By Jenn Callahan for Amplify — November 21st, 2023
Louisville, KY, NOVEMBER 20th, 2023 – In a move that merges the thrill of entrepreneurship and
horse racing with a commitment to giving, Brook Smith, a serial entrepreneur and dedicated
philanthropist, has announced a unique way to support nonprofit organization, Amplify
Smith is known throughout the insurance industry as the owner of Smith Manus-Surety Bonds, a
leader in their field of bond underwriting. Brook is a prolific investor and has made private
investments in nearly 100 consumer and technology businesses, including iconic Hadley
Pottery, Barrell Craft Spirits, and Helm Boots. He primally invests in technology and consumer
brands through his funds RSLP Ventures and Wabi Capital. Smith is also an owner of Rocket
Ship Racing (RSR) and is leveraging his passion for horseracing to benefit the Louisville startup
community. Through RSR’s prized racehorse, Blue Devil, Brook Smith will donate 10% of the
purse of an upcoming race on Friday, November 24. Blue Devil has placed in the top 3 in his last
five races and was sired by famed horse Uncle Mo.
This partnership between Smith and Amplify Louisville marks a unique approach to supporting
the startup community, demonstrating that the excitement of horseracing can be harnessed to
create positive change. By sharing a portion of the horse’s success, Smith aims to make a
lasting impact on Amplify’s mission to transform Louisville into a vibrant entrepreneurial hub.
“Rocket Ship Racing has been a longtime supporter of the Backside Learning Center/Purses For
A Purpose, so, while sipping a bourbon with Larry Horn [Amplify] and Jackson Andrews
[Endeavor], it made perfect sense to do the same for the startup community” said Smith.
Amplify, like some of the startups they support, are a small, but mighty team. Their work is
having a great impact on advancing tech-enabled startups through coaching, programming, and
access to resources. Amplify is extremely grateful for Smith’s commitment.
“Brook’s ongoing support and partnership with Amplify, which has taken an innovative turn
through horseracing, adds an exciting dimension to our collaboration. His commitment with
Blue Devil in the upcoming race brings a dynamic energy to our longstanding mission,
further invigorating our entrepreneurial community” says Larry Horn, CEO of Amplify
The Clark Stakes G2 takes place on November 24th, at Churchill Downs. As Blue Devil prepares
for the event with Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano (winner 2023 Kentucky Derby),
anticipation is building not only among horse racing enthusiasts but also within the startup
community eager to witness the positive ripple effects of this innovative collaboration.
Smith invites the public, fans of horse racing, and supporters of Amplify Louisville to join in this
About Brook Smith
Brook Smith is an investor in nearly 100 companies including consumer brands, technology, real
estate, and insurance/financial services. As a regular supporter of non-profits, Brook has helped
transform communities from Louisville to Appalachia to Clemson University – his alma mater,
where The Brook T. Smith Launchpad was recently dedicated to support entrepreneurs. Brook
Smith also owns Rocket Ship Racing, a horse racing operation that collaborates with global
racing giants like Coolmore. As an art collector, Brook has amassed a unique collection
including Cripplewood by Berlinde de Bruyckere and other notable pieces.
About Blue Devil and Rocket Ship Racing, LLC
Blue Devil is a 4 year old gelding that was born in 2019 and has raced from 2022 to 2023.
His sire is Uncle Mo out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Apologize. He is trained by Jeff Hiles.
Blue Devil has raced at Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Kentucky Downs, Saratoga, Turfway Park
with wins at Saratoga, Turfway Park. Of late, Blue Devil has emerged as a member of the
short list of top classic contenders.