Stathis Enterprises Unicorn Trust of New York City closed on its purchase of the South Florida Trotting Center in late May.
The purchase price was in excess of $10 million and includes the 102-acre facility with 14 barns. It is home to 300 harness-racing horses and is located on State Road 7 in suburban Lake Worth. The facility features an equine swimming pool and numerous turnout paddocks.
The new CEO is Sam Stathis, who already has his Celebrity Farms Stable at the South Florida Trotting Center. “I want to thank prior owner Eric Cherry for making this deal happen,” Stathis said. “First order of business will be fixing up the barn area, caretaker quarters and building a new training barn for my stable. Also, we will be remaining open year-round henceforth.”
Stathis also plans to rename the facility. “We will hold a worldwide ‘name the equine center’ contest this summer,” he added. “Our plans are to turn this facility into a real showplace with modern technology and [make it] ecosystem-friendly and also to expand the facility so that other breeds of horses will be able to train at the farm. While this facility has been predominantly a premier trotting facility, we will now be attracting all equestrian disciplines, including hunter, jumpers and even polo.”
Cherry was pleased with the closing. “I am going to stay on the farm with my Let It Ride Stable,” he said. “I look forward to working with Sam, as he has great plans for the future of the farm.”
Stathis added that his plans call for the facility to become a research and development center with an incubator for equine-related technologies, including a teaching facility for caretakers, holistic equine healing and more.
Stathis was born in Greece and immigrated to the United States with his family at age 7. He is a passionate entrepreneur, investor, developer, engineer, inventor and philanthropist with extensive experience in starting and operating multimillion-dollar companies, domestic and international. Stathis began owning Standardbred horses in 2000. He has since gotten his trainer’s license and is a provisional licensed professional harness-racing driver. He also owns Celebrity Farms in Goshen, N.Y., which is a breeding and training facility (www.celebrityfarms.com) and is the founder of the World Chariot Racing Federation (www.worldchariot.org).
ABOVE: Eric Cherry (left) shakes hands with new owner Sam Stahis.