The Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands is Saturday, May 6, with television coverage on NBC expected to peak at about 18 million viewers as post time nears for the first jewel of the Triple Crown. By that point most of the viewers will be familiar with most of the horses as well as many of the jockeys and trainers, but there is considerably less written about the owners of the Derby runners.
Below is a quick primer on the owners or partnerships that race the 3-year-olds slated to compete in the 2017 Kentucky Derby.
Brad Grady is a Texas businessman and rancher; he was born in Girvin, Texas, and gave his best racehorse has his hometown’s name.
Grady became involved in horse racing in 2009 and now owns a Thoroughbred training center in Texas called Grand Oaks. In addition to Grand Oaks, Grady also owns a cattle and pig ranch in Grandview, Texas, as well as Grady Rentals LLC, an oil and gas equipment rental company.
Derby hopeful: 2016 champion 2-year-old male Classic Empire
Founded Oxley Petroleum, an oil and gas exploration firm based in his native Tulsa, Okla., in 1962. He sold the company in May of 2003 and has since started Oxley Resources LLC, a smaller scale oil and gas exploration and production venture.
Oxley won the 2001 Kentucky Derby with Monarchos.
Outside of Thoroughbred racing, Jerry Moss is best known as the “M” in A&M Records, which he co-founded with Herb Alpert and grew into the world’s largest independent record company. However, within racing circles, Moss and his wife, Ann, will always be best recognized as the owners of 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta. The Mosses also won the Kentucky Derby in 2005 with Giacomo.
In 1995, Paul Reddam founded Ditech.com, a mortgage loan company that was the first to use television and billboard advertising for current rates. He sold the company to General Motors in 1999. Reddam currently serves as president of CashCall, a finance lending company in Fountain Valley, Calif.
He owned 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another and 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist.
A Red Bank, N.J., native, Isabelle de Tomaso was born with horses in her blood: her father was Monmouth Park founder Amory Haskell, after whom the New Jersey track’s most prominent race is named. She met her husband Alejandro de Tomaso in 1957 when she was a racecar driver in Europe; they would go on to found De Tomaso Modena SpA, an Italian sportscar-manufacturing company.
Godolphin (Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai)
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, also known as Sheikh Mohammed, is the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Dubai.
A keen equestrian, he is the founder of the Maktoum family-owned Godolphin racing stable and the owner of Darley, the Thoroughbred breeding operation with bases in six countries. In 2012, he rode the horse Madji Du Pont 160 km to take the FEI World Endurance Championship. Sheikh Mohammed won the Preakness in 2006 with Bernardini. His best finish in the Derby was a fourth in 2015 with Frosted.
This is the partnership that races 2017 Xpressbet Florida Derby winner Always Dreaming: Brooklyn Boyz Stables, Teresa Viola Racing Stables, St. Elias Stable, MeB Racing Stables, Siena Farm and West Point Thoroughbreds. MeB Stables and Brooklyn Boyz Stable are the racing names for Mary Ellen and Anthony Bonomo of New York, respectively. St. Elias Stable and Teresa Viola Racing Stables are the racing operations of Vincent Viola and his wife, Teresa. Vincent Viola, also a Brooklyn, N.Y. native, is the owner of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers. Anthony R. Manganaro, Nacho Patino and David Pope founded Siena Farm on 225 acres in Paris, Ky., and West Point Thoroughbreds is the racing partnership founded by West Point graduate Terry Finley that has raced nine Grade 1 winners. West Point finished second in the 2014 Kentucky Derby with Commanding Curve.
Peacock Racing Stables is comprised of Spaniard Jaime Diaz Mengotti and Venezuelans Solomon Del-Valle and Guillermo Guerra. Guerra and Diaz Mengotti work together in the import-export company Peacock Trading, hence the stable name Peacock Racing Stables. Guerra moved to the U.S. from Venezuela in 2014 and never owned a horse prior to Gunnevera. His father-in-law, Del-Valle, at one time had more than 50 horses in training in Venezuela, where he still lives.
Seth Klarman is the President of The Baupost Group, one of the most successful hedge fund companies in the world. An investment adviser, Lawrence is the co-founder of the New York-based Meridian Capital Partners, Inc, where he is the CEO and Chief Investment Officer. Meridian Capital has offices in New York City and Albany, N.Y. William Lawrence, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Meridian Capital Partners. Klarman raced in partnership Read the Footnotes, who finished seventh in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
Lawrence, who grew up in the Albany, N.Y., suburb of Latham and started attending the races at Saratoga at the age of 12, was introduced to Klarman by a mutual friend. Lawrence has run horses in his own name but has been downsizing his personal stable.
Albaugh Family Stable is the Des Moines, Iowa-based racing operation of Jason Loutsch and Dennis Albaugh, who mortgaged his home to start his own pesticide company Albaugh Inc. Today Albaugh is a multibillion-dollar international company. Albaugh owns 100 percent of the company and has a fortune estimated at $1.5 billion. The Albaugh Family Stable had its first Derby starter in 2016 when Brody's Cause ran seventh.
Manfred Conrad is the president, CEO, and founder of the Cora Group Inc., one of Canada’s Waterloo Region’s largest commercial real estate development companies. Conrad was born and raised in Germany, and went to Canada in 1963 where he established the Cora Group Inc. in 1978. Over his career, Manfred has developed more than two million square feet of office space; he is now a preeminent philanthropist in the Waterloo region, supporting local universities, music therapy centers, and cancer research initiatives.
