Fred Faour: Owning a winning racehorse is one of the biggest thrills in life, and it’s easier than you think
Horse racing has taken a lot of hits in recent years. Cheaters abound, and the lack of consistent medication rules has made the sport look bad on a national scale. Texas is a mess right now, and you can’t even bet on the races if you are out of state.
All that aside? There are still incredible people who make things fun, and amazing horses. And a lot of people who want to make the sport better.
Our world-class leader Mattress Mack is an advocate for cleaning up the sport. His horses are medication free, and if you think you can’t win without cheating, witness his horse Runhappy, the greatest sprinter of this century.
Owning a horse can be so much of a joy when done right. And the key is getting involved with the correct people. For a small amount, you can become part of an ownership group. And the thrill can still be there.
On Friday, a horse named Honor Given won the third race at Sam Houston Race Park. It was just a Texas-bred allowance race. For us, it might as well have been the Kentucky Derby. The rush you get when your horse wins a race is unmatched. I own only a small part, but thanks to the partnership, I got to share in the thrill when our mare went from last to first. I had chills when the race was over.
We own pieces of her and another horse that has not started yet. I can’t wait for the next one.
The key? The people. I’ve cashed horse tickets worth 100 times more than what our end of the purse was. And nothing was ever as exciting as watching Honor Given win.
If you want to dip your toe in the water, check out txracehorse.com. The group is run by terrific people. Danny Pish, a veteran trainer who is as good a person as he is a horseman, trains the horses for us. The group also uses another incredible talent, Austin Gustafson. The other key players are Corey Johnsen, a member of the Lone Star Park Hall of Fame. Mike Renfro, a former Oiler and part of one of the most famous plays in Houston history and maybe in the NFL. (If you are too young to remember, he was in bounds. Google it). And finally Britt Todd, one of the most amazing, charming people you will ever meet.
There are a lot of scumbags in the business. This group is not that and will in no way steer you astray. They are some of the best people you will meet, and. the partnerships are some of the most fun you will have. That’s the game I grew up with. And I hope for it to be again. Being involved with people who want to make things better is a gift.
There is nothing like cashing a big bet, but seeing your horse win a race is an even bigger thrill, and it is cheaper than you might think. You just have to find the right people.
And the right horses. Like Honor Given.
Give it a shot sometime. You will enjoy the ride.
My husband, M L Courter, would be so proud of you. Hope you are doing well. Where are u now?