As Big Brown gets ready for his big day Saturday at the Belmont Stakes, his owners and financiers are already counting their predicted earnings.

They probably need the head start. If Big Brown wins the Triple Crown, he could be worth as much as $120 million as a stallion.

The horse’s owner, International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, is run by co-presidents Michael Iavarone and Rich Schiavo, but the real money behind the operation comes from James Tagliaferri, owner of TAG Virgin Islands, according to The New York Times.

Tagliaferri is foremost a business man, and he compares horse racing to the stock market.

“This was a business unrecognized on Wall Street, but very much like Wall Street,” said Tagliaferri, 68. “It’s impacted by some of the same characteristics that drive commodities like gold. It’s risky, but biotechs can be riskier than horses, and believe me I’ve seen biotechs of mine go down.”

I.E.A.H.’s business plan involves generating stallion fees and selling their progeny at auction sales, while continuing to buy proven horses.

Iavarone said it’s not just about the money. Even if Big Brown loses the Belmont, the three-year-old colt will race for the remainder of the year.

“We believe he is the best horse in the world right now,” Iavarone said, “and we’re going to prove it.”

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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