It all makes “Horse Cents” to long-time harness horse owner Eugene Kurzrok.
The 76-year-old from Long Island, NY, who has had an illustrious career as a financial consultant and estate planner, is enjoying some of his best years of success in the sport with a string of top names, most notably Free For All star and $1.7 million winner Golden Receiver.
Kurzrok and his partners Stephen Springer and Richard Taylor formed Our Horse Cents Stables of Clifton Park, NY, and they share ownership of Golden Receiver with the horse’s breeder Nina Simmonds of Binghamton, NY.
On Saturday, Kurzrok’s group, along with Jerry Silva of Longbeach, NY, and P. Paul Venturini of Rockaway, NJ send out New Zealand import Statesman N under trainer Mark Harder. The six-year-old Christian Cullen gelding makes his second American start after flying home in :26 to finish third last week. Statesman N drew post four in race 11 on the 12-race program.
“We bought into Statesman N about six weeks ago, and he looks like he could be special,” said Kurzok. “He paced home in :25.4 in the qualifier before his first race here, he’s two-fingers to drive and a wonderful horse to be around.”
Kurzok’s investment advice has led to financial success for his partners in Our Horse Cents Stables.
“Stephen Springer and Richard Taylor are actually two clients of mine,” noted Kurzrok. “While I was in their office, and I saw horse pictures on the wall where they sponsored some races. They’ve made a small investment, which has probably multiplied tenfold in four years.”
Kurzrok speaks from experience, having spent more than 40 years in harness racing.
“I’ve been in the business since maybe 1978,” said Kurzok. “I claimed a horse at Roosevelt Raceway named Miss Edna, and from there we’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of good horses. We had Cayster [$530,451], who was Two Year Filly Trotter of the Year in 1989, also My Starlet [$340,258], Genuine Comfort [$412,992], Money Lender [$773,255] and Bon Vivant, who was sold to European interests after earning more than $500,000.
“Originally, I met Arnold Epstein, a pharmacist who founded Equiade, a company that produces nutritional supplements for bodybuilders,” he recalled. “Eventually it became a hobby, lately I’ve had more time to enjoy it, and it’s become an absolute passion.”
Kurzrok is also a licensed pilot and participates in Air Lifeline, a charity that flies ill children and their families to hospitals all over the country to receive medical attention.
“Stable 45 is my other partnership, which involves my wife, Barbara, and my next-door neighbors in Hauppauge, NY, Richard and Marcia Gingold. We went into partnership when we were both celebrating our 45th anniversaries. We live at 45 Hamlet Drive, and my son’s football number was 45. Scott is also involved in the horses with us.”
Good fortune and fate led Kurzok into his exciting involvement with Golden Receiver, a charismatic eight-year-old pacer, who posted back-to-back sweeps of the Presidential Series at the Meadowlands in January.
“Jake Huff was training some horses for me and he had told me about the horse,” recalled Kurzrok. “I met up with Nina Simmonds and we bought into him. He’s gotten better with age, yet the problem we’ve had recently is finding a race for him. He was entered at Harrah’s Philadelphia this week [Friday], and we can’t wait for the stakes season to start.
“Great horses put people in the grandstands,” Kurzrok continued. “He’s really a people’s favorite and they come to watch him race. He’s the Meadowlands’ horse, and I’ve suggested we use him in a promotion. Here’s a wonderful opportunity. I mean, people we don’t even know just come into the winner’s circle because he’s the people’s horse. Everybody talks about him and they love him. It’s great.”
In addition to cheering on Golden Receiver, Kurzrok and his Our Horse Cents Stables colleagues have been on a roll with other high profile winners and potential stars.
“I race about as many horses with trainer Ron Burke as I do with Mark Harder,” he noted. “We have part of Quick Deal, the Horse & Groom Series winner [in 1:52.4) and the fastest trotter so far this year [with a 1:52.1 Horse & Groom Series win on March 8]. Rocklamation [$1,212,771] won the Milton Stakes at Mohawk in 1:49.4 last year, and Ramalama [$192,797] is another nice pacing mare we’re a part of. They’re both in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers
“I got a call from Blue Chip Farms the other day telling me we have a Rock N Roll Heaven yearling that could be the nicest looking one on the farm. We have pieces of 12 or 13 babies right now. Mark Harder has a two-year-old he can’t stop talking about named Surfside Sexy, a Rocknroll Hanover filly.
“Everything seems to be going right for us right now. Somebody said I spent a lifetime to become an overnight sensation.”
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