In January, 2016, Solomon “Sol” Kumin, who has helped form six racing partnerships, including Sheep Pond Partners, was honored as 2015 New Owner of the Year by OwnerView, given to an owner who has owned Thoroughbreds for less than three years and has had a stakes winner. Kumin has already won three Grade 1 stakes with Sheep Pond Ponders, two by undefeated turf star Lady Eli including the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, and one by Slumber in the 2015 Manhattan Stakes in partnership with Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stables.
Kumin, 40, is a native of Boston and was the COO of SAC Capital Advisors before launching Folger Hill Asset Management in October, 2014.
Kumin’s partner in Sheep Pond is Jay Hanley, 45, a native of White Plains, N.Y., who was an investment banker before becoming a carpenter on Nantucket Island, Mass., where he subsequently started Hanley Construction and Development.
Sheep Pond Partners took all of two years to win a Breeders’ Cup race. Jay Hanley, a general contractor and real estate developer, was building a house for Sol Kumin on Sheep Pond Road on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts. Kumin owned a filly named Wild Grace. “I had her with another trainer, and decided to give her to Chad Brown,” Kumin told Steve Haskin of Blood-Horse. Brown had worked with Wild Grace’s dam, Gracious Lady, and agreed to train her. Hanley, who had a deep passion for Thoroughbreds, asked if he could get involved. Hanley’s parents lived in Saratoga Springs, and his grandmother lived near the city. All three would take Hanley to Saratoga Race Course. “Basically, from there I’ve been sort of obsessed,” Hanley told Haskin. Hanley and Kumin formed a partnership, named it for the street of Kumin’s new home and purchased Lady Eli for $160,000 at the Keeneland April Two-Year-Olds-in-Training Sales. They named her for Kumin’s wife, Elizabeth, whose initials are E.L.I. After Brown trained Lady Eli on grass for the first time, he told her owners she could win the Breeders’ Cup. And she did. “It’s unbelievable,” Elizabeth Kumin said. “I never expected anything like this.”