In their ongoing effort to celebrate and promote horse racing, the team at Old Smoke Clothing Co. periodically highlights their collaborations with various industry partners. Through a Q and A format, readers can learn about the people behind some of the industries best operations, as well as how Old Smoke’s Custom Services have helped to grow their brands.
Before we get into discussing Final Furlong, a few questions for you. How did you get into racing? What is your favorite horse of all time, and what is your favorite racetrack?
My grandfather always told me to stay away from horse gambling but I know he loved it deep down, and while I was always interested, the year Smarty Jones made his Triple Crown bid (2004), I fell in love with the sport and that horse. I was at Belmont [Park] when he lost that race and was so disappointed for literally days. Feeling that emotion just motivated me to get involved at a much bigger level.
We love all of our horses, but there is of course a special spot in my heart for Espresso Shot. Our horses aside, Smarty Jones is the one. As far as racetracks go, Saratoga is heaven on earth, but for racing purposes nothing is better than the Big A.
What’s the name and meaning behind the name Final Furlong?
The final furlong is the most exciting part of the race, and also where most of the race takes place in front of the crowd. Our logo is an “F” but also a “G” (the start to finish of the word “furlong”). This is where we want to be, in the lead - from start to finish!
How many people comprise your operation?
Two managing partners, but we consider all of our partners part of the team, along with our trainers/bloodstock agents and people on the farm.
What’s one thing that sets your syndicate apart from others?
We are the only syndicate that focuses solely on New York-bred fillies, and we really want to make our syndicate like a “team” In sports.
How many horses are currently in your stable racing?
Biggest win to date?
Espresso Shot in the 2018 Busher Stakes at Aqueduct.
Can you talk about your experience working with the team at Old Smoke Clothing?
Kurt and the team have been great from day one - they really worked with us to create a fun way to incorporate our silks-logo into something our fans are excited to wear.
How important is it for you to have Old Smoke-branded merchandise to wear to support your racing partnership?
We love having fun with the ideas - and Old Smoke has been a great partner in coming up with the “true final furlong” shirt idea. Being involved with their growing brand really gives us that individual attention as opposed to one of the large companies where we would get lost in the shuffle.
Who came up with the design/colors for your Old Smoke merchandise?
Kurt and the team at Old Smoke.
How can people join your partnership or syndicate?
We have all information of our horses on our site GOFINALFURLONG.COM but we love to chat with all prospective partners first to make sure they are comfortable with us and our process.
Where do your horses run?
Mainly the NYRA circuit: Saratoga - Belmont - Aqueduct
What are the average yearly costs to being a member in your racing partnership or syndicate?
While most of our horses pay for themselves with purse earnings, you can expect about $600 annually per 1%.
Can you tell us the funniest thing that’s happened at the races when you were out with partners at the track?
It was certainly the celebration when Espresso Shot won the Busher. That video has been seen around the social media world thousands of times. We were all watching from the winner’s circle on a cold March evening - and we were only there because that’s where we watched her win the East View Stakes [superstition]. We didn’t expect such a big crowd, and when we crossed the wire first we all erupted - not a reserved celebration at all but we wouldn’t change it for anything.
How do you name your horses? Does every member get a vote in naming the horses?
We have been complimented many times that our horses are named very well - we try to keep it related to the lineage of each horse and our partners always have a say.
What’s been your favorite horse name in the partnership so far?
I think it has to be our new filly “Sugar and Speights” she’s by Speightster out of Iadoreakid - and having two little girls of my own [and one son] those kids are “everything nice ... usually.”
This name came from one of our partners who is involved every year.
If you could win one race in 2021, which would it be?
I’d love to get back to the Busher, but planning ahead, really any race at Saratoga is like the Kentucky Derby us.
Where can people learn more about Final Furlong Racing?