Pegasus Cup 2019: Big Brown’s Owner is Back in the Game

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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – After watching a Santa Anita turf stakes on New Year’s Day, 2018, Michael Iavarone got the itch again.

And he’s soothed it in a big way with the purchase of Next Shares, who will start in the inaugural running of the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

One of the principles of the IEAH Stables syndicate that campaigned 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown and a slew of other Grade 1 winners, Iavarone was out of the horse ownership for five years following IEAH’s financial implosion. He was dabbling into re-entry when he saw a horse close from well back to finish second in a $100,000 stakes over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.

Iavarone immediately called his friend Nick Sallusto, the bloodstock agent who helped IEAH buy many of its stars, including Big Brown. With Next Shares a 6-year-old gelding with no breeding future, Iavarone was simply looking for a good horse who could run in good races. His owners had the same idea, having just purchased Next Shares for $190,000 at Keeneland’s 2017 November sale after the horse had won an Aqueduct allowance race.

“He hadn’t run in a while, and I saw he’d changed ownership and trainers,” Iavarone said. “This horse is kind of a big heavy horse. He closed just unbelievably fast, ran some really fast fractions. I said ‘Wow, this horse is really eager. I think if they can get this horse to go a little more ground that they’ve got something.’”

Iavarone and his wife, Jules, bought 50-percent interest in Next Shares last March not long after the horse finished a close second in Santa Anita’s Frank Kilroe Mile (G1)…

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 16-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. He cashed on the NHC Tour for 2018 with a 19th overall finish. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with Brisnet.com, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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