Iavarone Ready to Re-Enter Racing
More: http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/ia ... er-racing/By Bill Finley
Michael Iavarone, the founder of IEAH Stables, which enjoyed a spectacular ride before imploding, is planning to get back into Thoroughbred ownership and says he’s ready to make another significant investment in the sport.
Iavarone said this time around his only partner will be his wife, Jules, and that he is not interested in forming another racing syndicate or taking on other partners.
“I’m going to do it on my own and only worry about myself and not anyone else,” he said. “I’m definitely going to get back into the game and I’m going to do it on a significant scale. I only like to play at the higher end. I don’t like to dabble around with lower-end horses.”
Iavarone had hoped to make a big splash upon his return as he said he was in negotiations to purchase GII Fountain of Youth S. winner Gunnevera (Dialed In). Though he didn’t land Gunnevera, he said he is actively looking to buy other top-class horses and believes it may be only a matter of weeks before he has his first starter of the year.
The IEAH story started as one of the great success stories in the sport’s history. Iavarone and partner Richard Schiavo, unknowns in the racing industry, started the syndicate in 2003 and almost immediately built a stable filled with stars. Their greatest talent, of course, was 2008 GI Kentucky Derby and GI Preakness S. winner Big Brown (Boundary), but there were others. IEAH stakes winners included Eclipse Award winner Benny the Bull (Lucky Lionel), GI Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Kip Deville (Kipling), multiple Grade I winner Court Vision (Gulch) and GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Stardom Bound (Tapit).
But IEAH was often far from a feel-good story. Their trainer was the controversial Rick Dutrow, Jr., who is currently serving a 10-year suspension for drug violations. And IEAH, like many racing ownership groups that grew too quickly for their own good, was having trouble keeping its head above water financially. In order to keep the business going, IEAH was accepting money from James Tagliaferri, who was investing money on behalf of his clients and receiving kickbacks for doing so from IEAH and other companies. The kickbacks were disguised as consulting fees for Tagliaferri. In 2014, Tagliaferri was found guilty of investment adviser fraud, securities fraud and wire fraud as part of schemes that caused his clients to lose $50 million.
Iavarone and Schiavo were never charged with any crimes.