The Petruskas don’t have a monopoly on successful husband-wife partnerships in the Mid-Atlantic. Trainer Kathleen (Kate) DeMasi and her husband Greg have been operating Pewter Stable in Mullica Hill, NJ, since 1984. “She trains, and I run the partnerships,” said Greg. a 40-year-old native of Philadelphia whose dad, an internist, would take him to Delaware Park. “We’d play on the swings while he played the horses. Before I learned to read, I read the Daily Racing Form.”

Pewter Stable has an elaborate website. An initial screen shows a swirling horse as the introduction program loads before the image morphs into a horse at the finish line. A second screen is labeled “Producing winners all the way” and a third “The Pewter Stable.”

KATE DEMASI IS APPROACHING 1,000 WINNERS… (pdf format – please be patient as this is a large file)

Browsers can then watch a video of one of Pewter Stable’s stars, $300,000-plus earner Merry Princess, winning stakes race.

The creators of that website have different backgrounds. Greg majored in business administration at Widener College in Philadelphia. Kathleen, 38, is a former assistant trainer to Richard F. (Diekie) Dutrorow. She also trains for individual owners. “She was raised on a horse farm,” Greg said. “She basically was born into it.” She’s been running her own stable since 1984 and presently has a stable of 40 horses she races in Maryland, Delaware, Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey and West Virginia.

Pewter Stable still has its best horse, multiple stakes winner Tj’s Tuff as Nails, a 12-year-old gray mare in foal to Silver Charm purchased for $15,500 at a 2-year-olds in training sale in Ocala, Tj’s Tuff as Nails won five of 27 turf starts and three of 12 on dirt, bankrolling $217,908.

“She raced in partnership and they retain interest,” Greg said. “There were four people in that one. We will market the baby and they will get the same percentages.” Pewter Stable currently has 20 partnerships involving 20 to 25 horses. “Most of them are race horses, a small percentage are pinhooked yearlings and the rest are claimers or 2-year-olds,” Greg said.

Investors take anywhere from five to 50 percent of a horse and spend as little as $2,500 or as much as $50,000. “I have people at all different levels,” DeMasi said. “The pluses to me are you’re minimizing your risk. You give people an opportunity to spread the risk around. That’s the chief advantage. The minus is you have to get along with others. If you’re the kind of owner who wants to call all the shots, being in a partnership is not for you.”