Monday, August 15, 2016

OTTB Scavenger Hunt

First off, thank you to everyone for the positive words on my last post! I loved seeing the comments, even if I didn't reply back. Grad school is back in full swing, along with working my bum off to try and pay off some bills AND slowly packing because we are moving houses and barns (Bangor and myself getting an appt together-finally).... its just a bit overwhelming sometimes!

Sadly, along with everything else, I did not get to ride this weekend because of the torrential & constant downpour, but I am not complaining. Rain= softer ground. Our indoor is like actual cement right now and I refuse to ride B on it, so I am at the mercy of the weather until we move to New Farm. 

Which, by the way, I got a tour this weekend and I WILL be posting photos soon if Supertrainer is OK with it. It is...stunning...and massive. 60 boarders...yikes. Yanks DID have a clinic there this weekend with a catch rider (her horse was lame) and Cathy Weischoff and he was perfect, as usual. I wasn't in attendance but I got some pics (geek at the 200x200 arena, omg) on Friday was she rode briefly to get accustomed to him.

Sass master

This arena...I was standing in the middle of it. SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES

Yanks was a wee sassy because he hasn't been half halted properly in months and was mad he had to actually use himself, but otherwise they got along really well. Props to her for riding him so well! He might be the hardest easy horse to ride, if that makes sense. Yanks will ABSOLUTELY take advantage of you if you don't ask for the thing correctly and generally will loaf off like a goon. H made him wake up and actually use his back, but once he got over the sass he was lit and really enjoyed the jump clinic!

This post has nothing really to do with clinics, and jumping and riding though. It has more to do with racing. 

If you are not aware by now, both of my boys raced for several years and B was actually quite successful. I adopted Yankee from New Vocations in 2004 and I am actually an ambassador for them (ask me anything!). NV is an OTTB adoption center that helps OTTBs find new homes. I unfortunately either never got Yankee papers, or I lost them (probably the latter, I was an incredibly disorganized child). Bacardi I bought off Facebook, and paid much more than should have, but I had to have him. I knew his previous owner and she luckily had papers on him. 

And race pics!!

However. I still knew very little about either of them, except that Yankee was fast as fuck, but too aggressive to pay attention to racing, despite being the sweetest horse ever on the ground. Consequently, he was gelded early. B won a bit, was incredibly fast and strong, but apparently was handed around and not exactly treated the best, poor fellow. A lot of his baggage I am positive comes from the track.

Yanks doing what he does best
Despite the hate that quite a few popular bloggers spew about OTTBs, I am sold for life. There is nothing like them, and their heart and determination is unparalleled. If you can deal with the quirks, which for I actually love and find unique, they are simply the best. Incredible athletes and so very willing to try hard for you. Nothing compares to letting them open up out in a field and to feel their hoofbeats in your throat. Amazing, really.

All of my friends like galloping him too

However, because I adopted and bought second hand, I have almost zero history on either of them. Sure, I have their pedigrees...but that does nothing for me. I envy those that buy from breeders and have baby pics, show records, thorough history etc. I want that, so bad. Even the OTTB owners that have history...I low key hate you, haha.

Whats worse is I used to have a picture of Yankee from his yearling sale, but fricken lost it when one of my shitty laptops died on me. Back everything up people. 

End goal is to find some baby pics, maybe a race pic or two...but ultimately I WANT A BABY PIC DAMMIT. NEED THAT SHIT.

Yankee is coming on 15 years old this next January (WTF, how) and might be too old to ever find anything on him, but I should get points for trying, because I tried way too hard to find SOMETHING on him.

One weekend I spent approximately 4 hours googling and digging through the TB pedigree site for clues. I FINALLY found who bred him (Doris M Moses), but she might as well be a ghost. Google turns nothing up on her except other breeder listings of other horses. No website, no contact info, nothing. I've even tried looking at who she's syndicated or involved with and nothing. There was a Wolf Pen LLC, but that was a dead end too. FRUSTRATING.

I did find, after what seemed like digging forever through sale archives, his hip number, date and location of sale as well as who he was sold to; 

On February 2, 2003, Yankee Wonder, hip no 48 was sold to J. A. Mohamed at the 2003 KY Mid-Winter sale, found on Fasig-Tipton's site.

