Owning racehorses at the top level of the sport is an expensive proposition, with lots of risk.  The enterprise attracts wealthy people, including a small slice of the world’s richest.

Today, Horse Racing Business identifies some of the racehorse owners amongst the current 585 billionaires from the United States, as gleaned from Forbes’ annual enumeration and publication (dated March 31, 2018).  Tomorrow, the focus turns to horse-racing billionaires from outside the United States.

John Malone, $8.1 billion, principal fortune derived from cable television.  Ph.D. in operations research.  Colorado-based and owns Bridlewood Farm in Florida and Ballylinch Stud in Ireland.  Largest land-owner in the United States.

Tom Benson (deceased as of March 15, 2018), $3 billion, professional sports teams in New Orleans, GMB Racing.

Vincent Viola, $2.9 billion, electronic trading.  Self-made son of an Italian immigrant truck driver.  U. S. Military Academy graduate.  Originally slated to be in the Trump Administration as Secretary of the Army, but ultimately chose to withdraw for business reasons.  Part owner of 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming.

B. Wayne Hughes, $2.6 billion, self-storage.  Wealthiest Kentuckian.  (His son, B. Wayne Hughes Jr., is also a billionaire with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion.)  Owns Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky.

Lee Bass (husband of notable owner Ramona S. Bass), $2.5 billion, oil and investments.  Ms. Bass’ late father, Arthur Seeligson, was a prominent racehorse owner.

Brad Kelley, $2.3 billion, tobacco.  Kentucky native living in Tennessee.  College drop out.  Fourth largest land owner in the United States, including famed Calumet Farm in Kentucky.

Kevin Plank, $1.5 billion, sports clothing.  Onetime University of Maryland football player and founder of Under Armour.  Owns former Alred G. Vanderbilt Sagamore Farm in Maryland.

Kenny Troutt, $1.4 billion, telecom, Texas-based and owns WinStar Farm in Kentucky.

Sidney Kimmel, $1.3 billion, retail.  His son, John Kimmel, a veterinarian by education, is a trainer in New York.

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