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If the strapping chestnut colt Justify wins the Belmont Stakes on Saturday to become just the 13th horse in history to claim horse racing’s Triple Crown, two of the three groups that have an ownership stake in the horse’s breeding rights will be front and center during the celebration.
WinStar Farm, one of North America’s leading thoroughbred racing and breeding operations, owns 60 percent of Justify’s breeding rights. China Horse Club owns 25 percent. A third group, a secretive entity that holds the remaining 15 percent, will remain out of the spotlight because it vigorously avoids any public attention. It is a company controlled by top employees of the billionaire investor George Soros.
Mr. Soros’s investment firm, Soros Fund Management, is behind SF Bloodstock and SF Racing Group, an international breeding and racing operation started in 2008. Executives from the investment firm oversee the breeding and horse ownership businesses. Gavin Murphy, an Australian based in New York who has served as the Soros Fund’s longtime tax counsel, is the manager of SF Bloodstock and SF Racing Group. Christopher Naunton, chief financial officer for the Soros Fund’s family office, is the president of SF Bloodstock and SF Racing Group, corporate filings show. Tom Ryan, an Irishman based in Lexington, Ky., is the team’s bloodstock agent.