From the pink polo shirts to the mint juleps and floppy hats, the Kentucky Derby has always been a sporting event for the upper crust.
And no wonder. According to ESPN, top race horses can cost in the low seven-figure range, and training can cost about $US150,000 … a month.
Who can afford these steep prices?
Lets find out. Click through to meet some of the horse tycoons vying to win $US2 million at Churchill Downs in the 140th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 3.
Horse: Pablo Del Monte
Susan Magnier is racing royalty. Her father is famed trainer Vincent O'Brien, and her husband is John Magnier, managing partner of the prestigious thoroughbred breeder Coolmore Stud and worth an estimated $US822 million, according to the Sunday Times.
Derrick Smith joined the partnership in 2003 after working in property and currency trading, and Michael Tabor joined horse racing scene in 1995 when he sold his British betting shops and his Thunder won the Kentucky Derby.
Their partnership has accounted for wins in nearly every 'Classic' race in America, Britain, and Australia.
Horse: Vicar's in Trouble, We Miss Artie
Ken and Sarah Ramsey are natives of Kentucky, and bought their farm back in 1994 after Ken sold his mobile phone network franchises in Georgia and Kentucky for an estimated $US39 million.
The Ramseys have won numerous owners titles at racetracks across the country and have owned numerous stakes winners.
Horse: Dance with Fate
Joe Ciaglia of Ciaglia Racing is the owner of California Skateparks and one of the biggest designers of action sports facilities in the world.
He co-owns Dance with Fate with Sharon Alesia, who took on the equestrian interest of her late husband, Frank Alesia, an American character actor and director, and Bran Jam Stable.
Aron Wellman is the 36-year-old president of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, a thoroughbred stable. The son of thoroughbred breeders and owners, Wellman was 'born into' the horse racing industry. According to his online profile, because of his exposure to horse racing legends and lifestyle, he 'experienced an invaluable horse racing education that money simply cannot buy.'
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners launched October 2011 and acquires thoroughbreds that have already run on the racetrack. Its first runner hit the track just 18 months ago.
Horse: Intense Holiday, General A Rod
Odds: 12/1; 15/1
Wolf and his wife Laurie founded Starlight Racing in 2000. They have been in business for over ten years and in 2004 were joined in the current partnership by Barbara and Donald Lucarelli.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Jack was a hedge fund manager at Columbus Partners in Atlanta before retiring to concentrate on racing. Laurie serves as co-managing partner of StarLadies Racing, Starlight's new all-female partnership, and also serves on the board of the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs.
Intense Holiday is owned by Starlight Racing, and General A Rod is owned by Starlight Racing and Skychai Racing.
Billionaire Kenny Troutt owns WinStar the 1,450-acre Prestonwood Farm property near Versailles, Kentucky. He founded
Excel Communications in 1988 and took it public in 1996. He merged it two years later with Teleglobe in a $US3.5 billion deal.
Vinceremos is co-owned by Twin Creeks Stable, which is owned by attorney and developer Steve Davison. He has raced horses for over 20 years.
Horse: California Chrome
Steve and Carolyn Coburn and Perry and Denise Martin are close friends who formed DAP Racing, and California Chrome is the first race horse that the couples have campaigned.
They recently turned down $US6 million for 51% of the horse, but claim they are just a couple of ordinary guys, according to Paulick Report.
'You tell people about the (racing) industry, and all they see are the big hats and big suits and big money,' said Coburn. 'But 85 per cent are just like me and Perry; they start small. We were taking money out of our savings and retirement to keep this horse going.'
Horse: Wicked Strong
Donald Little Jr. is the president of Centennial Farms, which was previously owned by his father. Little is a native of Boston and former world class polo player who first began riding horses at age two.
He named Wicked Strong in honour of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Centennial Farms will donate a percentage of their earnings to supports the victims and their families.
The Winchell family have made five starts in the Kentucky Derby from 1981-2008. Winchell Thoroughbreds is owned by Joan and her son Ron, who took over the business when his father Verne passed away in 2002.
Verne Winchell was the chief executive and president of Denny's, which bought his doughnut company in 1968. When he retired in 1984, he sold his stock in Denny's for $US600 million, according to the LA Times.
Ron owns a chain of restaurants in Las Vegas called Winchell's Pub and Grill.
Chu and three-time Derby winning Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert return for a second year with Chitu.
Chu is the the president of equestrian club Tamna Corp, and decided to enter the horse racing world after watching I'll Have Another in 2012. Chu is involved in international show jumping and equine rescue projects, and is originally from Taiwan.
Horse: Candy Boy
California residents Lee and Susan Searing own CRK Stable, which gets its name from the first initials of their three children.
Lee operates Searing Industries, a West Coast company specializing in the manufacture of welded steel tubing used in things like dining furniture, medical equipment and scaffolding.
Lee and his father owned several horses in partnership from 1968 until his father's death in 2002.
Horse: Commanding Curve
Finley founded and named New Jersey's WestPoint Thoroughbreds as a tribute to his alma mater in 1991. Prior to turning his passion into his career, he served 8 years as an artillery officers in the Army attaining the rank of Captain before his honorable discharge in 1994.
He and his wife have made millions in the 20+ years they have owned their stable, according to CNBC.
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