“I can do the math.”
Being a financial consultant, Robert Droste can certainly tally up one percent of, well, what could be potentially millions.
In a Kentucky Derby Day drawing on May 4, Droste of Clifton, NJ was the Grand Prize winner in the “Win a Share of Captaintreacherous” promotion at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
More than 10,000 entries were submitted over the course of several Saturday nights, and Droste’s name was selected to receive one percent of the pacer’s earnings for the remainder of his racing career.
Trained by Tony Alagna and driven by 2012 Driver of the Year Tim Tetrick, Captaintreacherous is a three-year-old who became the first two-year-old in 25 years to be named overall Pacer of the Year in 2012.
From the stellar first crop of Somebeachsomewhere, he became the fastest freshman in Meadowlands history with a 1:49.3 romp in the Woodrow Wilson and earned $918,253 last season for Captaintreacherous Racing of Versailles, KY.
Captaintreacherous also won the $1 million Metro Final in 1:49.2 and is the early favorite for the Meadowlands Pace on July 13.
“I was born and raised in Rutherford, NJ, and currently reside in Clifton, NJ.,” said Droste. “I was the Vice President of Finance for a company, and now I’m an independent financial consultant.”
Droste has been a loyal horseplayer at the Meadowlands since Day One.
“I’ve been going to the Meadowlands maybe ten or 12 times a year since it opened,” he continued. “I was actually there Opening Night in 1976. I was always interested in horse racing, but the Meadowlands certainly brought it to the forefront. I had gone to Yonkers and Monmouth Park, but the Meadowlands made it more convenient to go.”
Droste considers himself a sports fanatic.
“I like sports in general, all sports, particularly baseball, football and basketball,” he admitted. “I went to Rutherford High School, and I was an All-State baseball player. I played at Fairleigh Dickinson University for four years.
“Originally, the thoroughbreds piqued my interest because the big races were always on television. When simulcasting became popular we could always go to the Meadowlands to watch the Triple Crown races. Big names like Secretariat caught my attention.”
Droste did a little homework before he finally decided to enter the contest.
“I had heard about Captaintreacherous and the promotion,” he noted. “My friend who goes to the track a lot knew more about him. Then, I looked the horse up online and discovered he’s quite a horse.”
Although guests were encouraged to enter every Saturday to increase their chances, Droste’s score was sheer destiny.
“I’ve never had an interest in owning horses, and believe it or not, I only put one entry ballot in on the night of the drawing,” he revealed. “That was the only ticket I played. Obviously, I got lucky. When they narrowed it down to just 13 names, I still didn’t think it was going to happen. Then, I started to get excited when there were only three left. Those are good odds. I’ve spoken to [racing manager and partner] Myron Bell a few times since that night. He’s been very helpful and informative.”
Captaintreacherous kicked off his sophomore season with a dominant win in a $62,587 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes division at Pocono Downs on May 19 in 1:49.4.
“I had a family obligation the night of his first race this season,” said Droste. “I couldn’t make it there, but I watched the race on simulcast at the Meadowlands. I was extremely impressed. The horse was phenomenal. It was really exciting because the horse started from post seven, he took the lead and on the backstretch he really turned it on. He blew them away.”
Captaintreacherous is scheduled to make his next start on June 8 in the eliminations for the $1,000,000 Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk. The final is June 15, followed by the Max Hempt Memorial eliminations on June 22 and final on June 29 at Pocono Downs. He will also start in the Meadowlands Pace eliminations on July 6. The final is July 13.
“I haven’t been out to the farm to see him yet, but after his first win I’m pretty anxious to get on with the show, so to speak,” said Droste. “The big races are coming and I can’t wait!”