JC / Railbird

Old Friends

Be Retired

Well wishes for Be Bullish, who retires a winner after eight years on track. The 10-year-old gelding started in 87 races, won 19, and earned more than $1.1 million. He’s the kind of horse who fills most cards, most days, year after year at racetracks major and minor — sound enough and classy enough to compete at the allowance level or in overnight stakes, but inevitably falling into lower and lower claiming spots as he ages and slows. He’s the kind of horse who becomes a fan favorite, because he’s consistent and game.

“All great athletes have to retire some time, and not too many great athletes get to retire at the top of their game,” said owner Mike Repole, who claimed Be Bullish for $16,000 from trainer David Jacobson on Sunday at Belmont Park (quote link subscriber only). His final win was his third this year, his fourth straight. The gelding will be sent to Old Friends Cabin Creek.

After the Racetrack

Our Revival had a modest career as a racehorse — she won her maiden at Keeneland, and then won 10 more times in 34 starts, at tracks such as Tampa Bay and Suffolk Downs — but trainer John Botty remembered her well:

“She was like a street fighter. She mostly won off the pace. She didn’t mind dirt in her face, she relished it,” says Botty, who claimed her as a 3-year-old in 2003. “She was like Dustin Pedroia, never afraid to get dirty. Like Milan Lucic, not afraid to dig in the corners.”

Thank goodness, because when the mare turned up at auction in Texas, it was Botty — and a network of dedicated horse people — who ensured she ended up at Old Friends in Kentucky and not at a Mexican slaughterhouse.

Botty is also one of the many trainers at Suffolk Downs who work with CANTER New England to move horses from the track to a second career when their racing days are over. The organization’s annual end-of-the-meet showcase is scheduled for Sunday, October 14, beginning at 8:30 AM, and if you’re looking for a new jumper, eventer, or companion (or you know someone who is), be sure to put the Suffolk showcase on your calendar — it’s a chance to check out several horses up close and talk to their connections. Browse the listings of currently available horses; more will be added in coming weeks!

If you’re wondering what an off-track Thoroughbred is capable of, here’s just one success story of many: Unbridled’s Jewel, renamed The Tempest and pictured below with her owner and Susan Salk of Off-Track Thoroughbreds, was the star of a Steuart Pittman eventing clinic earlier this year, mere months after leaving the Suffolk Downs backstretch.

The Tempest