Unlike most racing partnerships, Donegal Racing buys one group of horses each year and our partners buy a percentage of the entire group so that when one of our horses hits, every single partner owns a piece of him.
We do most of our buying at the Keeneland September yearling sale but occasionally buy horses from other major summer and fall sales. We purchase some horses privately off the racetrack, as well. As soon as we have assembled our partnership for a given year we produce a brochure with photographs and detailed information about each of the horses we will offer that year as one package.
WHAT IS THE DONEGAL/DERBY DREAMS STRATEGY?
We work to identify and buy horses that can run a classic distance and make it to the Kentucky Derby. Period.
What Should I know?
We do not mark up the cost of the horses.
We receive a 20% share of the partnership for our effort in selecting the horses and running the partnership, but we pay our share of the overhead just like our partners.
Bottom line: Donegal Racing exists because we love racing and think we are good at it; and we want to share the excitement with both old friends and newcomers.
WHAT BENEFITS WILL I RECEIVE?
- Ticket acquisition at reasonable pricing
- Usage of our suite at Churchill Downs (on a space available basis) for the races other than Oaks / Derby weekend.
- Ability to have a hand in naming our horses
How do I join?
We ask that you visit the 'Contact Us' Page of this website to indicate your interest. Express your interest as soon as possible after you have had a chance to study the horses we have purchased for the coming year.
Everyone talks a good game, but results are what matter.
In 2008 Derby Dreams I purchased eight yearlings. We also added a two-year-old purchased privately at the track. Of that initial group, four horses competed at the Graded Stakes level. The partnership grossed nearly 5 million dollars, the eight horses who made up the partnership cost less than $500,000 total.
Can we have this same level of success every year? Not likely. That said, we believe in our system and know we will continue to purchase excellent quality horses in pursuit of our Derby Dreams.
WHAT DO THE PARTNERS SAY ABOUT DONEGAL RACING?
"Jerry Crawford knows how to find horses that are bred to get the classic distances. He really understands equine genetics. We are proud of our role in the inspection of the horses to find those who have the conformation and athletic talent to go with the genetics. We love training the horses that Jerry buys."
- Dale Romans, Seven Time Kentucky Trainer of the Year
"Never did I think a group of people who didn't know each other when this all started could have this much fun together. Donegal Racing makes classically bred horses available at a very reasonable cost. Crawford is a great communicator and manager who really knows the horse business. As a newcomer he was just what I was looking for and he and Donegal have exceeded my wildest expectations."
- Joe Savage, Partner
“The Kentucky Derby is the goal, and it is indeed the greatest two minutes in sports. But the byproduct of Derby Dreams is the opportunity to race at the highest levels around the country throughout the year. No matter how much or how little you know about racing, Donegal gives partners the opportunity to participate from the morning works, to the champagne toasts, and all of the thrills in between.“
- Matt Gannon, Partner
“Years ago I had a vision that I shared with my Dad: "I want to get a horse in the gate at the Kentucky Derby." We could have gone a million different directions from there but we heard about Derby Dreams from Jerry and figured it gave us our best shot to see this vision through to reality. And, beyond our wildest expectations, it came true! I love the focus that starts with the name "Derby Dreams". Not just "we'll try and win a few races". NO, NO, NO... DERBY DREAMS! It just sounds great rolling off my tongue and to experience the walk around Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May is beyond what words can describe. It's a feeling. And a feeling I would have never felt if I didn't join Donegal Racing and become a part of Derby Dreams. I went to my first Kentucky Derby in 2003 and needed help to read the form. By 2010 I was in a partnership that owned a horse in the starting gate at the Kentucky Derby. “
- Gary Kirke, Jr., Partner