“WABBAJACK” BREAKS MAIDEN WITH SUNDAY WIN AT BELMONT PARK; VICTORY IS ALSO FIRST FOR UPSTART NINETY NORTH RACING STABLE
West Chester, PA (May 1, 2013) -- Ninety North Racing Stable – www.90northracing.com – whose initial season was beset by both misfortune and tragedy – launched its second season in uplifting fashion when the boutique syndicate’s prized three-year-old colt – Wabbajack – broke his maiden Sunday afternoon and delivered an inspiring and emotional win at Belmont Park.
The convincing win by the Midnight Lute product (out of a Carson City mare) gave 27-year-old Justin Nicholson his first victory as president of West Chester, Pa.-based Ninety North Racing Stable. Wabbajack stalked the pace under Rajiv Maragh and took the lead in the stretch, drawing away to a 2 1/2-length victory. In his fourth career start, the Bay Colt covered the mile and sixteenth distance in a very strong 1:41. The win comes on the heels of two impressive showings at Gulfstream Park against topnotch competition.
The March 2012 launch of Ninety North was not without issues. In April, a transport van en route from Florida to New York veered off the highway during a driving rainstorm and the resulting crash claimed the life of one of Nicholson’s horses and caused injuries to four more. As the season unfolded many of Ninety North’s top prospects were sidelined with various nagging ailments further dampening spirits around the barns.
Then, five weeks ago, Nicholson lost his father, Ronald A. Nicholson, at the age of 85. Ronald introduced Justin to the sport he has grown to love. The elder Nicholson teamed with Caesar Kimmel to form Kimran Stables in the 1980s and enjoyed his greatest success with Flying Chevron, winner of the 1995 NYRA Mile.
“My Dad taught me to respect and appreciate the sport,” said Justin. “That to be successful you must have integrity and work to build a product that shows how the sport can be sustainable. I miss him. I felt his presence with us Sunday.”
The Ninety North way
Nicholson, who also owns AJ Suited Racing Stable, launched Ninety North with the goal of introducing the sport to a new audience via affordable shares – some as low as $1,000. Wabbajack’s Sunday win at Belmont Park is a perfect example of Nicholson spotting a horse with a good pedigree at a good value and competing and winning against a field of maidens with much higher price points.
Along with affordable shares, Nicholson focuses on the unforgettable race day experiences. He has hosted partners and guests at the 2012 Preakness Stakes and convened a group at Saratoga for a memorable weekend last August. At Belmont Sunday, there were so many partners and guests in the Winner’s Circle, the staff photographer needed to widen the shot.
Originally from Manhattan, Nicholson has been immersed in racing since age three. He purchased a stable at the renowned Fair Hill Training Center (home to 2006 Kentucky Derby Winner Barbaro and 2011 Kentucky Derby Winner Animal Kingdom) in Elkton, Md., and he runs horses at Belmont Park, Saratoga, Gulfstream, Tampa, and tracks throughout the Mid-Atlantic.
Nicholson’s approach to the syndicate business is to emphasize not just success on the track, but also integrity and transparency in all phases of the business. In pursuit of this goal, Nicholson’s first move was to put Jimmy Toner, a highly respected and experienced horseman, at the helm. Nicholson and his family have campaigned horses with Toner for more than 20 years, and in this time Nicholson says that Toner “has shown himself to be both a trainer and a person of the highest quality.”
Partners enjoying the ride
John Whitman, of Chicago, learned about Ninety North Racing Stable while researching online. The price point attracted him to join. Nicholson’s knowledge and transparency confirmed his decision.
"I’m involved in multiple racing partnerships,” said Whitman. “I am very impressed with the high level of service Justin and his team provide at Ninety North. They provide full access to the horse racing experience, including visits to breeding farms, auctions, training centers, and the tracks. I have attended numerous events, met some great people and just had a lot of fun.”
Bob Thomson of Windham, N.H., also belongs to a number of racing syndicates.
“Ninety North far exceeds the other syndicates in the level of service,” he said.
"Justin takes time to put together events for the partners that enable us to enjoy the sport and ownership position even more.
"His approach to educate individuals new to horse racing partnerships on all key elements, including auctions, training, and the overall well-being of the horses, is unlike any other partnership. I feel extremely confident in Justin's approach to horse racing, and I appreciate his desire and passion. Justin wants to make horse ownership financially viable for everyone. He’s a terrific, young ambassador for this sport."
New promo video / website
Based in West Chester, Pa., Ninety North Racing Stable recently unveiled a terrific new promotional video – “Make Your Heart Race” – capturing the excitement of joining a racing syndicate. The video can be seen on Ninety North’s revamped website – www.90northracing.com
Matt Amodeo 301-385-2090