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MyRacehorse Finds a Way to Make 2,570 Owners Happy

Microshare partnership posts second classic win with Seize the Grey in the Preakness.

Seize the Grey in the winner's circle after the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course

Seize the Grey in the winner's circle after the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course

Skip Dickstein

Keeping five or six different people in the same ownership group happy can be a difficult task.

Pleasing 2,570 owners is, well, a reason why there are medications for headaches.

But for Michael Behrens, founder and CEO of MyRacehorse, there was a sure-fire way to produce a multitude of smiling, overjoyed owners.

All he needed was the 2 1/4-length victory by MyRacehorse's Seize the Grey in the May 18 Preakness Stakes (G1).

"When you do a venture like this you aspire to navigate all of the troubles in horse racing. It's a tough sport. It's tough to get new ownership. But days like this make it all worth it," Behrens said. "This means everything to our business."

MyRacehorse sells microshares of its horses to potentially thousands of owners, which, in the case of the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Seize the Grey, amounted to 2,570 different owners who paid $127 a share—a cost that roughly equates to one day of training bills for the 3-year-old son of Arrogate who was bought as a yearling at Saratoga for $300,000.

Do the math and each of the 2,570 owners from 42 different states possess considerably less than one percent of the horse. Yet watching the long and seemingly endless charge to the winner's circle of the roughly 300 Seize the Grey owners on hand at Pimlico Race Course, their level of excitement seemed no different than people who own 100% of a grade 1 winner.  

"You saw the energy out there," said Behrens, whose company conducted a lottery among the owners for Preakness tickets. "There was so much excitement. There were tears. For us to unlock that and let people know anybody can participate and have this kind of moment, I think is going to be big for the business. It's big for racing and I am super excited to be a part of it."

MyRacehorse has attracted more than 50,000 owners who own fractionalized shares of horses and in 2023 received a $7 million investment from a group that includes 1/ST Racing, which owns Pimlico and a portfolio that also includes Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park, and Laurel Park, among others.

The classic win with the son of Arrogate was the second for MyRacehorse since it was founded in 2018. The partnership also co-owned 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner and Horse of the Year Authentic .

In 2020, the Preakness was contested in October due to the COVID pandemic and trainer Kenny McPeek beat Authentic in the Preakness with the filly Swiss Skydiver. In Saturday's Preakness, Seize the Grey beat McPeek's Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan, who finished second.

"We finally got some revenge on Kenny for the 2020 Preakness," Behrens said with a laugh.

Lukas said he is leaning toward starting Seize the Grey in the June 8 Belmont Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course, which presented good news and some potentially massive headaches for Behrens. Chasing another Triple Crown win would be fabulous, but good luck trying to find accommodations at the Spa and seats at the races for 2,570 owners on Belmont Stakes weekend.

"I've tried to get 12 tickets and it was wild," Behrens said, the laugh returning to his voice. "I am sure the people at (the New York Racing Association) are already having a meeting about this. We'll probably have to stay in Albany and rent some shuttle buses. But we'll be there. We'll figure it out."