse at auction, and expenses on the entire stable of horses in this fifth partnership venture will be covered for at least 15 months.

After the job is done at the yearling sale, we will reevaluate our financials and potentially seek out an additional opportunity.

We are not just “filling an order”. Whether it’s at auction, a private purchase or a claim, we take all of our financial ventures very seriously.

Can partners attend the horse sales?

Yes, horse sales are open to the public and the experience is super cool, but please bear in mind that our managing partners and trainers will be fully engaged in the process. Informed decisions are only made through hard work, and that will be our only priority. Following along on the sales company’s website and watching the auctions on-line is another great option.

How soon will it be before our yearlings race?

It’s tough to be patient in this game. We all want action. Yearlings are like pieces of clay that need to be molded. Once the purchases are complete, our yearlings will be sent to a reputable breaking and training facility where they will receive lots of TLC and get the education they need to become a racehorse.

We will not rush our acquisitions into action. Young horses are often prone to minor setbacks – sickness, shins, etc. Patience is critical to success. All horses are individuals, they will tell us when they’re ready.

Horses who are straightforward and precocious could arrive at Churchill Downs as early as April of their 2-year-old year.

What if one of our horses gets injured and is forced to retire?

When Brilliant Racing was first conceptualized, it was unanimous among the managing partners that the horses would always come first.

Our four retired horses to date have all been placed in fantastic homes. Our former claimer Yaafour (GB) is in the care of Brandon Stauble’s in-laws, Tawana Edwards and Larry Nau, and he is a wonderful riding horse. Tawana and Larry also bought Risky Behavior privately. This past spring she had her first foal (by Mitole) and she is currently in foal to Global Campaign. War Bond was donated to Golden Creek Equine in Cheyenne, Wyoming. There he serves as a stallion, and he has also being re-trained in additional disciplines. His first foals are yearlings of 2022. His Heirness, the only horse we’ve had in four years who did not make it to the races, has been retrained as a western riding horse.

Let there be no doubt. We LOVE horses. We have connections to the after-care community and If we have a horse that is forced into retirement, we will find them a good home.

What happens when one of our horses is entered to race?

You’ll potentially know weeks in advance what race and date we are targeting. Entries for the actual race are usually drawn 2-3 days out.

We want as many Brilliant Racing members as possible to show up on race day, and the managing partners will coordinate a home base, the trip to the paddock for our race, and hopefully our winner’s circle photo!

Especially if you’re traveling from out of town, keep in mind that there is a chance that based on weather/track condition, sickness/minor injury, management decision, etc., that our horse could scratch. Remember, we will all be in constant communication through e-mail and social media and the partnership will be kept informed on all developments.

Will there be any Brilliant Racing social events?

Once our horses are purchased, we will organize a Brilliant Racing “meet and greet” event at a venue to be determined (most likely Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, home of the Kentucky Derby). You’ll be afforded the opportunity to meet your horses and mingle with the managing partners, trainers and each other!

Why is Joe Kristufek no longer a managing partner?

In July 2018, Joe accepted a full-time position with Churchill Downs, Inc., at which time he was asked to relinquish his “official” management role with Brilliant Racing. He remains an extremely active member and very much has a say in all decisions made.

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