The Team

At Circle 8 Ranch, our team works hard. We go the extra mile to make sure money isn’t wasted and we strive to keep costs low to save money for our partners. We don’t sit in an office and delegate all aspects of the business. We are working owners, tending to the farm and to the care of the horses.

Circle 8 Ranch

Troy Levy

Chief Executive Officer


Born in Queens, NY, Troy’s love for the racehorse industry began when his father took him to the racetrack as a young boy. From there, he worked weekends and summers on the backstretch, and then advanced to training, driving harness horses, and ultimately becoming an owner. In 2018, Troy was elected to the FHBPA board, while also serving on the TRAC committee. A dedicated supporter of the Florida Thoroughbred Industry, Troy dedicates his time to improve and promote the industry through accountability, responsibility, and integrity for the horses, the caretakers, and the managers.

Michelle Nihei

Trainer/Bloodstock Agent


Born in Western Canada, Michelle began riding horses at two years old and hasn’t stopped since! Highly educated, Michelle holds multiple degrees including a BS, MS, and a PhD., and started out with a career in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins. However, her heart was with the horses. She decided to change directions and began exercising horses for various trainers before becoming an assistant trainer to Todd Pletcher. She has since built her career on a foundation of track success with many multiple graded stakes winning horses to her name. Michelle has the exceptional ability to recognize talent and expand the potential in promising racehorses.

Board of Directors

Thomas L. DiStefano III


After receiving a BA Economics Degree in 1979, Tom began his career as a restauranteur in Connecticut and later launched a frozen pizza line named Gina Marie’s Foods, Inc. Since then, Tom has founded multiple public and private companies throughout his career and has excelled in merger and acquisitions from 1994 to 2018. He was a Series 7 and 63 Registered Representative. To date, Thomas is the inventor of 18 electronic document, software, and business method and related technologies and patents.

Ronald Kapphahn


Ronald Kapphahn is involved in the real estate industry in every facet of endeavor. In addition to being the owner/operator of a large construction company, he has investments in multiple projects including more than 100,000 square feet of commercial rental space; a cattle grazing enterprise; a hunting lodge, a Bed & Breakfast in Mexico, and other interests. Mr. Kapphahn assisted in the building of a large assisted living facility connected to a religious organization and is involved in all aspects of building preservation. He brings a unique perspective to Circle 8 Ranch, especially now that the company has control of a horse farm and training facility in Kentucky. He has been involved in Circle 8 Ranch for a long period of time and also ably assists management.

Adrenaline. Excitement. Thrills.

Are you ready for racehorse ownership? We are ready to show you why partnering with Circle 8 Ranch is the answer!