Earle I. Mack, former owner of Star Plus, has repurchased the star-crossed horse and retired him permanently.
Mack initially transferred Star Plus, a former Grade 1-winner in Argentina, with the bill of sale stating the horse could never be raced again. But the new owner, George Iacovacci, Sr., repeatedly raced the injured horse, until Mack's attorneys successfully intervened with the racing commission in West Virginia.
Over the weekend Star Plus was repurchased by Mack and will now live out his days at Old Friends, a horse retirement program in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
“Through the efforts of concerned professionals working pro bono, we have reached a successful conclusion to this saga. Special thanks to Karen Murphy and her legal team of Maggi Moss and Fred Heyman, as well as my racing manager, Aaron Cohen, who worked tirelessly to stop the injustice of racing an unsound and infirm horse”, said Mack.
Mack bought Star Plus in 2008 after witnessing him win a Grade 1 race in Argentina. Star Plus never returned to form and a severe injury resulted in him being retired. There was no interest standing him at commercial stud and a bloodstock agent tried to find him a good home.
Instead Star Plus was raced five times by owner/trainer Iacovacci at racinos in Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, losing by 20-38 lengths each time, with the chart comment “labored throughout”.
The saga of Star Plus was reported in the Paulick Report and helped rally the industry to his cause.
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