09/28/2006 11:00PM

New owners syndicate off and running

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Owner Tim Orlando is an enthusiastic member of the local Thoroughbred industry and, as a director of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, he wants to help pass along the excitement of racehorse ownership to new people.

Orlando is spearheading the New Owners Syndicate Program, sponsored and initiated by the CTHS, and the first syndicate group is already sold out.

"We're off to a flying start," said Orlando, who races his own horses under the Horsepower Stable moniker.

The first group of nine new owners from Ontario, Alberta, and Ohio, plus managing partner Glenn Sikura, have already purchased a yearling and are on the lookout for a horse to claim soon.

"As a board member of CTHS, one of the big problems we have [in Ontario] is that we have a healthy industry but we don't have enough people investing," said Orlando. "Most of the bloodstock agents and breeders are trying to work for a shrinking pool of people."

Orlando set out with the CTHS to advertise the program this summer and the response was impressive.

"I talked to over 100 people on the phone for an hour each," said Orlando. "We decided to look outside of the box and instead of advertising in industry publications, we went mainstream, like the Toronto Star newspaper.

"We wanted to get across the fact that the average person has a very good chance to make money in this game with moderate risk and have some fun too."

For a $10,000 outlay for each of the 10 members of group 1 - a total of $100,000 - the group set aside $30,000 to purchase a yearling, $30,000 to claim a horse, and $40,000 to keep for expenses.

"We want to claim a horse as well as buy a yearling because the yearling process is a slow one," said Orlando. "There is so much enthusiasm in the group that they are ready for instant action."

The first yearling purchase for the first group of the syndicate was Hip No. 32 at the recent CTHS yearling sale, a colt by Yonaguska out of the stakes-winning mare Bombaysunshine, purchased for $20,000 from consignor Gail Wood.

Through a vote of the new members, the stable has been called All In Stable and the youngster has been named Bay Prince. The horses will be trained by Orlando's longtime trainer, Bev Chubb.

Orlando is already working on putting together group 2, which will have a different managing partner and trainer.

"If we can be one-tenth as successful as Cot Campbell's Dogwood syndicates - and he's brought a thousand people into the game - then that's great," said Orlando. "We're an industry that is not doing enough. This is about bringing new money and people into the industry so everyone can benefit from it."

Canadian-breds popular at Keeneland

Trainer Reade Baker, recently back from a trip to the giant Keeneland September yearling sale, said Canadian-breds were in demand and the sales prices confirm his statement.

There were 102 Canadian-breds sold during the 10-day auction for a total of $8,022,900, an average of $78,650.

Topping these was a filly by Theatrical out of graded stakes winner Anguilla, sold by John and Glenn Sikura for $800,000 to Zayat Stables, which races a string of horses at Woodbine.

A colt by Silver Deputy out of Zuri Ridge, bred by Windfields Farm in Ontario, was sold by new owners Gracefield (the colt sold as a weanling last fall for $60,000) for $625,000 to Geathers Racing Stable.

* Sikura said the select session to the recent CTHS yearling sale - the session realized an increase of 11 percent in average - was "definitely better" than in previous years and was pleased with 22 yearlings selling for more than $100,000, up from nine last year.