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Game of Silks: Prominent owner Charbo pays record 3 ETH for million-dollar colt

Game of Silks: Prominent owner Charbo pays record 3 ETH for million-dollar colt

Silks owner Charbo will use this avatar in the Silks metaverse.

When Silks owner Charbo sees a horse he likes, he buys it. That’s how he rolls.

Charbo, a 52-year-old Oregon resident, is a business owner who produces and sells training materials for IT professionals. On Monday, he made big news in the Game of Silks community when he paid a record 3 ETH, or $4,938.06, for a colt sired by 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner. The sale easily eclipsed the 2.5 ETH, or $3,950, paid last month for Audacious, a filly sired by four-time leading stallion Into Mischief.

Charbo said owning digital racehorses is perfect for him because he has bad allergies to horses and loves to gamble, having bet on greyhounds in the past. He said he’s building a stable of 50 “high-end” Silks horses and will stable them on his own Sky Falls land.

While he recognizes that some high-priced horses turn out to be duds, Charbo said he respects the extensive research done by bloodstock agents and experienced buyers, so he seeks out horses who sold for $200,000 or more.

“I understand that owning racehorses is like investing in oil wells,” Charbo said. “Not all will hit, but the ones that hit will cover the ones that don’t. I figure if you have enough horses, you can feel safe/diversified. Even though I think the higher-priced horses are theoretically safer … there’s also the wild-card factor, and nobody really knows what will happen with a horse.”

The record-priced Gun Runner colt has all the makings of a talented runner. He sold for $1.05 million at last year’s Keeneland September yearling sale and has been named Normandy Landing.

Gun Runner got $14.7 million in progeny earnings last year to rank fifth among North American sires, an amazing accomplishment given that he had only two crops of racing age. He easily topped the second-crop stallion rankings, with Practical Joke a distant second at $7.63 million.

Gun Runner, a son of the popular stallion Candy Ride, had nine graded stakes winners last season, ranking third among North American stallions. He sired Echo Zulu, who won three Grade 1 races, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, during a perfect season in 2021, earning the title of champion 2-year-old filly. Gun Runner also sired Grade 1 winners Cyberknife and Taiba.

Normandy Landing was produced by Perfect Flute, a daughter of Pleasantly Perfect who won a race at age 3. That broodmare has one winner from three foals of racing age. The second dam, or maternal grandmother, Flute, had an outstanding season in 2001, earning Grade 1 victories in the Kentucky Oaks and Alabama Stakes. Flute is the dam of Grade 2 winner Filimbi.

Normandy Landing was among five horses minted by Silks owner Internethobo, who said Monday night he was pleased with the sale but also was experiencing some “seller’s remorse.” Bullish on the future of Game of Silks and “really excited” to have minted a million-dollar horse, Internethobo initially listed Normandy Landing for 20 ETH.

When he saw Charbo’s offer of 3 ETH on Monday, however, he remembered the old investing maxim that no one ever went broke by taking a profit.

“The offer covered my entire investment in Silks, so I figured I might as well just take it,” Internethobo said. “I also thought, ‘What if this horse doesn’t do well? I might as well gain something now.’ ”

Internethobo, a California resident, said he’s a casual racing fan who grew up going to the track with his grandfather. He owns seven Silks avatars, all among the first 5,000 created, so-called OG5K avatars. Holders of those avatars are guaranteed to receive a special Series 1 Stable for their Sky Falls farms.

Internethobo has enough parcels for a 10-acre public farm and said he’ll likely use the proceeds from the sale of Normandy Landing to set up another public farm. He also might pick up a horse from a Game of Silks weekly auction on OpenSea. He said both of his farms will feature the Series 1 Stable.

“I can’t wait for that,” he said.

As for Charbo, one of the most prominent owners in the young history of Game of Silks isn’t done shopping. Just last week, he purchased a filly from the first crop sired by Audible for 1.3401 ETH to top the weekly Silks auction and spent 1.5 ETH for a colt by Triple Crown winner Justify. He said he has 60 horses, so he likely will sell a few and add a few others before entering the juvenile racing season with 50.

Like Internethobo, Charbo said he’s expecting big things for Game of Silks, so he’s purchased 42 avatars and plans to keep around 10. The avatar that will represent him in the Silks metaverse has the green and yellow colors of the University of Oregon.

“The Silks idea is so good,” Charbo said. “Once the season starts and people start to be paid real money for their horses’ results, Silks is going to explode in popularity. I have 42 avatars primarily because I know they will be extremely valuable in a year or two. I can see the price of an avatar getting to 10 ETH; that will become the price to play. The scarcity, combined with the demand, drives the price up.”

About Game of Silks: It’s a next-generation fantasy sports game that tokenizes each racehorse into a digital collectible that can be bought and sold. In 2023, Silks owners will receive 1% of their horses’ real-world purse earnings, a figure that’s expected to rise steadily in subsequent seasons.

As a dynasty fantasy contest, Game of Silks allows players to retain ownership of their horses for the duration of their racing and breeding careers, potentially earning rewards for a decade or more. Owners also are free to sell at any time.

Launched last April, Game of Silks already is among the top 10 sports-themed NFT platforms on the Ethereum blockchain. The game’s first racing season begins in April, when this year’s crop of 2-year-old thoroughbreds begins competing.