Stablemates Member Profile: Bill & Sharon Reichert

 

Bill & Sharon Reichert with Kenny & Lisa Troutt

Winning the Kentucky Derby is one of horse racing’s greatest feats. But what may rank right alongside winning the Run for the Roses is Stablemate member Bill Reichert’s streak of attending the Kentucky Derby for 46 consecutive years, beginning in 1965.

Along the way, Bill witnessed victories by some of racing’s most revered names: Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, Alysheba, and Silver Charm. While 50 consecutive years of attending the race was his goal, increasing ticket prices prevented that from happening and he decided to end his streak at 45 years.

But as fate had it, the streak would continue one more year. Bill’s first venture into racing partnerships with his wife Sharon (also a Stablemates member) ended up being his ticket to his 46th consecutive Kentucky Derby. The Reicherts had joined Cot Campbell’s Dogwood Stable, which is credited with pioneering the concept of group ownership within Thoroughbred racing. The stable had a pair of horses running on the Kentucky Derby card, and by a stroke of racing luck, Bill had his ticket to his 46th Kentucky Derby.

The luck doesn’t end there. His 46th Kentucky Derby happened to be WinStar Farm’s first Derby victory, when Super Saver dashed along the muddy rail with Calvin Borel aboard. Less than a year later, the farm launched WinStar Stablemates—then an exclusive fan club experience. Bill and Sharon joined right away.

In 2018, the club transitioned into a syndicate. Having enjoyed the club experience and having been involved in racing partnerships before, it was only natural to stay aboard.

“We’ve been around ever since,” Bill said.

For the Reicherts, nothing compares to the excitement of having a horse in a race. Bill has witnessed a remarkable amount of history beneath the Twin Spires, but watching the fillies in black and gold ranks right up there with his favorite moments in racing.

Stablemates Member Profile: Irene Davis

 

Irene Davis

The 1970s are often referred to as a golden era for American horse racing, and they certainly resonated with Stablemates Racing member Irene Davis. While it was a big red horse named Secretariat that captivated most fans, it was the 1977 Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew, that captured Irene’s heart.

Thanks to Seattle Slew, Irene has remained in love with racing. While she finds great joy in following “Slewbloods”—descendants of the great racehorse and sire—she has expanded her horizons into partnership ventures. Though she’d experimented with others, she knew WinStar Stablemates was the right choice for her and her husband, Bill.

“Having visited WinStar Farm, we believed this would be a first class operation and a good opportunity to get involved in a partnership again,” Irene said.

Irene has enjoyed a variety of experiences with Stablemates, but can pinpoint her two favorites: Paris Lights’ victorious run in the 2020 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), and the opportunity to name former Stablemates filly Passionof the Nile.

“Thoroughbred racing is the most exciting of sports,” Irene said. “Watching these magnificent horses turning for home, the thunder of their hooves on the track and crossing the finish line,  especially when your horse wins and even more exciting to be there at the track, watching them live, it’s thrilling.”

 

Stablemates Member Profile: Rebecca Teal

Rebecca Teal leads Crystal Ball into the winner’s circle of the Lady Jacqueline Stakes

For Rebecca Teal, involvement in the Thoroughbred horse racing industry has been a lifelong desire. When the opportunity to be involved with high-class racehorses for a fraction of the cost arose with WinStar Stablemates Racing, Rebecca couldn’t help but pursue it. Ever the avid learner, she saw Stablemates as not only an opportunity to experience ownership of quality Thoroughbreds, but a chance to learn more about the industry she’s loved her entire life.

“Joining Stablemates meant I could be involved with a top class racing organization, have horseflesh I could never afford, race at the highest level of racing (which I could not afford, on my own), and to learn about the costs and procedures of racing so maybe I could try on my own,” Rebecca says. “Even a blind pig can find an acorn—it’s what keeps us dreaming.”

Rebecca has done exactly that, venturing into the breeding side of the industry with the purchase of her own broodmare last year. This spring, she welcomed her first foal into the world and looks to continue this endeavor.

Along with that new undertaking, Rebecca continues to relish her experience with Stablemates. A part of the syndicate since it began, she can’t help but reminisce on the special moments she has enjoyed as a member.

“Being there for our first win, stakes win and new track record all in one, winning at Keeneland, leading Blessings First into the winner’s circle for her maiden win—a bucket list item for me, running first and second in the grade one Coaching Club American Oaks, farm visits and events…” Rebecca reflects, and could keep going.

In fact, Rebecca added to her list of special experiences with Stablemates on the final Saturday of June, when she was in attendance for Crystal Ball’s win in the $250,000 Lady Jacqueline Stakes. Once that race was on the radar, she knew she had to attend, as her late mother’s name was Jacqueline. As if being there was not special enough, Rebecca watched as Crystal Ball dashed to victory. But then, WinStar CEO Elliott Walden and trainer Rodolphe Brisset asked her to lead the filly into the winner’s circle.

“It was just the icing on a cake that I could not have imagined tasting any better,” Rebecca says.

With a strong competitive nature, winning is certainly one of Rebecca’s favorite aspects of being involved in a racing partnership. However, what she didn’t expect was the camaraderie among syndicate members.

“When I joined, these fillies were mine, although there were other people involved,” Rebecca says. “I also did not realize I would learn from them as much as the team. Having someone who gets it and loves it as much as you do, is special indeed. Meeting and becoming friends with fellow Stablemates and Stablemates staff was totally unexpected and a wonderful part of the whole experience.”

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.”