We hope you had a great time participating in Fantasy Owners Day at Laurel Park, but it's much more than a one-day event.
Now it's time to track the progress of "your" horse as it competes through the rest of the year, and this website (http://fantasyownership.com) will provide you with the information you need such as regular updates on contest horses, standings based upon official earnings, and blog posts, photos and video to add some color.
Thanks to the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Horse Breeders Association, $50,000 is up for grabs in the Fantasy Ownership Challenge. Based solely on horses' U.S. earnings from March 18-Dec. 31 of this year as recorded by Equibase, there's a chance to win $30,000 for first, $10,000 for second, $5,500 for third, $3,000 for fourth, and $1,500 for fifth.
There's a good chance multiple participants were assigned the same horse based on the number of contest entries and horses that competed in overnight (non-stakes) events at Laurel March 18. In that case, any prize money will be split evenly based on the number of participants assigned to that horse.
The official Equibase earnings will be counted no matter where the horse races through the rest of the year. Some of the horses in the Fantasy Ownership Challenge may race exclusively in Maryland, while others may ship to other racetracks in the region for a race or two.
As is the case in Thoroughbred racing, some contest horses will compete more often than others, and some may change hands through the claim box.
The horses were assigned randomly to participants who met the following criteria:
- Must be at least 18 years old and a legal resident of the United States;
- Must have pre-registered for the prospective owners' seminar on or before the deadline of March 16 at http://mtha.eventbrite.com;
- May not be an employee or direct family member of an employee of the MJC, MTHA or MHBA;
- Must not have held any Maryland Racing Commission-issued license from Jan. 1, 2016 through March 18, 2017.
Updates on contest horses will be provided on this website and sent to you via email, but you may also want to sign up for the Equibase Virtual Stable, which will notify you when and where your horse is entered to race, how it performed, and when it records a workout.
Free registration is available at www.equibase.com under the "More" tab at the top of the web page.
All participants also will be invited to join a Fantasy Challenge Facebook group as part of the experience soon.
There's another perk: When your horse races at a Maryland track—Laurel, Pimlico Race Course or the Maryland State Fair at Timonium—you will be invited to the paddock for saddling and, should the horse win, be invited to the winner's circle to have your picture taken with the horse and its connections.
If your horse races at a track in a neighboring state, we could probably help you make arrangements for a similar experience should you want to make the trip.
Thanks again for your interest, welcome to the Maryland Thoroughbred racing community and enjoy the ride!
(Photo by Jim McCue/MJC)