Cosequin presents OTTB Showcase: Most Wanted Thoroughbreds

by | 10.08.2014 | 10:14am
Phillip Dutton and Icabad Crane took top honors as America's Most Wanted Thoroughbred in 2014
Phillip Dutton and Icabad Crane took top honors as America's Most Wanted Thoroughbred in 2014

We're going to take a bit of a different spin on this week's “OTTB Showcase.” I was lucky enough to attend the second annual Thoroughbred Makeover this past weekend at Pimlico in Baltimore, Md., and it was a true celebration of what Thoroughbreds can do after the track.

Now, not to be cocky, but I thought I was pretty savvy about Thoroughbreds. I've worked in the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry for years, I've ridden OTTBs for decades, and I write about the cool ones week in and week out.

Last weekend, however, I was wowed again and again, and I found myself constantly in awe of what these horses were doing.

The event is the brainchild of the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP), an organization dedicated to increasing demand for off-track Thoroughbreds and connecting the people and groups who ride, train, rehabilitate, own, compete on, and otherwise support these horses.


The weekend's featured event was the “America's Most Wanted Thoroughbred” challenge, in which ten horses and their teams competed against each other in ten different disciplines (listed at the end of the article), with the winner being determined via online fan voting. This year's winner was the team of Icabad Crane, Phillip Dutton, and Graham and Anita Motion showcasing the sport of eventing. Second place went to barrel racing and Western dressage representative Pookie's Princess, trained by Patrick King and owned by Jackie Harris, with Discreet Dancer trained by Olymipc show jumper Armand Leone and representing New Vocations, finishing third.

As fun and exciting as the challenge was to watch, there was so much more for people to take in. Want to see some upper level OTTBs do their thing? The weekend included demonstrations from people like former Bobby Frankel assistant and exercise rider Nuno Santos (who now trains upper level dressage horses) riding Ken's Kitten; Roman riding by Rachel Jackson on her four-horse OTTB team, Ultimate X Showdown winner Nicole Valeri and Ring doing a barrel racing demo, and other demonstrations in show hunters, field hunters, eventing, cattle herding and more.

Looking for a new horse? The Thoroughbred Charities of America sponsored the “Thoroughbred Marketplace,” which had more than 40 horses available for purchase showing their skills off in various disciplines.

Seeking information on training an off-tracker? In the mornings, participants could attend lectures and panel discussions geared toward transitioning newly retired racehorses to off-track life and creating better synergy between racing and performance horse disciplines. Horse people love to shop, and the trade fair offered loads of options for the avid equestrian or casual fan.

Attendees included riders and trainers of all ages who have or want to have OTTBs as show horses, racehorse owners and trainers wanting to learn more about how to send their horses onto second careers responsibly, casual horse fans, Thoroughbred advocates, and the general public.

It was truly a Thoroughbred-lovers oasis from beginning to end.

THE DEETS:

Discreet Dancer

Discreet Dancer

Name: Discreet Dancer
Discipline Representing: Show Jumping
Born: April 11, 2009
Sire: Discreet Cat
Dam: West Side Dancer
Sale History:  None
Race Record: 8-4-0-2
Race Earnings: $365,900 (WON Gulfstream Park H.-G2; 3rd Carter H.-G1, Fountain of Youth S.-G2)
Owner: New Vocations
Trainer: Armand Leone

Name: Its a Little Chili
Discipline Representing: Polo
Born: March 4, 2011
Sire: Cowboy Cal
Dam: Ataryrate
Sale History:  None
Race Record: 8-0-0-2
Race Earnings: $6,613
Owner: Bianchi/Gonzalez
Trainer: Bianchi/Gonzalez

Name: Mad Bomber
Discipline Representing: Pony Club
Born: April 11, 2009
Sire: Lite the Fuse
Dam: Madilynreign
Sale History:  None
Race Record: 14-1-0-1
Race Earnings: $3,653
Owner: Hannah Gilhool
Trainer: Hannah Golhool

