It sure is interesting how an innocuous question answered by an obnoxious quip can detour the whole tread and the original questions is never really answered even though there are 4 pages of comments. Most of which I agree with because I found comment # 4 to be way out of line, offensive, self serving and just pure BS. “Gyp” types can be found at any track in the world and I have been to quite a few.
So to answer the OP’s question; Yes it is more common at smaller tracks but has never been uncommon at larger ones either. It is far more common now then in past years, top or bottom due to the economic collapse. Owners disappeared in droves. The last thing anyone needs is a horse, race or pleasure. A lot trainers and or barn owners got left holding the bag and the horse. Even in good times it’s not easy to find and or keep owners. I have met, have known and plenty more then I will ever know that are top notch horsemen who’s names will most likely never be known. And they will scratch out a living because that’s all they really know or want to do. Any rational person does not choose a career working with horses for the money. Especially racing. There is a pot of gold at the end of the racing rainbow and I have know some that have found it but most never will. But we will all keep looking.
Wow. Like jenarby I like owning my own. The owners horses help get by, but my own are much nicer paychecks. But honestly... Saying owner/trainers are more common at gyp smaller tracks? Bs. Is Parx (where 5k claimers run for 25k) one of those???? Plenty of big name trainers have stable names that are in fact themselves owning that horse. The maryland circuit is far from a small track and we have plenty of owner trainers.. Howard Wolfendale.. Leatherbury and bens cat... Oh and penn national.... Leading trainers own their own as well. It happens EVERYWhErE for different reasons but usually trainers like to have at least a few of their own.. And if they keep them it means they find the winners circle so you will see them show up.
Thanks OP for the question which got lost in the quagmire. Jenarby, Gumtree and doublete thanks for answering said question! Economics and horsemanship factors as to why trainers/owners are common throughout racing was the impression I got from the sidelines. My take is racing is so expensive and unpredictable that keeping decision-making in one place (trainer/owner) cuts down on the enormous communication cost. Horses are really a labor of love as my checkbook reminds me daily - even at the lowest "ammy-who-can't-imagine-showing" level! LOL.