JULY 19, 2018   |   VIEW AS WEBPAGE
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Jaguar Des Moines

Thoroughbred racehorse Hilton Magic is all business on the track, but by the barn he's happy to mug for the camera with owner/trainer Tanner Tracy.

Race Horses: The Investment With a Real 'Track' Record 


They call it the sport of kings. But non-royals can get in on horse racing, too. Not just at the $2 window, but with ownership of a thoroughbred racer that might make fantastic sums of money--or at least give you enjoyment.

Tanner Tracy owns all or part of about three dozen racehorses that he stables at the Prairie Meadows racetrack in Altoona. He owns some of the horses outright, or with his parents, or with an assortment of partners who will own a piece of this horse, or that one. Tracy is the managing partner for the ownership group. As such he purchases the horses, oversees their training and care, finds jockeys and decides when they will race (they typically have several weeks between races to recuperate). On the day we talked, he was backing a load of hay into a barn at Prairie Meadows.

Horses typically are owned by groups of investors, sometimes called syndicates. The amount of money needed depends on the value of the horse. The Jockey Club estimated that in 2017 the average cost of a yearling, which has yet to launch its racing career, was $65,000. More modestly, the Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders & Owners Association (, holds a sale every Fall, where recent top sellers have fetched as much as $48,000.

The purchase price is just the start. Then you have to pay for training, stabling, feeding and hauling the horses from track to track as one racing season winds down and another ramps up. So a lot of money goes out before there is any chance for a horse to show its stuff, and in many cases they don’t end up as winners.

"It’s a high-risk business," Tracy says. But there are payoffs, which Jerry Crawford can attest to. He is president of Donegal Racing, a Des Moines-based racing business that in its 11 years in business has run three horses at the Kentucky Derby. Two of them finished in the money.

Donegal (, typically buys 15 horses every year. They then package all of one year’s horses into an LLC, a move designed to spread the risk—and reward—across a wider pool of horses. They sell positions in that LLC, with a 1 percent stake being a minimum buy-in. Syndicates don’t necessarily require investors to be accredited, though they may by way of the rules they set. Regardless, Crawford says, "you have to do your due diligence" and make sure ownership is the right fit for you.

It is a horse race, after all.

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Legacy Bridge

Best Tables in Town? Readers Share their Favorites 

Thanks to everyone who responded to our inquiry about your favorite restaurant tables. Considering recent weather, we were taken by one suggestion for a perch to safely watch storms roll across the landscape: any table windowside at the Des Moines Embassy Club atop the Ruan Center.

"Last night’s rainbows and storms moving across the city [were] transfixing," one reader wrote of this dinner with a view. Here are some other winners:

"The most southerly four-top on either side of the banquette at Centro. The buzz and vibe is great … the hum of the kitchen is in view along with coal-fired ovens and wood grill flare-ups."

"Lucca has a couple bar stools on the back side of the bar near the door. Great wine, food and people watching."

"Riverwalk HUB for a cigar on the Terrace overlooking the river and Capitol view."

Then there’s Americana, with one reader writing, "I love the three booths on the first floor to the left of the stairs. It’s a little darker and moodier back there. … It’s nice to be tucked away from the crowd."

Also, Fleming’s: "I love the bar tables. It’s such a social atmosphere. In the main dining room, I like to sit in the quiet corner diagonally opposite from the entry."

Or Skip’s: "Especially on a winter’s day, there is no nicer place to enjoy lunch than the fireside booth."
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Denton Homes
801 Chophouse

Wealthy Millennials Have Lowest Allocation to Stocks

Wealthy millennial investors have the lowest allocation to stocks compared to other generations.

High net worth and ultra-high net worth members of the millennial generation — those who were born between 1981 and 1997 — also have the highest exposure to alternative investments, according to a new survey from U.S. Trust.

But wealthy millennials have ramped up their stock allocations in the past year to 46 percent from 25 percent, according to the survey. They also cut their cash as a percentage of their total portfolio to 21 percent from 47 percent. Click here for the full report from CNBC.
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Unforgettable I Dos: Your Go-To-Guide for Wedding Planning in Edina, MN

From gorgeous venues to delicious bakeries, Edina, Minnesota, is the perfect destination to have your dream wedding. > FULL ARTICLE

Index vs. Active – Tracking the Cost

High costs can make it harder for investors to capture returns of investment markets. Watch this video to learn about costs you may incur and how you may obtain market exposure at lower costs. > FULL ARTICLE

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