What does Black Cloud Stable do?

We assemble Thoroughbred racing partnerships comprised of a small number of people to share in ownership of a racehorse and fulfill their dreams of racing at the highest levels of the sport.

Who manages Black Cloud Stable LLC?

The Managing Partner of Black Cloud Stable is Mark Esposito, a Wilmington University graduate. He has been involved in Thoroughbred racing for over 10 years.

Who buys the horses?

Black Cloud Stable Managing Partner Mark Esposito ultimately decides which horses will join the stable  after a thorough evaluation of each and every horse we acquire at a 2-year-old in training or yearling sale, or via race claim.  Lead trainer Anthony Pecoraro also plays an integral role in horse acquisition support, as do other advisors who have years of training and horse maintenance experience.

How does Black Cloud Stable make money?

  • Sale of the horse at a reasonable markup to the LLC
  • Purse earnings (Black Cloud retains a significant equity stake in each horse – we make money when you make money!)
  • Commission on the sale of a profitable horse

What should I look for in a partnership group?

You should be comfortable with the Managing Partner and team that make the decisions as well as the business model.  Our partnerships work best when our philosophies for success align.  In addition, you should have access to the stable’s record of results. Past performance is a good indicator of future success, and you want a partnership group that wins races to manage your horses.  Lastly, we can be as transparent as you need regarding our financials and pricing models.

Is it better to buy a larger percentage of one horse or purchase multiple horses with a lesser percentage?

We believe that diversification represents the most sensible way to get involved in the business: spreading risk always increases your chance of success. The more horses you own, the more opportunities you have to make it to the Winner’s Circle.

When are new partnerships formed?

We generally begin forming two-year-old partnerships early in the year after yearling purchases from the previous fall sales, though a new partnership could be introduced at other points throughout the year as we purchase new horses.

Why get in early versus waiting?

We encourage Partners to invest early in the year or soon after a new horse offering is released primarily so you have more options to choose from. Certain horses immediately attract attention and they sell out quickly.  As horses progress in their training, achieving key milestones like a quick first official work might trigger a flood of interest. When those events happen, unfortunately some people can be shut out of their top choices.

How many people are there in each partnership?

Partnerships vary, but usually have from five to ten members.

Why join a partnership group vs. racing my own horse?

Joining a syndicate will prove more cost-effective and will give you far greater chance of racing success at the highest level.  Plus, we do the work and you enjoy the excitement.

What are the advantages of buying an unraced two-year-old versus a successful ready-made horse with a racing record?

Two-year-olds can be acquired for more reasonable prices than capable ready-made horses with a track record to drive up prices.

Which is better to buy, a filly or a colt?

The difference between buying a filly vs. a colt is often times based on personal preference, but the most prestigious races are written for colts.  As a result, the ceiling is higher for a colt. However, fillies are easier to sell after their racing career. Colts do not have any real value after their racing career unless they achieve success at the highest levels of racing whereas a filly can offer value when sold as a broodmare after racing for a more modest price.

Can I purchase a unit of a Black Cloud Stable horse with a group of my friends?

Groups can purchase a unit. However, the minimum purchase is 10% of a horse, and the group is treated as a single owner for communications, race day accommodations, etc. Therefore, we accommodate one representing member of the group just as we would one investor.

How long do the horses race?

Most Black Cloud Stable horses campaign through their three-year-old season. Some horses will continue to campaign as four-year-olds if they continue to demonstrate a reasonable chance to be profitable or increase their residual value.

Where do the horses race?

Black Cloud Stable horses race mostly in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia.  During the winter, many of our horses campaign in Florida. We ship selected horses to any track when appropriate.

Are there tax advantages of joining Black Cloud Stable?

There can be, but we urge individuals considering participating in a partnership to seek counsel of professional advisors for tax planning and strategies.

How do Black Cloud Stable’s fees and syndication costs compare to other racing partnerships?

Black Cloud Stable’s overall costs are comparable to competitive syndicates.  The entire cost to invest in a partnership is incurred up front (or in pre-defined installments), which may differ from many syndicates, but is entirely offset by not having monthly or quarterly invoices for training, travel or medical expenses.  You pay a set flat rate and Black Cloud assumes all expenditures for the life of the partnership.

How much do Black Cloud Stable Partnerships cost?

Partnership unit costs differ from horse to horse (or basket), but each 1% stake typically ranges in price from ~$750 up to ~$1,500, dependent upon acquisition price, expected training regimen, and a given horse’s prospects for success.

Can a Partner leave a partnership while it is still ongoing?

A Partner wishing to sell their interest must be prepared to find his or her own buyer. Black Cloud Stable offers no aftermarket. Prospective Partners should be prepared to be involved for the duration of the partnership (generally one to three years).

What happens to my investment at the end of the partnership?

If the partnership dissolves due to a sale, then you would receive your pro rata share of sales proceeds after all expenses associated with the partnership have been paid. If the horse is retired after his racing career and does not have residual value as a breeding prospect, after all expenses are paid, any remaining money in the partnership’s account will be distributed based on your pro rata share.

Why are your partnerships set up as Limited Liability Companies, instead of General or Limited Partnerships?

An LLC limits the liability to the members. Only the assets of the entity are at risk, and not those of the individual.

What happens when a horse cannot compete in allowance and/or stakes races?

Horses that are unable to compete in allowance or stake races are placed into claiming races. When a horse cannot effectively compete in those competitions, it is retired and placed in a good home.

How does Black Cloud Stable choose its jockeys?

We allow our trainers to make all rider choices as they have the most knowledge of the horse and the best understanding of each rider’s capability and style. Managing Partner Mark Esposito does consult with the trainer about jockey assignments.

 

How active can I be in the management of the horses I own?

Black Cloud Stable serves as the Managing Partner for all horses. We have extensive institutional knowledge about caring for and placing horses to put them in the best position to succeed. As such, we handle the day to day responsibilities of owning and campaigning a Thoroughbred.

What privileges am I entitled to if I join a Black Cloud Stable Partnership?

  • You can obtain an owner’s license in all states where your horses race. Some states have a minimum ownership percentage requirement. In others Black Cloud Stable effectively leases the horse for the purpose of racing.
  • You are welcome to visit the stable area in the mornings to see your horses trained and cared for. We do ask you to schedule these visits through the Black Cloud Stable office to ensure safety and meet racetrack regulations.
  • On race day, you and your fellow partners may assemble in the paddock before the race to meet the trainer and experience the thrill of seeing your horse as he or she prepares to run.
  • When one of your horses reaches the wire in front you will make your way into the Winner’s Circle for the victory photograph. Each Partner is furnished a copy of the win photo within several weeks.

How am I kept informed on the status of my horses?

Our website is the primary vehicle for frequent horse updates, videos, and race information. Partners also receive frequent email communications directly from a Black Cloud representative.  Additionally, Black Cloud Stable representatives and the Managing Partner are always available to answer questions or address concerns.

When will I know that my horse is running?

Generally, entries are taken 48 hours before a race is scheduled to run. Certain tracks take entries 72 hours in advance. Entries are posted on the website in Upcoming Events.

What if my horse is injured and cannot race?

Unfortunately, injuries to racehorses can occur.  Should an injury occur such that a horse cannot continue Black Cloud Stable will find the best possible situation for the animal’s continued life.  The partnership involving that racehorse will conclude and any remaining accumulated value will be distributed pro rata to investors.

When does Black Cloud Stable distribute earnings?

Black Cloud typically distributes to investors their pro rata share of earnings (after expenses) at the end of the life of the partnership.  You will be kept apprised of the financial status and expectations as frequently as possible.