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 Pensioners on Parade

Stories about your favorite retired racehorses. For archived stories, click here.

Doctor's Secret

In her role as photographer and photo editor for Thoroughbred Daily News, Sarah Andrew has known countless Thoroughbreds, both on and off the racetrack. Many of her subjects are household names photographed in some of the biggest stakes races in North America. But it’s a 24-year-old New Jersey-bred winner of one race who has her heart.

Eagle Poise

Sean Clancy traveled to Keeneland for the 2010 November sale on a mission. Mill Ridge listed Juddmonte Farms’ Eagle Poise in its horses-of-racing-age consignment. Mark Grier provided motivation. Already the owner of a few flat horses and a regular at the Far Hills Races in his hometown, Grier asked Clancy to find a good, solid prospect for jump racing.

Moonsox

Speak with Chris Boniface or her son Fritz for more than a few minutes, and the subject inevitably gravitates to Moonsox. The experiences differ slightly, but the deeply rooted affection for the 14-year-old chestnut gelding dovetails. Chris repeatedly calls him “quirky” and “very special.” Fritz unashamedly admits, “Moonsox is the love of my life.”

Battle Op

Olympic gold medalist Bruce Davidson was happy to see Regina Welsh. Welsh ventured to Davidson’s Unionville, Pa., farm in search of show jumping prospects for a group of buyers from Mexico. Among the sales horses presented was a tall, rangy gray ridden by a working student of Davidson’s.

Harry the Hat

"He’s wonderful; he’s the best horse ever. He’s the world’s largest lap dog. And I guess that’s all I need to say.” 

Fort

The chart footnotes from the eighth race at Penn National on Nov. 3, 2004, stated that Fort, running for a $2,500 claiming tag, “showed speed three wide to the stretch then tired.” In the absence of further knowledge, the average racing fan could venture a guess at what came next for the 5-year-old dark bay gelding.

Londonderry

She looks like the live-action version of every Black Beauty illustration we saw as children. That midnight-in-the-middle-of-nowhere shade of coal with a perfect white star on her forehead.

Edge of Reality

Typically speaking, Edge of Reality doesn’t embody the term “pensioner.” He’s not an equine senior living out his twilight days. He’s not creaky or cranky. He doesn’t require special dietary needs or maintenance. But although he’s just 9 years old, Edge of Reality does epitomize the concept of a responsible breeder/owner providing a former runner with the best possible retirement.

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