“They talk about when things go viral—this went viral,” trainer Frank Antonacci told harnessracing.com Tuesday afternoon of the overnight sellout of shares in the trotter Bourbon Slush, who was purchased at last month’s Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg for $11,000.
Last Friday, Antonacci and his family’s Lindy Farms Racing Stable reached out on the farm’s website, Facebook, harnessracing.com and other trade websites in offering 100 shares of the trotter for $500 apiece. Interest was intense, and as quickly as a superstar singer or group would sell out a concert, shares of Bourbon Slush were quickly gone.
“I think the industry as a whole should be very excited on how this has been received,” said Antonacci. “There has been an outpouring of support within the industry, amongst spenders and amongst different people who are going to be involved with the horse, and they’ve all come on board to either donate or provide their services at a lesser cost in order to make this a positive experience for everybody. I have to applaud them for stepping up to the plate to make this a team effort and make it work.”
Antonacci said he was in the process of preparing an email to send out to all the new owners of Bourbon Slush, all of whom are new to the harness business. Shares were limited to three per individual, and there are no additional costs, including training and vet work.
“I had no idea where this would go and I’ve been overwhelmed,” he said. “It’s really uplifting for me, especially with all the negative headlines lately. For the level of response we’ve received from this, from people who have never been involved in the game, for them to be willing to get involved and join this movement, is really amazing.
“Word of mouth was big. People who were already involved in the sport, they took this as an opportunity to get some of their friends involved, or their grandkids, in a way that wouldn’t cost a lot of money. Hopefully we can show everybody a fantastic time.”
Bourbon Slush, a son of Sand Vic, is eligible to the New York Sire Stakes program and major stakes including the 2012 Hambletonian. Antonacci said the trotter is currently en route to his winter base at Sunshine Meadows Training Center in Florida, where he will begin his training after the first of the year.
“We’re going to keep everything up to date online so people can get on line and see what the share has been doing, where the money has been going and what money has been coming in,” said Antonacci.