Maybe a compromise is to have a vet go give him a quicker once over for you. Just to see if he is worth pursuing.
This is an excellent idea, OP. Find a (sporthorse) vet and ask them to do a preliminary exam--palpate, flexion, jog. That should give you an idea of if it's worth the financial and time commitment of a 5 1/2 hour trip. If you don't know a vet in the area, there have been plenty of posts on COTH asking for vet recomendations, so I'm sure people would be helpful if you asked too. I can't imagine it would be much more than $100+farm call for a vet to do a quick preliminary exam.
For what it's worth, I think he looks nice. But like a lot of others have said, you need to see him move. Pictures don't tell the whole story.
The pasterns don't bother me - my late, great Big Mac had long pasterns - he foxhunted and did HT's for years with no lameness issues - he was incredibly smooth, too. I wouldn't get too hung up on the Mr. P either - look to see if he has bench knees, but that is about the only problem I've seen with the Mr. P's. PS I saw this horse posted a while ago - I'd make the 8 hour trip to see him if I had any room at all.
I'm sorry, but with those long, thin pasterns I wouldn't consider this horse for serious jumping over the long haul. With osselets on top of them = deal breaker
I don't think his pasterns are too long or thin....looking at him as a whole. Considering he raced...and held up....not sure why you think he would not hold up by looking at a photo. I've seen a few people stuck on this point and just don't get it.
What you DO need to see is how they move. If they have really "soft" pasterns with too much give then I have some concerns. But you can't tell this from the picture.
I do think that TBs shod on the track with a longer toe and low heel can make their pasterns look longer. But a horse like this, with a little length in the pastern is what gives you more suspension and elastic movement.
** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **
Bornfreenowexpensive, THANK YOU so much!!! To all the others who have suggested the same, thank you!!! I think I need to start drinking more caffeine because I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier! Thanks to you guys, I've called and set up to talk to the vet tm to give this guy a preliminary exam with flexions! It's the perfect compromise and only about 100bucks--I'm so excited! It will be a track vet, unfortunately, since apparently in CA the vets have to have a track license to work with the racing animals, but I feel okay about this as long as I can have a nice conversation with the vet on the phone first to get us on the same page. My trainer is going to be in for a surprise I feel very optimistic about this horse--the exercise rider/adoption middle-person told me he is an extremely athletic animal who is very very light on his feet, very uphill and springy, tries his hardest, and has a great head on his shoulders. Sure it could all be a sales pitch, but she runs a big off-the-track rehoming list like CANTER, so I want to trust her, at least enough to do the prelim checkup. I'm crossing my fingers now!