By Noel Michaels
Joe Rosen is a longtime racing fan and handicapper – relatively new to tournament play – who you could say already has put a contest-winning feather in his cap . . . a Little Red Feather.
Rosen is a member of Little Red Feather racing, the largest racehorse ownership syndicate based in California, currently with more than 75 horses. Little Red Feather [LRF] made waves earlier this year when it jumped into the NTRA National Horseplayers Championship [NHC] arena in a big way by announcing it would offer an exclusive $1 million Little Red Feather Bonus at the 2019 NHC to the LRF partner with the highest finish on the 2018 NHC Tour if that player can go on to win the NHC main event. Even without an NHC title, the top LRF finisher on the Tour will at least win a $10,000 partnership credit with LRF.
That LRF bonus opportunity has raised the stature of the NHC with LRF partners, and already has had its desired effect: It has become a rallying cry for several of Little Red Feather’s total of more than 450 active partners to get involved in the NHC Tour to chase the bonus, in addition, or course, to the NHC’s projected $3 million in purse money that will be up for grabs on the weekend of Feb. 8-10, 2019 at Treasure Island Las Vegas.
One of those LRF partners that the bonus helped get involved was Joe Rosen, a 49-year-old real estate investor and “recovering attorney” from Beverly Hills, Calif. Rosen joined the NHC Tour for the first time this March after being urged to do so by friend and LRF managing partner Gary Fenton. Since then, Rosen has done extremely well, first winning a cash Pick & Pray contest on Horsetourneys.com on Memorial Day weekend and racking-up 2,487 Tour points with a 20th-place finish in the NHC Tour Free Contest on May 27. He then topped that performance when he qualified for the NHC for the first time with a win in the NHC Qualifier on Horsetourneys on June 16, beating a field of 97 entrants.
Rosen has been friends with LRF principals Gary Fenton and founder Billy Koch since grade school, and has been going to the races ever since his dad and uncle used to take him to the races when he was young. After that he remained a fan and made a habit of going to Hollywood Park every other week with his friends. He became involved as an owner when he purchased a small percentage of eventual Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Singletary from Koch prior to the formation of LRF in 2002. After that experience, which Joe called “extremely successful and fun,” Rosen was hooked. Since then he has joined in the ownership of about 100 horses over the last 15 years.
“I believe I have been involved with more LRF horses than any other partner,” said Rosen, who also owns horses with Eclipse Thoroughbred Racing.
LRF made the move to get involved in the National Horseplayers Championship after managing partner Gary Fenton qualified twice for the 2018 NHC finals in Las Vegas.
“It was a bucket list item to make the NHC last year. It was my first year on the NHC Tour and I never realized how much fun it was competing against the very best horse players,” Fenton said. “At Little Red Feather, we are always looking for new and attractive ideas to bring to our partners to enhance the ownership experience. We think our partners will enjoy competing on the Tour. In fact, we are betting $1 million on it.”
Joe Rosen is currently ranked 101st overall on the NHC Tour Leaderboard with 6,371 points. That total is good enough for second on the NHC Tour 2018 Rookie Leaderboard. Rosen is currently the front runner to become the LRF partner eligible for the Little Red Feather $1 million bonus.