Breeders’ Cup trainers, owners pledge percentage to Thoroughbred retirement group

by | 10.13.2011 | 2:03pm

Some of horse racing's biggest stars are stepping up to the plate to support New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program by pledging a percentage of their purse earnings from this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships it was announced today.

For the third consecutive year, New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program is working with trainers and owners of Breeders' Cup contenders to pledge a percentage of their earnings to support the program's mission to rehab, retrain and rehome retired race horses.

“What makes New Vocations stand out from the rest of Thoroughbred Retirement organizations is their commitment to retraining and adopting out these equine athletes, many of whom go onto to enjoy successful careers in various disciplines of horse sports,” said trainer Todd Pletcher.


Pletcher, along with trainers Kiaran McLaughlin, Nick Zito and Eddie Plesa and owners Mike Repole, Rick Shanley and West Point Thoroughbreds have made early commitments to support this year's pledge.  Pletcher has eight potential starters in this year's Championships, including the Repole-owned Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty, who are pointed towards the Breeders' Cup Classic, and Stopshoppingmaria,  who is headed to the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.  McLaughlin will send out juveniles Alpha and Miss Netta in the Juvenile races, It's Tricky in the Ladies' Classic and Trappe Shot in the Sprint or Dirt mile.  The McLaughlin-trained Rattlesnake Bridge may run in the Classic.  Plesa trains the Shanley-owned filly Say A Novena who won the Oct 1 Brandywine stakes at Parx Racing in preparation for a start in the Juvenile Fillies.  West Point Thoroughbred's Awesome Gem is expected to start in the Dirt Mile or the  Classic.  The Zito-trained colt Jackson Bend is a probable starter in the Dirt Mile.

New Vocations will continue to seek pledges from additional owners and trainers leading up to the November event.

“It is our responsibility as owners to make sure these horses find good homes after their racing careers are over,” said owner Mike Repole. “New Vocations, like many other great horse rescue organizations do a great job  at making sure our equine friends have a great life beyond the track and we are happy to support them at this year's World Championships.”

In 1992 New Vocations first opened their barn doors to retired racehorses looking for new careers. Starting with a single farm in Dayton, Ohio the program has grown to have six facilities, which are located in Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.  Serving over 40 racetracks, New Vocations works directly with owners and trainers in need of an aftercare program for horses leaving the track. Currently the program adopts out more retired racehorses than any other program in the nation. The program has a sound adoption system in place that is proven to move a large number of horses in a rather short period of time. Their focus is on adoption verses retirement, believing that each horse deserves to have an individual home and purpose.

“The amount of early support we've received from owners and trainers for this year's campaign has been amazing,” said New Vocations Program Director, Anna Ford.  “We are going to adopt close to 400 retired racehorses this year, which is more than we have ever done before. The number of horses needing our services is huge and the funds raised from the pledges will help us continue to grow and reach more horses.”

For more information on New Vocations and how you can help support the program visit http://www.horseadoption.com/thoroughbred-adoption/.

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