Fantasy Owners Day at Laurel Park exceeds expectations

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: March 24, 2017

Maryland racing stakeholders on March 18 held a Fantasy Owners Day at Laurel Park, and the results exceeded expectations as roughly 300 people signed up for the event.

Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra said he was encouraged by the response to Fantasy Owners Day, which included a look at morning training, a prospective owner seminar, a free buffet lunch and trips to the paddock and winner’s circle. Another benefit for those not licensed by the Maryland Racing Commission was entry into the Fantasy Ownership Challenge, by which participants were assigned horses that competed in overnight races on the card and can share in prize money at the end of year based on the horses’ earnings.

“This was our way of giving people the experience of being an owner without any expense,” Sinatra said. “It will now be our job to treat them like owners, inviting them to events and making them feel a part of our group. This day was a success, and it couldn’t have been done without the help of horsemen and breeders.”

All fantasy horse earnings in U.S. races will be tracked from March 18-Dec. 31 of this year. Prize money for participants is as follows: $30,000 for the horse with the most earnings, $10,000 for second, $5,500 for third, $3,000 for fourth and $1,500 for fifth. If multiple participants are assigned to the same fantasy horse, the share of the prize will divided equally among the number of participants.

Prize money comes from the MJC, Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Maryland Horse Breeders Association, the sponsors of the event. The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, which has expressed interest in holding a similar event at Parx Racing, sent videographer Bruce Casella to Laurel to capture the day.

The video is available for viewing here. For more information on the program, visit fantasyownership.com.