Phillip Dutton aboard Icabad Crane

Phillip Dutton aboard Icabad Crane

Name: Icabad Crane
Discipline Representing: Eventing
Born: April 9, 2005
Sire: Jump Start
Dam: Adorahy
Sale History:  Sold at FTNAUG in 2006 for $65,000; sold at OBSFEB in 2007 for $110,000
Race Record: 33-7-7-9
Race Earnings: $585,980 (WON Federico Tesio S., King's Point H., Alex M. Robb S., G'Day Mate S., Evan Shipman S.; 2nd Alex M. Robb S., Tinchen's Prince S., Empire Classic S., Evan Shipman S., Itaka S.; 3rd Preakness S.-G1, William Donald Schaefer Memorial S.-G3, Rushaway S., Alex M. Robb H., West Point S., Adirondack Holme S.
Owner: Graham and Anita Motion
Trainer: Phillip Dutton

Blue collar campaigner Rikim made 75 starts before being retrained as a ranch horse

Blue collar campaigner Rikim made 75 starts before being retrained as a ranch horse

Name: Rikim
Discipline Representing: Ranch Work
Born: January 28, 2005
Sire: Van Nistlerooy
Dam: Dakini
Sale History: None
Race Record: 75-12-13-12
Race Earnings: $92,476
Owner: Dale Simanton
Trainer: Dale Simanton

Name: So Outspoken
Discipline Representing: Steeplechasing
Born: February 5, 2010
Sire: Bernardini
Dam: Green Door
Sale History:  Sold at KEESEP in 2011 for $350,000
Race Record: 9-1-1-1
Race Earnings: $39,180
Owner: B'More Hopeful
Trainer: Jazz Napravnik

Saba Rock

Saba Rock

Name: Saba Rock
Discipline Representing: Fox Hunting
Born: March 12, 2006
Sire: Van Nistlerooy
Dam: Sabina
Sale History: Sold at KEESEP in 2007 for $85,000
Race Record: 17-1-3-0
Race Earnings: $24,047
Owner: Christy Clagett
Trainer: Christy Clagett

Name: Now and Then
Discipline Representing: Dressage
Born: February 5, 2010
Sire: TiznowDam: Holiday Runner
Sale History:  Sold at FTAUG in 2011 for $375,000
Race Record: 4-1-0-2
Race Earnings: $52,650
Owner: Nuno Santos
Trainer: Nuno Santos

Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron gets a look at D'Sauvage

Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron gets a look at D'Sauvage

Name: D'Sauvage
Discipline Representing: Show Hunter
Born: April 1, 2008
Sire: D'Wildcat
Dam: Tres Chaud
Sale History:  Sold at NYBOCT in 2008 for $15,000; sold at FTNAUG in 2009 for $70,000
Race Record: 44-3-7-3
Race Earnings: $143,302
Owner: MidAtlantic Horse Rescue
Trainer: Beverly Strauss

Name: Pookie's Princess
Discipline Representing: Barrel Racing/Western Dressage
Born: March 19, 2009
Sire: American Tribute
Dam: Pookie
Sale History: None
Race Record: 16-1-0-2
Race Earnings: $17,928
Owner: Jackie Harris
Trainer: Patrick King

If you have or know of a retired Thoroughbred with an interesting story to tell, we'd love to hear about it! Just email Jen Roytz ([email protected]) with the horse's Jockey Club name, background story, and a few photos.

Jen Roytz is a freelance writer and marketing/public relations consultant for various entities in the equine, healthcare and corporate sec tors. She can also still be found on the back of an OTTB most days.

Contact Jen on Facebook and Twitter.

  • davidinD

    Good article Jen; very interesting. Do you know what the average or median price of the TB’s for sale at the event was? Ballpark?

  • Piquetour

    This is a great Event! It is the brain child of Stuart Pittman of Dodon Farm that specializes in retraining OTTBs and hope that it is an inspiration to many.The Maryland Jockey Club should be commended for providing Historic Pimlico and overtime Track Maintenance,Security and Food Service Employees when ordinarily the track would be dark.

    • Piquetour

      Sorry,that’s Steuart!

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