Pensioners on Parade

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

Poppy’s Punkin

It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish. Poppy’s Punkin earned high marks in both cases. He began his career with a resounding win on debut as a 3-year-old at Laurel Park in 2007. He finished six years later with another score at Pimlico. Now 18, the bay gelding enjoys a privileged retirement on Christy Clagett’s Larking Hill Farm in Harwood, Md.

Gilded Cove

“I want to ride HIM, Mom.”

The announcement struck momentary dread into the hearts of trainer Sherene Bracho and her former husband, jockey Jesus Bracho, when uttered by their young daughter Jacqueline 12 years ago. “Him” was Gilded Cove, a recently retired 8-year-old gelding trained by Sherene’s father, Victor Chung.

Bid to Fore

In his “Broker’s Tip” column in the January 2021 issue of this magazine, Rick Abbott wrote:

“Some clients are a pain in the ass. Some know nothing about horses in general and Thoroughbreds specifically. Some clients are a dream come true, and Adele Paxson was one of those.”

Gold Scammer

The day after Maryland-bred Trifor Gold won the Sussex Stakes at Delaware Park, Anchor and Hope Farm’s Grace Merryman reached out to say she had “a fun Pensioner On Parade if you are looking.”

Last Enchantment

Beau Ridge Farm in Kearneysville, W.Va., is home to the state’s top stallion, Fiber Sonde. It is home to West Virginia’s top breeders, John and Cyndy (O’Bannon) McKee. And it is home to Last Enchantment, the quirky 26-year-old homebred gelding whose exploits are still remembered by many at nearby Charles Town Races 20 years after his retirement.

Master Manipulator

Eleven years ago, Patty Clemens bought her husband a horse. Then she decided to keep it for herself. OK, so that’s not entirely accurate; it’s the quick and dirty version. But the “husband horse” Clemens first spotted in a shabby stock trailer outside the New Holland auction morphed from a trail-riding buddy for her husband Mike into her own much-loved and trusted eventing partner.

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.


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