A Mere $127 Investment Has Thousands of Owners Rooting for Seize the Grey To Win Belmont

The unique ownership group is hopeful for second Triple Crown celebration.

AP/Julio Cortez
Jaime Torres, atop Seize The Grey, crosses the finish line to win the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course, May 18, 2024, at Baltimore. AP/Julio Cortez

Seize the Grey, fresh off his thrilling Preakness victory, is charging into Saturday’s 2024 Belmont Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, hoping for its unique ownership group to cause a mob scene in the winner’s circle for the final leg of the Triple Crown.

Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Seize the Grey is shared among 2,570 owners, who each paid $127 for a small stake in the thoroughbred through MyRacehorse, a company that provides the “experience” of being a racehorse owner. The long-shot opportunity turned into a Triple Crown experience, with the owners spread across 42 states earning a $158 share of the $2 million purse for winning the Preakness, according to the Baltimore Banner.

An estimated 500 of the Seize the Grey “owners” were invited to Pimlico three weeks ago, and many in attendance tried to participate in the celebration at the Winner’s Circle. The commotion caused Mr. Lukas to remark, “I’ve been in some cattle drives more organized.”

The “owners” look to add to their earnings at the Belmont Stakes. The final leg of the Triple Crown is being held at Saratoga for the next two years while Belmont Park is under reconstruction. “That’s what I get paid for is to let them live the dream,” Mr. Lukas said of the unique ownership group.

The founder and chief executive of MyRacehorse, Michael Behrens, started it five years ago and tasted a Triple Crown win in 2020 when Authentic won the Kentucky Derby for 5,314 owners.

“Horse racing is an amazing sport and ownership is such a great thrill and this to unlock and let people know that it’s possible for anyone to participate and have this kind of moment is big for business,” Mr. Behrens said at Baltimore. “It’s big for racing.”

Despite winning at Pimlico, Seize the Grey is not the favorite entering the 156th running of the “Test of the Champion.” Nor is the Kentucky Derby winner, Mystik Dan.

Sierra Leone, a loser by a nose to Mystik Dan at Churchill Downs, is the 5-1 favorite, followed by Mystik Dan (5-1) and Seize the Grey (8-1). Todd Pletcher isn’t running Derby favorite Fierceness but has three other horses in the Belmont Stakes: Antiquarian (12-1), Mindframe (7-2), and Protective (20-1). The move to Saratoga reduces the Belmont to one and a quarter miles from one and a half. Post time is 6:41 p.m. EDT.

“I think the mile and a quarter sets up for a real competitive race,” Mr. Lukas told Past the Wire. “At a mile and a half, we wouldn’t have this field. It’s probably a better field than the Derby or the Preakness.”

Seize the Grey won the Pat Day Mile on the undercard of the Kentucky Derby before ending Mystik Dan’s hopes of a Triple Crown by speeding to victory in the Preakness. With jockey Jaime Torres aboard in his first Triple Crown race, Seize the Grey defeated Mystik Dan by two and a quarter lengths on the first muddy track for a Preakness since 1939.

Mr. Lukas dispelled any notion his horse might be tired entering his third race in five weeks. “I think he’s improved,” Mr. Lukas said. “I think in these three weeks, I wouldn’t be surprised if he runs better. He acts like he’s a lot fitter and his energy is way up there. I think we’ll get a good effort out of him.” 

Seize the Grey drew Post No. 1 and is a threat to lead from start to finish like he did in the Preakness, where expectations he would fade down the stretch never materialized. Seize the Grey also showed he could benefit if the track is sloppy.  There is a slight chance of rain in the forecast.

Mystik Dan drew Post No. 3 and should find a favorable pace, while Sierra Leone with Pat Flavien aboard for the first time must work from the No. 9 post. Honor Marie, a closer, and Dornoch, a speed horse, might figure in the finish.

“There’s some obvious speed and obvious closers and we’re obviously in the middle,” Mystik Dan’s trainer, Kenny McPeek, told Horse Racing Nation. “It’ll be interesting to see how the race unfolds and how the pace sets up.”

The Belmont Stakes is the highlight of what is being called the 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, which began on Thursday. The weekend is estimated to bring a $50 million economic boost to the area.

“It’s exciting to have it here,” Mr. Pletcher said. “The Saratoga community is pumped up about it. We expect a great attendance. Traditionalists appreciate the mile and a half at the Belmont. But if you can’t have that, this is a terrific venue.”

The New York Sun

© 2024 The New York Sun Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The material on this site is protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used.

The New York Sun

Sign in or  Create a free account

By continuing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use