August is well known for the thoroughbred racing season at the historic track in Saratoga Springs. Since 1982 I have been meeting friends from Camp Echo (in Warrensburg, NY) at the track in “our spot” near the Big Red Spring, typically during the week leading up to the “mid-summer” derby, the Travers Stakes. In fact, one year, on Travers Day in 2001 we pooled our funds and split the $106,000 Pick 6 wage (I had 6% of our pool).
My fraternity brother, Robert is highly active in the diabetic industry. He commissioned Anthony Alonso, a famous equine artist, to paint our CEL group of which Robert has the original oil, his friends in the picture and family each got a serigraph, and the rest was sold by the artist of which a portion of the proceeds went to benefit Juvenile Diabetes (now referred to as Type 1 diabetes), of which we both have children with the disease. My copy (#11 of 200) of “The Replay” is on the wall of my office in Diamond Point, NY. Try to find me in the picture:
My growing knowledge of diabetes (Type 1 and 2) piqued my interest in the diabetic pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Those industries have spilled over to the obesity / weight loss treatment industries. For many years I have invested in stocks such as DexCom (DXCM), a maker of Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems, Eli Lilly (LLY) and Novo-Nordisk (NVO), producer of the now popular Ozempic drug.
This week, the first week in August is “Track Week” which started out with my close friend Mitch in 2002 and then expanded to his kindergarten pal Martin and later my racing business partner Dan. As it turned out, Mitch was a consultant assigned to me when I was at Merrill Lynch in August 2001. He came into my office for the first time one afternoon and I excused myself before we officially met so I could see the results of the early Daily Double at “the Spa’ (the colloquial name for the racetrack Saratoga Springs). Mitch said that he was a big Thoroughbred racing fan. As it turns out he is a great handicapper and has his own website should you need some tips or pointers when you go to the track. Together with my quantitative skills, we formed an informal partnership at Saratoga. Mitch was also instrumental in consulting with me to launch LakeView Asset Management.
The funny thing about Track Week is that we typically get a lousy day in the markets, most of the time stemming from disappointing economic data, such as the July labor report. Of course, August is a slow month for the market in general as most of the “A” players are at in the Hamptons, on the golf course, at the Spa, on their boats or taking time off elsewhere with their families. This leaves the “B” team in charge of the books. The “B” team is usually told by their bosses, the “A” teamers that they can only sell off existing positions but not buy anything new. This sets up for bargain hunting after Labor Day.
I would also point out that worthwhile investment money managers also make for good bettors at the racetrack. Several years ago, I penned a series of articles on the subject for TheStreet.com where I wrote for over a decade. Rather than regurgitate those articles, I will supply you with links for your reading pleasure. The first article published on August 10 , 2008 was titled, Five Investing Tips that I Learned From the Track. Then I followed up with Investing Lessons From the Racetrack on August 21, 2009.
When it comes to racetracks, we do own a position in Churchill Downs (CHDN) which we have owned for a while.
Disclosure: At the time of this commentary Scott Rothbort, his family and/or clients of LakeView Asset Management, LLC was long CHDN, DXCM, LLY & NVO - although positions can change at any time.
Scott Rothbort is the President & Founder of LakeView Asset Management, LLC, (LVAM) an investment advisor representative, specializing in high net worth private wealth management. LVAM is affiliated with Kingswood Wealth Advisors Services, a registered investment advisor. For more information on investing with LakeView Asset Management, LLC call us at 888-9LAKEVIEW or request more information by clicking on the contact button on the top right-hand corner of the website. LakeView Management, LLC is a Nevada LLC, with its principal office located in Henderson, NV and branch office located in Millburn, NJ
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