Hedge Fund Horse Wins Kentucky Derby

May 5 2008 | 11:46am ET

How’s this for marketing a racehorse hedge fund: We just won the Kentucky Derby.

International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, currently in the process of transforming itself into a $100 million hedge fund that will buy and breed horses, can tell would-be investors just that, after Big Brown—the colt that IEAH owns 75% of—won a convincing victory at the U.S.’s most prestigious race on Saturday and heads to the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of America’s Triple Crown, in two weeks a prohibitive favorite.

“There are very few things in life that you’ll ever experience that ever compare to this,” an exultant Michael Iavarone, who runs IEAH with Richard Schiavo, said in the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs. “Other than the birth of my children, this is right up there. It’s a dead heat.”

Big Brown’s run for the roses was anything but: He won the race by almost five lengths, and is now undefeated in four starts. Three of the last four undefeated Derby winners went on to win the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore and contend for the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes in New York. This year is the 30th anniversary of the last Triple Crown winner, Affirmed in 1978.

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