The annual Forbes magazine ranking of the 400 wealthiest Americans is in the issue dated October 19, 2009. Following are members who are currently or have recently been prominent Thoroughbred racehorse owners. If I overlooked a major owner on the list, please let me know (wls@horseracingbusiness.com) and I will update.

Current Thoroughbred Owners:

Bradley Wayne Hughes

Lexington, KY (richest person claiming Kentucky residency)

Age: 76

Wealth: $3.5 billion

Rank on Forbes 400: 85

Main source of wealth: Public Storage

Jess Jackson

Geyserville, CA

Age: 79

Wealth: $1.85 billion

Rank on Forbes 400: 193

Main source of wealth: Kendall-Jackson Vineyard Estate

John Kluge

Palm Beach, FL

Age: 95 (oldest on Forbes 400)

Wealth: $6.5 billion

Rank on Forbes 400: 35

Main source of wealth: Metromedia

Kenny Trout

Dallas, TX

Age: 61

Wealth: $1.0 billion

Rank on Forbes 400: 371

Main source of wealth: Excel Communications

Thoroughbred Owners Who Left the Sport in Recent Years:

Robert McNair

Houston, TX

Age: 72

Wealth: $1.2 billion

Rank on Forbes 400: 326

Main source of wealth: Cogen Technologies and Houston Texans National Football League franchise

Carl Icahn

New York City

Age: 73

Wealth: $10.5 billion

Rank of Forbes 400: 22

Source of wealth: leveraged buyouts

An interesting sidebar to the Forbes 400 list for 2009 is that almost coincident with its publication was the bust up of what U. S. authorities say is the biggest insider trading case in a generation. The accused mastermind of the criminal activity is Raj Rajaratnam, 52, founder of hedge fund Galleon Group. Forbes estimates his net worth at $1.5 billion. Rajaratnam and five others, including upper-level executives at IBM, Intel, and McKinsey & Company, are alleged to have conspired to profit on Google, Hilton, and other well-known stocks.

Copyright © 2009 Horse Racing Business


  1. Mr. Rajaratnam, an ethnic Tamil from Sri Lanka, also was reportedly a major contributor to the recently vanquished terrorist group the Tamil Tigers. He also was a contributor to Hillary Clinton’s campaigns, and as a result she has — against her own cabinet’s position on the Tigers — insisted that the Tigers were instead freedom fighters.

    Money can corrupt on many levels.