Carlo Vaccarezza enjoyed a spectacular 2012 racing season when his homebred Little Mike put the local restaurateur and his wife, Priscilla, in the winner’s circle following some of the industry’s biggest events.
Little Mike captured such marquee races as the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs, the Arlington Million (G1) at Arlington Park and the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Santa Anita.
Now, he wants to share the thrill of Thoroughbred ownership with others.
The owner of Frank & Dino’s in Deerfield Beach, along with trainer Dale Romans and Florida businessman John Williams, have founded Little Dreams Racing (littledreamsracing.com) to give people a chance to participate in horse ownership who otherwise could only dream about it.
“When Little Mike won all those big races, the Sunshine Millions, the Woodford Reserve, the Arlington Million and Breeders’ Cup, people who came to the restaurant said, ‘Carlo, the next time you buy a horse, I would like to buy a little piece,’” Vaccarezza said.
The seed was planted, and Vaccarezza came up with the idea of forming a “blue collar” ownership group that will allow someone to buy as little as 1 percent of a horse and pay the same percentage of the horse’s training costs.
“It’s for people who can’t afford to pay $50,000 or $60,000 on a horse – the UPS driver, the FedEx driver, the secretary in the doctor’s office, the people who go to the racetrack every week but can’t afford $50,000 or $60,000 but can afford $1,000 or $2,000 and would like to buy 1 or 2 percent of a horse,” Vaccarezza said.
Little Dreams Racing currently has 11 2-year-olds in training, including Little Rocco, who is entered to make his career debut at Gulfstream Park in Saturday’s sixth race. There are several people in Little Rocco’s ownership group, some with as little as 1 percent interest in the Florida-bred son of High Cotton.
“He’s been training phenomenally,” Vaccarezza said.
Little Dreams Racing has six 2-year-olds, all with names starting with “Little,” stabled at Gulfstream Park.
“We’re here to support Gulfstream Park 100 percent,” Vaccarezza said. “We plan to run as many horses as we can here.”
And, hopefully, introduce many new owners to the winner’s circle.
“When you’re in the winner’s circle, nobody asks what percentage you own,” Vaccarezza said. “You get the same thrill as though you own 99 percent of the horse.”
Gulfstream Park Publicity