Initially I was incredibly jazzed thinking FINALLY, a lead! But again, his buyer is a ghost just like his breeder. WHOMP WHOMP. I googled the name with everything I could think of, including "thoroughbred", but nothing really turned up. Looks like someone with that name is either a Dr, or an author and not a horse owner. I can't find jack diddly on anything. I am sure they go to great lengths to remain invisible online, because of nosey people like me, but god dammit I just want a baby pic!!!

I might have to bug NV staff and see if they have any records on him, because I found essentially nothing and now I am sad.

In regards to Bacardi, I actually have the farm that bred him, R & R Thoroughbred Stables, but AGAIN that led to nothing... at first. After an extreme amount of googling, I found what might be an email contact for the farm, but I really am not positive. I have yet to hear anything from them since my email.

I need to go back through and look at his papers, but it looked like he had exchanged hands about 12 times in his short career, which is really sad, but I am hoping to find more insight on the giant scar on his front right leg, as well as his issues trailering. 

This is surprisingly the only "good" pic I have of it. It spiders  up and down his entire RF cannon bone , but you can't really tell from this photo.

I wonder if they are linked somehow? Maybe a trailer accident. I do know that even at 7 he is incredibly accident prone, so I wouldn't be surprised if the scar on his leg is from an accident as a foal. I just wanna know!!

But for real though. I just want baby pics. I WANT THEM BAD. I just want to see their cute little nosey's and maybe find a scrap of information about what they were like as wee bebe's. Was Yankee a shit head, or adorable? Was Bacardi timid, or not? I really want to know these things.

For those of you with OTTBs, how much do you know on your horse(s)? How did you find out? 

Any suggestions I will gladly take!


  1. I know very little about Moe. I know the name of his breeder and was able to find a report of his first and only race through Equibase, but that's about it. I'd love to see baby Moe!

    Gina did not go to the track, but I don't know why. She has a few full sisters who did race, and she's bred to race, but she was sold to a breeding farm in Oklahoma as a two year old. After they quit the business, she bounced from h/j barn to h/j barn before landing at a therapeutic riding center. (From what I understand, they wanted to use her for vaulting...WTF!) Baby Gina was probably pretty cute!

  2. Bloggers spew hate about OTTBs? That is news to me! I guess I don't read those blogs.

    Carlos I knew quite a bite without actually having his papers. We got him at 5 as a stallion and his tattoo was super easy to discern. I was very fortunate one of my close friends worked for the Jockey Club around the time I had to put him down. She was able to speak with someone from his home country Jockey Club and they sent me his win picture <3 I cherish it

    1. To be fair, they don't usually on their blogs, more so on their Facebooks. But it has been mentioned in one particular rather famous blog a few times

    2. Also, I woudk totally cherish that omg < 3

  3. I cherish my ottbs, but my first two I only ever found pedigrees for, because one was pre-internet (mailed a check to the jockey club to get a dot matrix print out of his pedigree) and the next was Canadian and the internet was still pretty much useless. For Eli, I have pedigree and found video and pictures from some races, and a winner's circle picture that I am still considering buying (but Coady is expensive). His sire's farm's site hasn't been updated recently and I can't find anything with his track trainer's name online, so no baby pics for me, either.

    1. Where and how did you find race stuff

    2. Equibase, by horse name. I think you might need a login to access video, but earnings and trainer and jockey is all there.

    3. And not all tracks/races have video links via Equibase. You could try the tracks' websites, too for video, or at least get the photographer/videographer info. In my area (Eli raced in TX and LA), it seems like a lot of Coady photography.

  4. I found a baby photo of my OTTB, More Secrets online by tracking down her sale history on Equibase. She was unnamed, and listed for $27000 (but didn't sell) It's fun to look at the baby photos and see how much she still really looks the same :D

  5. I found Don's breeder through property records and a newspaper article thst had her phone number at the bottom. So I drove by the property once in the evening and I called the phone number once and left a voicemail. I got a voicemail back that I will forever cherish about how he was one of her favorite horses she ever bred and you can hear her choke up a little when she says she'd really love to see him.

    It was six months after he died that I went on this quest and I couldn't bring myself to leave a voicemail that he was dead so I still don't know if she knows. I have been meaning to write her an actual physical letter to the address on the record but every time I try there just are no words to describe what he meant ro me.

  6. I was lucky enough to have Roger's breeder's contact info and was able to score some adorable baby pics of him! The previous owner purchased him right from the track, and as far as I know, he belonged to the breeder during his racing career, so he didn't have a ton of owners before me.

