Egg Drop, Matriarch, Hollywood Park, 1st December 2013
Trained by Mike Mitchell, Sire: Alphabet Soup, Dam: Rehocracy
Billy Koch, the 44-year-old founder and managing partner of Little Red Feather Racing, seemed destined for a life with Thoroughbreds. His grandfather, Howard W. Koch, a noted movie director and producer who was a board member at Hollywood Park, was partners with actor Telly Savalas (who starred in the popular TV show “Kojak”) on Telly’s Pop, who became the first horse to win the California Triple Crown for two-year-olds in 1975 when Billy was a young child. Howard told his grandson bedtime stories about the fictitious Indian Chief Little Red Feather, and Koch honored him by naming his stable Little Red Feather when it began operating with a single horse in 2002.
In just two years, Little Red Feather had a star, Singletary, who won the $1.5 million Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile. He was named for the Chicago Bears star linebacker Mike Singletary. Koch became a Bears fan while attending Northwestern University in the Windy City. Koch, who was born in Los Angeles, studied radio, television and film at Northwestern, and worked for Final Draft Productions, a company in Agoura Hills, California, before he decided to concentrate on his passion. “I always had a little piece of partnerships in horses,” he said. “I decided to do it full time.”
Little Red Feather Racing bought Singletary, who had sold for $3,200 in 2001, for $30,0000 at the January Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale at Ocala in 2002. At the time Singletary won the Breeders’ Cup Mile, Koch said, “Hopefully, it showed to everyone that anyone can win the Breeders’ Cup Mile or the Kentucky Derby.”
Koch, who was a Board member of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, has personally brought many new owners into racing. In 2013, Little Red Feather Racing celebrated its 80th partnership.
“My personal goal is to bring new people into the game and assist with horse racing coming back to prominence the way it was,” Koch said Jan. 7. “I know that’s unrealistic, but I want to make racing more popular, to bring in new owners. We have over 300 active investors now. Every day we get calls from people who want to get involved in the game. I think racing partnerships are here to stay.”
Gary Fenton, a Managing Partner of Little Red Feather who grew up in Beverly Hills, California, is the son of former Beverly Hills City Councilman/Mayor Frank Fenton. Gary, whose brother Steven is a member of the Beverly Hills Board of Education, was an entertainment attorney who spent five years at the William Morris Agency before working with multiple entertainment companies. He was Little Red Feather’s counsel before joining the organization as CEO in 2005 and Managing Partner in 2006.