Spanning five decades, Bridlewood Farm is now under the stewardship of John and Leslie Malone. The Malones purchased the 800-acre historic facility in Ocala, Fla., in August 2013, and are spearheading its revitalization. John C. Malone is a business executive, landowner and philanthropist. He served as CEO of Tele-Communications Inc., a cable and media giant, for 24 years from 1973 to 1996. He is the largest individual landowner in the United States, owning 2.1 million acres.
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners is a racing partnership started in 2012 by Aron Wellman, the son of longtime California breeders Michael and Cory Wellman. Eclipse raced Grade 1 winners Danza and Curalina and campaigned in partnership Grade 1 winner In Lingerie. Danza finished third in the 2014 Kentucky Derby.
Founding General Partner of Aston Capital LLC, Robert LaPenta was chairman of the board, president and CEO of L-1 Identity Solutions, a provider of solutions and services that protect personal identities and assets until he sold L-1 Indentity Solutions in July 2011. Formerly, LaPenta had worked as a vice president of Lockheed Martin Corporation. LaPenta raced champion War Pass and won the Belmont Stakes in 2008 with Da' Tara. Ice Box finished second in the 2010 Kentucky Derby for LaPenta.
Sumaya U.S. Stable is the racing stable of Oussama Aboughazale. Aboughazale, a native of Jerusalem, named the stable after his mother Sumaya. Aboughazale currently lives in Santiago, Chile, where he is a perennial leading owner. The Aboughazale family made their fortune in agriculture, exporting fruit they grow in Chile to locations around the world. The family is majority shareholder of the fresh produce division of Del Monte Fruit Company.
The Calumet name is one of the most famous names in the history of racing. Established by William Monroe Wright, the farm produced eight Kentucky Derby winners and two Triple Crown winners (Whirlaway, 1941; Citation, 1948). In 1992, Henryk de Kwiatkowski bought the farm where it ran under his name then under a name of trustees before Brad Kelley took the operation over in 2012.
Brad Maurice Kelley (born 1956) is an American businessman who is the fourth-largest landowner in the U.S., with an estimated net worth of $2.2 billion in 2015. He founded the Commonwealth Brands tobacco company in 1991 and sold the company in 2001 to Houchens Industries for $1 billion.
As of 2014, Kelley's business interests include Calumet Farm, NC2 Media (Lonely Planet) and the Center for Innovation and Technology business park. In 2013, he started using both the Calumet name and silks for his stable, he had previously operated under the name Bluegrass Hall. Kelley leases the farm from Calumet Investment Trust, which purchased the property in 2012 for an estimated $36-$40 million. Kelley won the Preakness Stakes in 2013 with Oxbow running in the Calumet silks.
Hansen owns and operates Pain Management Specialists in Crestview Hills, Ky., across the Ohio River from Cincinnati and has had a long association with Turfway Park in nearby Florence. In 2017, his horse En Hanse, also co-owned with Bode Miller, won Turfway’s WEBN Stakes for 3-year-olds. He is best known as the co-owner of 2011 champion 2-year-old male Hansen, his namesake who finished ninth in the 2012 Kentucky Derby.
Bode Miller is a six-time Olympic medal-winning skier, an Olympic gold medal winner at the 2010 Vancouver games and a two-time World Cup overall champion (2005 and 2008). He became interested in horse racing while still competing as a skier and has campaigned horses solo and in partnership. In addition to En Hanse, he co-owned 2012 stakes winner Carving with Jill Baffert, wife of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
Janis Whitham owns and bred 2017 Kentucky Derby hopeful McCraken. She also teamed with McCraken’s trainer, Ian Wilkes, and jockey, Brian Joseph Hernandez Jr., to win the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic with Fort Larned. Whitham is a fourth-generation Kansan, and McCraken is named for a town, McCracken, in her home state.
WinStar Farm and Don Alberto Stable puchased Battle of Midway from Fox Hill Farms in April.
WinStar owner Kenny A. Troutt founded Excel Communications, a Texas-based telecommunications, along with his friend Bill Casner. Excel Communications sold in 1998 to Teleglobe for $3.5 billion. Troutt and Casner also founded WinStar Farm together in 2000 before Troutt bought out his partner in 2010. A leading stallion farm, WinStar Farm won the Kentucky Derby as an owner in 2010 with homebred Super Saver and finished second in 2006 with homebred Bluegrass Cat. WinStar also bred 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide. WinStar won the Belmont Stakes in 2010 with Drosselmeyer and in partnership with celebrity chef Bobby Flay in 2016 with Creator. WinStar is an Eclipse Award winner as both outstanding owner and breeder.
In 1987, Liliana Solari Falabella bought an estate near Los Angeles, Chile, and founded the Haras Don Alberto, a Thoroughbred breeding farm. With her sons Andrea and Carlos Heller, Falabella developed the farm as well as their Bethia brand which includes a dairy, winery, milk transportation and trucking, and more. The company employs more than 4,500 people.
St. Elias Stable is the racing operation of Vincent Viola, founder and executive chairman of the electronic trading firm Virtu Financial and former chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Viola graduated from West Point Academy and served in the U.S. Army Reserves. Viola also owns the NHL's Florida Panthers.
A commercial real estate developer in Jonesboro, Ark., owner Mike Langford was introduced to the horse racing by his father, Dean, and won his first race in 1987 at Keeneland. His top runners to date are Jonesboro and Carve. Click here for a Q&A with Langford.
L and N Racing is a four-way partnership comprised of Tulsa, Okla. lawyer Lee Levinson; his sons Andy and Michael; and family friend and prosecutor Don Nelson.
Starting operations in August 2015, e Five Racing’s Bob and Cassidy Edwards are newcomers in the world of Thoroughbred racing; however, they’ve already enjoyed tremendous success, which included a win in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with New Money Honey. Bob is the owner of e5 Pharma, which is a pharmaceutical company for pets.