Second Lives for Horses

Pat Chapman was not quite sure what she was going to see at the Kentucky Horse Park during the first week of October this year.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said. “It’s unbelievable.”

“It” is the “Thoroughbred Makeover”—recently retired Thoroughbreds from around the country competing in 10 disciplines (dressage, barrel racing, show jumping, etc.) for which they have been retrained. The event lasted three days and had $100,000 in prize money.

This is a perfect explanation of the competition direct from the Retired Racehorse Project, which several years ago “created the Thoroughbred Makeover to showcase the trainability and talent of off-track thoroughbreds. The competition is intended to inspire good trainers to become involved in transitioning these horses to second careers and the National Symposium serves to educate the people involved in the care, training and sale of these horses to responsible owners. This is the only national gathering of the organizations, trainers and farms dedicated to serving these horses when they retire from racing”.

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Imply Rallies To Win Plum Pretty

Stake Honors PA-Bred Winner of 2011 Kentucky Oaks

Barlar’s Imply rallied from mid-pack, caught leader Disco Rose with a little more than a sixteenth of a mile to go and then powered away to a decisive four length victory in the $100,000 Plum Pretty Stakes Saturday afternoon at Parx. It was the second stakes victory of the year for the daughter of E Dubai. The late running 5 year-old mare has been incredibly consistent throughout her career, now with 8 wins and 7 seconds from 23 starts and earnings of just over $514,000.

Winning jockey Julio Hernandez used the same tactics he always does aboard Imply, allowing her to race unhurried and settle in well off the early leaders. Around the first turn, Imply sat fifth in the field of eight racing about six lengths behind the two front runners Behrnik’s Bank and Disco Rose, who cut the first quarter in 24.21. Moving to the backstretch, Hernandez was still in no hurry, continued to run along fifth and after a half in 48.25, had made little ground on the leaders. Past the half mile pole, Behrnik’s Bank readily surrendered the lead to Disco Rose, who quickly went clear to a three length lead. Entering the far turn, Imply now visibly began to quicken her stride, started passing horses, had moved to third and was beginning to close the gap on Disco Rose.

As they moved to the quarter pole, Imply had narrowed the gap to three and a half lengths and clearly had her sights on Disco Rose who was beginning to show signs that she was starting to tire. Coming off the final turn, Imply looked strong. She was in full stride and it appeared that there was no way Disco Rose would be able to withstand the onslaught. She couldn’t. Imply surged past Disco Rose in mid-stretch and quickly began to pull away. She hit the wire an official four lengths in front, a margin that was growing with every stride.

Trained by Bernie Houghton Imply (2-1) went off a slight second choice in the wagering. Only $14 separated her and race favorite Miss Avalon, who proved a non-factor today. Imply paid $6.40, 3.60 and 2.40. Disco Rose (7-1) shadowed early leader Behrnik’s Bank and stayed on to finish a clear second, returning 6.40 and 3.20. Trace of Grace (5-1), last year’s Plum Pretty runner-up, also trained by Houghton, was in close pursuit most of the way but could offer no late kick, finished third and returned 3.60 to show. The final time for the one mile and one-sixteenth over a track labeled fast was 1:47.64.