Stablemates Member Profile: Ann Mary “Pinky” Doyle

Pinky Doyle

Horses have been a part of Ann Mary “Pinky” Doyle’s life from an early age. She first sat on the back of the horse when she was three years old, which translated into showing ponies and horses. Along the way, she ventured to the racetrack and, as a horse lover, she was hooked.

“I studied the form and placed bets,” Pinky said. “Though, of course, adults had to make the bets for me because I was too young.”

Showing horses led to fox hunting, for which Pinky used horses that were nearly full Thoroughbred. She further fell in love with the breed, which has intensified her love for horse racing.

A member of the original WinStar Stablemates, it was an “automatic” choice for her to join the second the offering became a syndicate.

“I signed up and joined right away,” Pinky said. “That first year, I got to go to the farm and a couple of races.”

Pinky’s love for Thoroughbreds goes beyond her involvement with Stablemates. This past January, she worked together with Michael Blowen of Old Friends to claim and retire a gelding named Percy Fawcett. A son of Big Brown, Percy Fawcett was running for a $3,000 claiming tag at Turf Paradise in Arizona. Pinky retired him after 72 career starts and $237,700 in earnings and brought him home to North Carolina, where he now lives at her daughter’s farm.

“He’s a happy horse,” Pinky said. “He moves well and is doing great. We’re just taking it slow with him and have no set plans for him yet, but it’s just great to see him doing well.”

It certainly doesn’t get much grander than Pinky’s love for the horse—a quality we are grateful to have in a Stablemates member.


Stablemates Member Profile: Shanon Schug

Shanon Schug and his wife, Denise

Originally from Monroe, Indiana, near Fort Wayne, Shanon Schug has spent the past 20 years in Richmond, Kentucky, just south of the heart of horse country in Lexington.

Like many racing fans, the Run for the Roses drew him into the sport. From 1995 through 1997, while in college, Shanon attended the Kentucky Derby from the infield. And from there, he was hooked.

When Shanon and his wife, Denise, moved to the Lexington, Kentucky, area in 2002, being surrounded by horse country only added to his interest in the industry.

“I always wanted to get to a higher level, whether that was at the syndicate level or even just a higher level of understanding the inner workings of the sport,” Shanon said.

The Derby has remained a cornerstone in his horse racing journey. After Super Saver became WinStar Farm’s first Kentucky Derby winner, Shanon signed up for the WinStar Stablemates program. He has stayed aboard since then, along for the ride from the original Stablemates experience and into its transition into a syndicate.

“I remember talking to Elliott Walden at the Stablemates party and asking if Stablemates would eventually evolve into something bigger like a syndicate,” Shanon said. “He told me he had to look into it, and now here we are.”

Along the way, his favorite experience with Stablemates thus far was when he won the 2018 WinStar Derby contest. He took that opportunity to take his dad to his first ever Derby—”in WinStar style.”

He and his father certainly made the most of that experience, hitting the $1 superfecta that included WinStar’s Justify and Audible for a payout of nearly $20,000.

While the Derby has had perhaps the most influence on Shanon’s experience in racing, many aspects of the industry have added to Shanon’s passion for horse racing. From the races themselves to all of the statistics involved, to following horses through each season of their life and all the way through aftercare, the industry fascinates Shanon—and enjoying it with fellow Stablemates Racing members has only enhanced his involvement within it.

“There have been a lot of highs with Stablemates,” Shanon said. “It’s been beyond expectations.”

Stablemates Member Profile: Bob Donati

Bob Donati and his wife, Elyse

Born and raised in Chicago, Bob Donati grew up attending Arlington Park with his father and family. Being up close and personal with racehorses—and, of course, winning the occasional $2 bet—gave him the racing bug—a bug that has never gone away.

Bob’s wife, Elyse, has joined him in his passion for Thoroughbred racing and the couple ventured into ownership with a local Chicago partnership. When the opportunity to become a part of the WinStar Stablemates Racing syndicate arose, the Donatis jumped at the chance.

“My wife and I found this to be a unique opportunity to be involved with a world class Thoroughbred organization and fillies with high class pedigrees at a very affordable price point,” Bob said. “This was a partnership unlike any other we had seen before and it gave us a chance to add to our own partnership portfolio.”

In December 2020, the couple relocated to Lexington, Kentucky: the Horse Capital of the World. Surrounded by horse farms and just a quick drive away from Keeneland, the Donatis are enveloped in the sport that has become their passion. And their involvement in Stablemates has only added to that, particularly with special performances from the syndicate’s fillies.

For Bob, the moment that has stood out to him since joining Stablemates is one that many members pinpoint as their most memorable as well:

“It would have to be screaming at the TV as Paris Lights and Crystal Ball battled head to head down the Saratoga stretch to finish 1-2 in the CCA Oaks. It took a few days to come down from cloud 9 after that one.”

That stretch battle between two of the syndicate’s fillies was a prime example of what has made Bob fall so head over heels in love with the sport of racing.

“I love the purity of competition exhibited by the horses and the heart-pounding excitement of a good stretch duel,” Bob said. “The second [reason I love racing] would be the majority of people involved in the sport, as they are really the salt of the earth.”

Stablemates Member Profile: Carol Badzinski

Carol Badzinski

Horses claimed a part of Carol Badzinski’s heart at a young age, an inevitable result of spending hours at the stable where her best friend boarded her horse. That experience, combined with a road trip where she caught her first glance of Churchill Downs’ famed twin spires and a youth spent going to Arlington Park, instilled a love for horses and racing that has remained with Carol to this day.

Enchanted by the three Triple Crown winners of the 1970s, Carol remained in love with horse racing throughout the 37-year drought—a wait that was rewarded when she witnessed American Pharoah claim the first jewel of the Triple Crown, standing under the twin spires that were an early catalyst in her love for the game.

The following year, Carol visited WinStar Farm, where she became enamored with the farm and the late Pioneerof the Nile, the sire of American Pharoah. After that visit, she began to follow the farm’s website and eventually became a part of WinStar Stablemates Racing. For her, being involved with a daughter of Pioneerof the Nile through one of the syndicate’s original offerings, Passionof the Nile, was the tipping point to join.

“My involvement with the Stablemates has brought me unimagined pleasure these past three years,” Carol said.

Being a part of the Stablemates Racing syndicate gave Carol further involvement with the farm, and in 2019, she had an unforgettable experience visiting WinStar and Keeneland to see the facilities where the Stablemates fillies have trained and to meet several of the trainers behind them. This, of course, was highlighted by the opportunity to watch Passionof the Nile train at Keeneland, where Carol later spent a day at the races.

Falling in love with horse racing was easy for Carol, and she believes convincing others to fall in love with the sport can be just as easy:

“Invite them to the dance! Share your story and help educate them as to what horse racing is all about. Invite them to a horse farm—once a horse breathes on them, they will be in love forever!”

For more information on WinStar Stablemates memberships, click here.