    I also don't know that much about pedigrees and breeding, so maybe Carly would be the best person to answer your question?

  7. I never dug too hard, but I do know my boy was bred by the racecar drive AJ Foyt -- all his horses started with "A.J 's" (I have A.J.'s Steel). At one point I found an awesome photo of my horses sire (he was the spitting image!!) but like you, I lost it in a computer crash 😑 I wish there were am easier way to find out more though!

  8. Bobby I was lucky enough (I guess?) to yank out of the womb, so I know his whole history literally from day one. Red was bred like a fucking king and treated as such his whole life so he was super easy to get in contact with anyone that crossed paths with him. My only other OTTB that I've full out owned was Storm and he was a stakes runner so again, super easy to get in touch with his people. Email anyone you can find that even might be related. If nothing else, they can just reply back, "Sorry, never heard of horses before in my life, crazy girl." Never know who you might stumble on though!

  9. So I think Gen was much older than 15 when I finally looked up his stuff. I actually didn't know Gen's real name (which turned out to be Mexican General, although his name when I got him was General Lee) so I was able to read his lip tattoo and go off of that. I feel like you can go off of name as well. You need to create a jockey club account, which I feel like I did for somewhere between $25-$50. That will give you the breeding and racing info.
    From there I was able to look up the old tracks that Gen raced at and I got in touch with the track photographer after a little bit of internet sleuthing. Baby pictures may be a challenge, but they may still have some from when they were 2 or 3. It is worth a try right?

  10. I never had any luck tracking down baby pictures for Cuna--he was bred by a corporation that doesn't exist and no one knows anything about it. His trainer had a fantastic reputation, but she died in a car accident years before I got him.

    Courage came from a giant breeding operation and aside from confirming he came from there, they had no info. Apparently they breed way too many to keep pictures of them. Alas. I just enjoy all the amazing racing pictures of him that Alyssa took. :-) Also someone in CA liked him enough to upload a picture of him with a different trainer to pedigree query, so that's cool.

  11. Oh my god I know the struggle. I was able to get a race picture that took me nearly 6 months to track down. I contacted the breeder and no response. I couldn't find anything about his previous owners. When I bought him I remembered that he came from some adoption facility so maybe I'll try that route next? Probably Canter California? Ries has scars on his neck and gaskin that the owner mentioned something about barbed wire? You just reopened my can of worms.

  12. I don't know if you've already seen this, but I found his three-year-old sales listing from Fasig-Tipton at Scroll down to In Good Company, LLC (PDF at In Good Company has a website at - I wonder if they'd have more info?

    Probably less helpful, but I also saw a weird video at

    1. Oops, should have mentioned all this is about Bacardi.

    2. I also found a potential email address ( and two phone numbers (304-756-9240 and 434-922-7738) for Doris Moses. I'm going to stop now. :)

    3. You are a freaking magician

      I'm terrible at this business

    4. I've been reading your blog forever - I might as well put my weird Google skills to good use in return!

    5. I'm going to email her ASAP and she what happens. Thank you omg!!

  13. I don't think any of the bigger blogs I have read ever have OTTB hate but I guess I don't read whatever you are referring to.

    I bought Annie from a trainer/breeder based at Ellis Park in IN/KY. She didn't race so there was no history there but luckily because it was a small operation her owner had plenty of pictures for me. LOVE baby pics!

  14. I managed to find the youtube clip of my mares one and only start using Equibase...cross reference the track name, and day of race to search on Youtube. She was racing in 2009ish so maybe B would have the same luck!

  15. I feel your pain on the history -- I was able to trace Miles back to the girl who re-started him, but she couldn't remember where she got him from... and yeah. That's where the trail goes cold, so no baby pics for me. BUT considering we didn't even know if he was a Thoroughbred for sure when I bought him, I'm fairly happy with that knowledge, lol

  16. Chrome was the first horse I've ever bought from a breeder and I love knowing his whole history and having baby pictures. It is definitely a nice perk hehe. There is so much mystery though with OTTBs. It's so fun. I had a blast researching the OTTB I had. My first OTTB I never found anything on because that was sooooo long ago lol. I never did find any baby pictures of my second one either though... :( They seem really rare for older OTTBs. Maybe baby pictures are a new thing?


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