10/24/2016 2:40PM

China Horse Club buys into California Chrome

Barbara D. Livingston
California Chrome works five furlongs at Los Alamitos on Saturday.

The China Horse Club, the international horse-racing partnership, has purchased an undisclosed share in 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome, the club said on Twitter.

The China Horse Club, which was launched in 2013 and has quickly purchased stakes in horses across the world, said in a tweet Friday that it was “very pleased to join ownership of California Chrome heading into [the Breeders’ Cup] and Pegasus events.” The Pegasus World Cup is a $12 million race scheduled for Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park.

Duncan Taylor, the president of Taylor Made Farm, which owns a stake in California Chrome that it has divided into marketable shares, said on Monday at the Fasig-Tipton October yearling sale that the stake purchased by the China Horse Club will give the group a share in the colt’s racing and breeding career. Taylor did not disclose the size of the stake.

Last year, Taylor Made purchased a 30 percent share in California Chrome from Steve and Carolyn Coburn. Although the plans at the time were to retire the horse to stud at the end of 2016, the ownership group has entertained the possibility of keeping the horse in training after the Pegasus to attempt a repeat win in the $10 million Dubai World Cup.

A representative of the China Horse Club did not respond to an e-mailed request for comment.

The China Horse Club raises money from Chinese citizens for investments in both racing and breeding. Horse racing is only a small sport in China, and most of the country’s races are not sanctioned by an official jockey club. However, horse racing is an enormously popular sport in Hong Kong, a Chinese administrative territory, and the group has raced horses in most major European racing countries.

In the U.S., the group has raced horses on its own and in partnership with WinStar Farm. This year, Yellow Agate, a horse solely owned by the China Horse Club, won the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes.

The group has been increasingly aggressive at U.S. auctions, and at the major August and September yearling sales, it spent more than $7 million on 17 yearlings.

– additional reporting by Joe Nevills