How fun to have such an amazing, dynamic list of Thoroughbreds in contention for the CANTER Ex-Racehorse Award at Rolex Kentucky this year! CANTER USA will be awarding the highest-placing race-bred Thoroughbred with a cooler, a beautiful Five Star Bridle and $200 in cash on Sunday.
Check out all of these race-bred Thoroughbreds, competing for one of the most prestigious and sought-after blue ribbons on the planet. Of course the $80,000 in cash and a Rolex watch doesn’t stink either! Here’s hoping a Thoroughbred ends up in the winner’s circle!
And here we are, the contestants for the OTTB award!
1. Michael Pollard rides Icarus, formally known as “I Just Want to Fly” (Boundlessly—Suzan’s Silver). He is Iowa-bred and raced four times with earnings of $540.
2. Michael Pollard also brings Wonderful Will to Rolex again (Woodman—Shir Dar). Will raced 11 times, winning only $208.
3. Laine Ashker rides her own Anthony Patch, formally known as “Alexs Castledream” (Castle Guard—Aimee Alexis). He ran 10 times and won $815 at Charles Town Racetrack (W.Va.).
4. Buck Davidson is riding Titanium (Shuailaan—Lost Silver), who ran 14 times.
5. James Alliston is riding Parker, formally known as Eastside Park (Marquetry—Hello Mom). Parker raced 15 times, with earnings of $8,145, ending his career at Monmouth Park (N.J.).
6. Jessica Hampf rides High Society III, formally known as “Glenfidditch,” an Australian-bred racehorse with seven starts (Vain Karioi—Test Bat).
7. Amy Ruth Borun rides her own Santa’s Playboy, a U.S.-bred (Pentilicus—Santaclausiscoming). He raced until the age of 7, winning more than $128,000.
8. Holly Hudspeth returns to the four-star level on Last Monarch. He is by California-based Benchmark (Alydar) out of Alpine Queen (Monarch). He had 18 starts and finished second and third several times, with earnings of $5,049.
9. William Fox-Pitt is attempting to one-up his Burghley CCI**** (England) win at Rolex Kentucky with Parklane Hawk, originally named Park Lane, a New Zealand-bred Thoroughbred who raced until the age of 7.
10. Courageous Comet returns to the spotlight under rider Becky Holder. This crowd favorite is by Comet Shine out of Rosenelli (Seat of Power) and has 36 starts on his record. He earned $71,780 at the races and spent most of his career racing in the allowance ranks. He finished his career at Finger Lakes (N.Y.) with a win in a $4,000 claiming race.
11. Becky Holder will also be cruising around Rolex on Can’t Fire Me, a 1999 gelding by Fire Maker out of Dipped in White. “Ollie” ran seven times at Texas tracks, earning a measly $405.
12. Pam Fisher rides Sea Lion. Formally named Sea Elephant (Sea Salute—Ivory Today), he will be the only OTTB stallion to compete at Rolex!
13. Emily Beshear rides Here’s To You (Will’s Way—China Sky), formally named “Supplize.” He ran four times and won just under $2,000.
14. Jonathan Paget rides his mount from the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games: Clifton Promise. Formally known as “Bachelor Boy,” he’s by Engagement and out of Darn Style.
15. Doug Payne debuts at Rolex Kentucky on Patti Springsteen’s (yes, that Springsteen) Running Order, a tall dark bay by Luso and out of Ellen Gail. This big boy raced three times.
16. Beth Perkins rides Sal Dali, a giant dark bay gelding by Valdali out of Fittingly. Sal ran 12 times, earning just under $5,000 and ended his racing career at Thistledown (Ohio). As a side note, this horse was found when they went to look at CANTER listings for that track!
17. Will Faudree rides Andromaque, an Irish-bred Thoroughbred (Anshan—Gortnagle. This lovely mare was race-bred but never ran.
18. Andrew Nicholson rides Calico Joe, another race-bred Irish horse (Clerkenwell—Elle Sheree) who was unraced.
19. Andrew Nicholson will also ride Shady Grey, an Irish-bred gelding by Beauchamp King and reportedly out of a mare named Kim. Unfortunately, we couldn’t verify the pedigree, but Andrew does confirm that the horse was purchased from Scarvaugh Stud to be trained and resold as a steeplechase horse.
20. Sara Kozumplik rides Manolo Blahnik, a New Zealand-bred ex-racer.
21. Sarah (Sally) Cousins rides Tsunami III, formally known as Tsu Tsu Ro (Roanoke—Tsu Tsu Slew). This mare had 24 starts, earning just more than $35,000 and ending her career at Charles Town.
22. Kadi Eykamp rides Double Rivers Dillon, who raced under the name Doe Doe Bird, by then-popular Pennsylvania stallion Flying Pidgeon out of Betty Again. He raced seven times in the Mid-Atlantic area, earning $3,400.
23. Brittany Lunney rides Cool Dancer (Medium Cool—Highland Dance), who ran 31 times and won more than $118,000, ending his career at Hawthorne racetrack (Ill.).
24. Diana Burnett rides Shigatzi, formally named King Franc, an unraced Canadian-bred (Franc Coeur—Gables Girl).
Allie Conrad is executive director of CANTER Mid Atlantic, which provides retiring Thoroughbred racehorses with opportunities for new careers. Allie founded the organization in 1999 at Charles Town Racetrack (W.V.) after purchasing her beloved Thoroughbred Phinny, who had more than 60 starts at Charles Town, at the infamous New Holland Auction in Pennsylvania. A resident of Southern Pines, N.C., Allie also works full time as a project manager for a Washington, D.C., consulting firm. You can learn more about CANTER Mid Atlantic on their website, www.canterusa.org/midatlantic.