Women interested in learning the skills of racehorse ownership now have a unique opportunity to participate thanks to the vision of Michelle Borisenok, founder and president of a boutique partnership called Brown Road Racing.
Founded in 2018 with the purchase of a car called Gotta B Bold, Brown Road Racing and its seven partners are enjoying the racehorse’s journey from birth to retirement with leadership led by Borisenok.
Borisenok said inspiration for the women’s partnership came from the scene of families at the racetrack during her visit to the Oklahoma Training School at Saratoga Racecourse in the years leading up to the relationship. partner.
“I could only see images of women taking their families and see behind the scenes of what was happening at the racetrack, and it felt like there was no avenue for it yet,” said Borisenok, a well. . – well-known philanthropist in New York City and an advocate for the advancement of women in business and society.
Borisenok first got into horse racing through a partnership and partnership with her husband, Walt, who has spent the past two decades attending races in the predominantly male company.
“I entered into a male-dominated partnership and felt like I was left out in decision making,” says Borisenok. “I’ve seen a lot of male owners and coaches and thought about how many women are interested in this industry but don’t know how to get into it. So I wanted to let women in. women share a close friendship in racing and develop the next generation. I truly believe that horses bring people together.”
A dream came true when Borisenok purchased Gotta B Bold for $35,000 from the Quarter East Farm Shipment at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton New York Breeding Priority Show. As Freud’s daughter, Gotta B Bold was placed name for the BOLD Female Leadership Group at Saint Rose College, Borisenok’s alma mater located in Albany, NY
Borisenok’s commitment to the advancement of women includes a $1.2 million donation to the BOLD program, which enabled the construction of the Michelle Cuozzo Borisenok ’80 House to provide the group with a place to hold events. meetings and address issues faced by women in the community.
Gotta B Bold went on to be the first race starter for Brown Road Racing, running three times in partnership with My Mary Stables before she retired with a burgeoning second career. Gotta B Bold, along with the majority of Brown Road Racing’s runners, was conditioned by Ray Handal, whom Borisenok said she chose because of his fit with her ideals of transparency and welfare. for horses.
Borisenok said: “I went to the school looking for a trainer when I was just starting out. I met Ray and he really cares about his horses and takes the time to talk to the owners. “. “He takes the time to consider the horses as individuals: their best interests and what they need to be looked after. He communicates well with his partners before and after a race. It says a lot. much, especially for the NYRA, in the quality and care of the horses per property.”
Among their successes with Handal was a breakout win in 2021’s Cicada at Aqueduct Racetrack with Just Read It, who also gave the partnership its first win when she broke her maidenhood on January last year.
“That was interesting,” Borisenok said. “She’s been amazing and it’s been a great collaboration with Ken Russell and Ray. We’ve seen her grow over the years. She’s been off for a while and she’s really gotten athletic. draw. “
Borisenok said the Cicada win was a turning point for the partnership.
“It is an honor, and it has given us the impetus to continue being in the industry and a great platform to move forward,” said Borisenok. “It took a village. I attribute that to our entire partnership, our coach and everyone backstage.”
Brown Road Racing’s website highlights five horses currently in training for the partnership, including a 2-year-old Mendelssohn pony with Handal purchased from the Mid-Atlantic Fasig-Tipton Fall Yearling Sale.
As well as introducing women to the thrills of horse racing, Borisenok says it’s important to share a horse’s entire journey from birth to retirement with her partners.
“I also wanted to show the other side of retirement — what happens after a horse race,” Borisenok said. “We recently did a Zoom call with Mastery Retirement Fund with our partners. It was an experience like no other following the journey of a pregnant mare, to the point of arrival. birth and then the rest of their lives to retire.”
Borisenok says the small number of partners on the team is by design, allowing for a personal connection with each partner and a unique experience not found in other outfits.
“We are just a small shop and I like to talk to partners about everything from sales to training to providing information to them on an individual basis,” says Borisenok. “They can help me make future decisions, and we work together as a team to decide what is in the best interest of the horse. Some of our members are industry experts and one Some of them joined behind the scenes for the first time. They were all very dedicated.”
Borisenok also owns and operates the Old Tavern Ranch in Saratoga Springs, where they breed and raise horses for sale or to race under a separate ranch name from Brown Road Racing. Borisenok credits her roots in the Empire State, as well as the racing programs on offer, as the reason they started a livestock business in New York.
“New York is home and the NYRA is respected in the community,” Borisenok said. “It’s thrilling to have a thoroughbred racehorse on campus. It’s a lifelong dream and New York has quality programs. Impressive races, professional coaches, as well as a general environment. . There’s no place like New York for horse racing.”
Borisenok, who founded Capital Business Ventures in 1985 and has conducted business in the Capital Region since then, says there is a special atmosphere in the Saratoga area when the races kick off each summer.
“We saw the downtown area come alive with meet Saratoga. It provides an opportunity for restaurants, shops, hotels and women-owned businesses to continue to thrive,” Borisenok said. speak. “NYRA is a huge part of helping the community.”
As Borisenok reflects on her experience with Brown Road Racing so far, including last summer’s win in Saratoga with No Payne, the New York gal, she said it was important to keep going. continue to highlight the achievements of women in the industry. and more to inspire the next generation.
“My happiness is to see the excitement of my partners and follow the horse’s journey, from training, to racing and to victory, and then to their further journey when they retire or become a mother hen,” said Borisenok. “I want to give women the opportunity to make an impact. In the purebred industry, women have a chance to succeed. Successful women give other women the confidence to do the same. on one’s own.”
More information about Brown Road Racing Online.
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