David Bernson & Paul Makin
Heir Kitty, La Brea, Santa Anita, 26th December 2013
Trained by Peter Miller, Sire: Wildcat Heir. Dam: Be Silver
David Bernsen, who owns a global computer wagering business in Point Loma, California, let his partner, Paul Makin, who sold almost all of his horses in November in Ireland, share the excitement of the La Brea Stakes, standing at the finish line during the race and doing the play-by-play on his cell phone. “He was in Hong Kong,” Bernsen said. “I was more excited than Trevor Denman.”
Miller was excited to win this one for Bernsen and Makin. “They’re fantastic owners,” Miller said. “They’ve been very patient with this filly.”
Bernsen, who lives in San Diego, is the CEO of Let It Ride.com Companies, the parent company of SalesRing.com, a world-wide Thoroughbred buying and selling exchange; MMSalesRing.com which targets the Southern Hemisphere in partnership with Magic Millions; and WatchandWager.com, a global horse race wagering initiative based in the United States in partnership with AmericaTAB. “My business now is global wagering catering to big players betting on computers,” he said.
In the early ‘90s, Bernsen purchased a property near San Diego from the estate of legendary actor Jimmy Cagney, who lived there when the Cagney family attended the races at Del Mar. Bernsen did a complete renovation of the property to preserve its look and feel from the 1950s and created Carondelet Farm, the home of Raging Apalachee, the dam of 1999 Champion Sprinter Artax. Carondelet co-bred the track record-breaking son of Marquetry, who was involved in one of the strangest races ever when a fan walked onto the track at Pimlico and tried punching the horse in the stretch in the Maryland Breeders’ Cup. Artax wrenched his ankle and all bets on him, as the 4-5 favorite, were refunded. Carondelet Farm bred or owned Honor in War, Alexander of Hales, Set Alight and She’s Funomenal, and was instrumental in bringing Grade I North American stakes winners to Australia including Artie Schiller, Honor in War and Nothing to Lose.
In 1998, Bernsen relocated his breeding operation to Kentucky. A year later, he began an ambitious endeavor to connect Australian and American racing, breeding and wagering industries.
Makin, a prominent international breeder, made headlines last September when he announced he was going to disburse his bloodstock holdings at the Goffs November Sale in Ireland including 2013 Group I Darley Irish Oaks winner Chicquita and the broodmare Funsie, the dam of 2007 Group I Epsom Derby winner Authorized. Funsie’s 2012 yearling, a colt by Galileo named Hydrogen topped the Tattersalls October Sale when he went for 2.5 million guineas. “I decided to sell `on the sizzle, when nearly all the stock is at its peak, leaving lots of upsides for the next person,” Makin said in the Paulick Report last Sept. 5th.
Makin sold all 24 of its horses offered led by Chicquita, who topped the sale, going for $8,088,600. Paulyn’s Fleeting Spirit ($1,482,910), Song ($1,348,100), Sparkle Plenty ($876,265) and Funsie ($741,455) ranked second, third, fifth and seventh, respectively.
Earlier in his career, Makin was part of The Australian Syndicate which campaigned Starcraft, whom they bought for NZ$80,000 as a yearling and went on to win Grade I stakes in four countries, including the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in September, 2005. Shortly afterwards, The Australian Syndicate spent $800,000 to enter Starcraft in the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Belmont Park despite the fact that he had never raced on dirt. He started slowly and finished seventh in the field of 13.
In 2007, Makin established Paulyn Limited for his family’s European racing and breeding venture.