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 Pensioners on Parade

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

Jackie Wilson

“Do you know who Jackie Wilson was?” Lucy Howard asked. “If not, watch some videos of him online, and then you’ll understand.”

Top Striker

On a mid-April Saturday in Camden, S.C., Arch Kingsley, Sue Sensor and Melissa Rice gathered at The Camden Hunt stables. Spring was in resplendent bloom, and so was Top Striker, the reason for the assembly.

High Spirited

The Jockey Club recognizes him as High Spirited. Racegoers at Mid-Atlantic tracks in 2006-07 probably wouldn’t recognize him at all. But in the realm of interscholastic polo, he’s instantly recognized as “Cholo” –  Chicano/Latino slang for gangster. His is a feel-good story. Call it rehabilitation, redemption, rebirth. But above all, call it what it is: the remarkable truth.

Prideland

Betty McCue was window shopping. Picking up a retired Thoroughbred from the Laurel Park barn of her friend Hugh McMahon, McCue customarily glanced in the stalls to see what else might be waiting in the wings. McMahon was assistant at that time to leading Mid-Atlantic trainer Scott Lake. McCue, owner and operator – with her sister, Evelyn Hughes Martin – of White Hall, Md.-based EHM Stables, was always on the lookout for suitable candidates as lesson and show prospects for her students.

Class Bopper

“I went to ride him the other day, and when I went out to catch him, he and the other horse were rearing up, striking at one another, running around like they were yearlings. He’s 16 now, but don’t tell him that. He still thinks he is a racehorse. He’s not lacking in confidence.”

“He” is Class Bopper. She is Remy Winants, and nothing about that scene surprised her.

Your Out

In the autumn of 2000, 2-year-old Your Out was posing for win photos at Mid-Atlantic racetracks. Eugene Ford’s homebred filly by Country Life Farm’s Allen’s Prospect from the Fast Play mare Our Friend Hidayet was brilliant in her freshman season. She followed up her winning Delaware Park debut with three stakes wins at Laurel Park – the Maryland Million Lassie, Heavenly Cause and Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship. The success made her that year’s Maryland-bred 2-year-old filly champion.

Chama

His story certainly wasn’t written on the racetrack. He made one career start at Remington Park in 2001, finished a dismal 11th and earned $62. What he accomplished – and the many lives he touched – in the years since made Chama the horse of a lifetime for several people.

Slip Away

In 2005, flat trainer Dale Romans unknowingly set into motion a chain of events that led to one of the greatest accomplishments of late steeplechase trainer Tom Voss’ career. And it all began with a horse Romans didn’t like.

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The Mill Leaders