Goldencents, Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, 1st November 2013;
Trained by Doug O'Neill, Sire: Into Mischief. Dam: Golden Works
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, Santa Anita, 31st October 2014
Trained by Leandro Mora
Less than a week after Goldencents won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, W.C. Racing’s partners Glenn Sorgenstein and Josh Kaplan, who owned 75 percent of the horse, announced that they had privately purchased the remaining ownership shares of Dave Kenney and RAP Racing’s Rick Pitino, the head coach of the University of Louisville’s defending national championship basketball team. “My plan is to continue to race him as a four-year-old,” Sorgenstein said. “Why not live the dream? Nothing beats this.”
Goldencents, whose dam is Golden Works, was named to promote Sorgenstein and Kaplan’s precious metal and rare coin auction website www.goldencents.com, which is now run by Sorgenstein’s son Landon. W.C. Racing stands for Wilshire Coin, another one of their businesses. Located in Santa Monica, California, Wilshire Coin offers cash for gold and silver, and deals in coin collections, foreign exchange, and estate jewelry.
Sorgenstein, a 57-year-old native of Bayside, New York, now living in California, fell in love with racing at the age of five. “My dad’s friend was [trainer] Lefty Nicholson,” he said. “They were best friends. He put me on a horse, Tudor Sovereign, when I was five, and I went around the backstretch at Belmont. I knew I’d be involved in horseracing one way or the other.”
When his family moved to California soon afterwards, Sorgenstein simply transferred his interest in racing to Santa Anita, where he learned how to drive a car by practicing in the track’s parking lot.
Sorgenstein held a real estate license when he chose another career at the age of 23. His first wife’s brother was a coin dealer. “As a kid, I collected everything: bottle caps, posters, stickers, coins,” he said. “I loved collecting.” So he went to work in the rare coin business for his brother-in-law. “After being in it for two weeks, I knew I could do it for the rest of my life,” he said. “I worked for him until 1985, and I went out on my own. I took Josh on in 1997. He’s 39. His grandfather would take him to the track in California. His grandfather loved horseracing.”
Sorgenstein bought his first horse, Green Eyes, in 2004. She raced once, finished out of the money, and was injured. Sorgenstein’s first top horse was Blazing Sunset, who finished second by a half-length in the 2006 Iowa Derby before suffering a fatal breakdown on the track at Del Mar in his next start. “I stayed away from horses for a year because that was really horrible,” Sorgenstein said. “Then I got back in it. With the help of Dennis O’Neill [trainer Doug’s brother], we started buying two-year-olds.”
They purchased Goldencents, who had sold for $5,500 as a yearling, for $62,000 as a two-year-old. After winning last year’s Santa Anita Derby, he became their first starter in the Kentucky Derby. Sorgenstein, Kaplan, and their friend Mark, who also owns horses in the O’Neill stable, had a special pair of pants made for jockey Kevin Krigger which included three first names with a smiley face on each one for the three people who introduced them to racing: Sorgenstein’s dad Sol, Kaplan’s grandfather Max, and Mark’s dad Art. “They all passed away the year prior,” Sorgenstein said.
Unfortunately, Goldencents finished 17th in the Kentucky Derby. But he bounced back to win the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile by year’s end. “It’s been an amazing journey,” Sorgenstein said. “He’s a dream horse. This is the one we dream about.”
Their former partner Kenney is the President and CEO of Westrux International, which sells and services diesel trucks at five locations in Southern California. The company was founded in 1988. Westrun International was named Navistar’s International 2012 Dealer of the Year. Kenney has been a co-owner of Grade 1 stakes winners Richard’s Kid and Willyconker.
To read Trainer Magazine's profile on Goldecents, click here