Mojo News and Notes

July 2009

  • Brigid Retires
  • Mojo Next Steps
Current Events
Mojo Update

July 2009

Mojo Retires Saint Brigid
Prepares for a New Venture

After ten exciting races filled with lots of highlights, Mojo Racing Partners decide to retire Saint Brigid from the track.

“We’ve run Saint Brigid ten times at three of the most prestigious tracks in the U.S. and, frankly, around the world (Keeneland, Churchill Downs, and now Arlington Park),” according to Managing Partner Fred Taylor.  “SB’s finished first, second, third, fourth (twice), fifth (twice), sixth, ninth, and 11th.  She has gathered small amounts of the purse money in seven out of ten races and made it on the board three times.”

Without a doubt, the most memorable and meaningful moment in Saint Brigid’s racing career is the win at Turfway Park—a Mojo first too!  Despite the recent disappointments, in the grand scheme of things, SB has delivered much-more for this group of Partners than her preceding Mojo Stablemates (on paper and on the track).  “That’s not to say that I love SB more than the others—that’s not true because each Runner holds a very special place in my heart;” Fred explains; “But I am proud of Brigid’s combined stats for this Partnership.”

So, what’s next for Saint Brigid? 

Mojo has the good fortune to have a Trainer who has trusted connections with the ability to quickly reach out to their associates in the equine community and find productive homes for Mojo’s Runners once their racing careers end.  This worked well for the first horse the Partnership purchased, Hollywood Pegasus—he’s now competing in Hunt/Jump competition (you can see a photo of him in a recent event HP's Mojo page).  As such, Mojo will be sending Brigid to a family in Minnesota that is excited to train her to become a polo pony in their stable. 

“I’ve been assured that this family is known for the care that they give to their horses; they are looking to start a new project; and they believe Saint Brigid will fit right in.”  Fred acknowledges, “Of course, my Partners are grateful for these connections and particularly thankful for how well our Trainer treats our Runners—John’s work is a testament to our horses’ ability to transition to other productive equine careers and that’s one of the reasons that he’s our Trainer.  I’ll be sure to keep the Mojo Site updated on SB’s new adventures.” 

As for Mojo, what’s on the agenda? 

“We’re going to shift gears just a bit, and try a new approach to the next Partnership,” Fred explains.  “I’m not going to change the Concept—it’s solid and has proven to be valid.  We’ll continue to focus on upholding the highest standards of care for our future Runners, and we’ll expect the same ethics from our new Partners—there will be no exceptions in this regard,” Fred insists. 

“Given the economy; the changing needs of the racing industry; and the challenges to racing patrons, I think there is an opportunity to take the Mojo Concept to the next level.”  Fred points out, “We just have to do it with the right group of Partners who are in a position to weather the turbulence in this economic storm.”

To help keep Mojo moving forward, one of their Partners has a Wimbledon Yearling Filly that will joining the Mojo Barn later this year.  Like the other Mojo Runners, after being taught to take a saddle and rider, she’ll begin her initial race training at Diamond D Ranch in Lone Oak, Texas.  Could this be Diamond D’s next Rachel Alexandra? 

Wimbledon has produced three winners this year from his initial crop; but as Ken Carson, General Manager of Valor Farm, notes, “His (Wimbledon’s) offspring will likely be two-turn horses.”  (Meaning they are inclined to run longer distances of a mile to a mile and a 16th like their sire.)  As such, Mojo may be inclined to wait until the new Filly matures.

“Right now, it’s hard to say what the Wimbledon Filly will do—we’ll just have to see how she progresses each step of the way,” Fred says.  “I’ve been very curious to see what type of offspring Wimbledon produces.  I followed him as a racehorse and cashed a few tickets—one on the 2004 Louisiana Derby, in fact.  Our Trainer worked with Wimbledon when he was an assistant for Bob Baffert.  So, having that stallion’s offspring in the Mojo Barn is a personal treat, really.”

A New Partnership Structure

In the past, Mojo has purchased their first three runners from the sales auction (two from the Keeneland September Yearling Sales and one from the Fasig-Tipton Texas Two-Year-Old In Training Sale).  Mojo gathered money in advance for the purchase, and then each Partner was subsequently billed monthly for their portion for the horse’s training expenses.  Most racing partnerships require “lump-sum” payments and charge service fees, but Mojo was not set up like that.

“I’m sure many of my associates in the racing industry, family, and friends thought I was crazy for doing this and setting up the billing structure that way,” Fred explains.  “But, it was important to me to demonstrate that racehorses can be purchased, trained, and raced with outstanding care at an affordable price.  It was also important for me to show my Partners, the people who put their trust in me, that I was no different or better than them—we are all in it together.  Like them, I have a good “day job,” and I wasn’t trying to make money off of them—I was (still am) more interested in providing a positive experience.  Thus, I wasn’t going to charge them for the unproven service that I was trying to provide.”

With the experience of owning three horses, comes the insight to make the right changes.  “There isn’t a successful business on the planet that hasn’t made changes to the way it operates—it’s absolutely necessary to survive,” Fred insists.  “I believe in the purpose of the Mojo Concept; and if I want to keep it going, then I too have to make changes in the way I conduct our Mojo biz.  Thus, for the next group of Partners, because the horse is already in the barn (i.e., we won’t have to go to the sale to purchase it), then the terms of the new Partnership will likely state (once written) that each Partner will pay for the initial training “up front;” and if the Filly graduates and goes to our Trainer, then each Partner will pay in advance for the next three months of race training.  So on, and so forth something like that.”

If Mojo decides to sit on the Wimbledon Filly, then they may put some money together and buy another horse to run in the interim while the Filly matures.  “We did this with Not In My Court,” Fred points out.  “Courtney (as my children called her) was a sturdy little thing that we purchased to have fun with while Hollywood Pegasus was growing into his big body.  Unfortunately, after we sent Courtney to the track, I had to switch gears with our training/racing plans; find a new Trainer; and once the horse finally ran, she got claimed after her first race.  Though we just about broke even with her, Courtney was a more-valuable addition to the Mojo Barn than most people realize because she led us to our current Trainer—and Mojo is blessed by that.  But, my only regret with Courtney was not gathering more money up front because that put a lot of pressure on my Partners while all this was happening.  So, if we go this route again, I’ll be smarter with the next horse in this regard.”

Until Next Time 

As Saint Brigid transitions to a new career, Mojo will also be making adjustments of their own.  In the meantime, updates will be posted to the Mojo Site about future offerings in other Runners; Mojo Mixers; and status updates about Mojo Graduates.  So, stay tuned as Mojo Racing Partners set out continue their quest to give the people what they want!