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OTTB Owners - How much of your horse's history have you tracked down?

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  • OTTB Owners - How much of your horse's history have you tracked down?

    I just thought this was kind of a fun topic, as I've researched as much into my guy's history as I could find. Originally I just had his papers and pedigree (Pack O' Gold), but then I found equibase and found out his racing history (he was terrible: Equibase). I'd given up hope on finding any pics or videos from his racing days, but I couldn't sleep last night and did some googling...turns out calracing.com has video archives going back several years, and I found videos of all his races. The site I found the link on has a list of many tracks that have live videos and replays on their website: Clicky. Now not only do I have a record of how terrible he was on the track, I got to watch it all on video. I'm certainly grateful - I wouldn't have him if he was any good at racing!

    My favorite part is that his silks were BRIGHT pink. People can no longer make fun of me for making blue "his" color...

    So, have you delved into your OTTB's history? Found anything fun/interesting/hilarious?

  • #2
    I have, using Equibase also. My horse didn't race well either, although if you read the comments, it looks like he was never in shape- was running well and then ran out of steam in the stretch : (

    I also looked into the history of an OTTB I took in for training and was surprised how many times he changed owners AND trainers in a fairly short period of time- no wonder the poor horse was confused!

    Comment


    • #3
      Far be it for me to sound like a party pooper, but this research should be done before you purchase your OTTb. There are a lot of clues to soundness, health, treatment and so on from their race records and who their connections were. Me personally I watch all the videos available for any horse I am considering to watch it's movement, ease of lead change, and possible footage of them jogging as they pull up after the race and come back to be unsaddled.

      I read their charts to see what equipment and medications were used. And while I agree some of the win photos, owners colors and silly bahavior can be funny, a lot of things exist on paper that could further aid me in in saying "Yes I have to have him!" or "Ohhhhh. No way."

      Just as an example...

      I look for the sudden appearance of front bandages after a bad race or two

      More than a 3 month hiatus that's not due to winter or track changes, and this is not sooo applicable to turf horses who rarely get to run year round unless they're with a top tier stable.

      I look for any changes of what was typical already. And it helps I worked on the track and know the "code" for what a change usually means. (Note I say "usually" not all changes are bad)

      Change can also be brought on when a horse no longer wants to play the game. You may see a known aggressive jockey be brought in instead of a known quiet jockey.

      I always look out for horses who have been pulled up of vanned off. This isn't an automatic no, but it does bring into play a very extensive vetting. And they'd better be the next best thing to sliced bread already to look into them more.

      Also to dbolte.... 3 things can cause running out of steam in the stretch:

      1: Lack of fitness
      2: Bleeding
      3: Airway issues, flipped a palette etc

      All in all I personally will pass/fail a horse for myself based on their record. But the rest of you should use it as a tool. The same way you would look up a show/event record up to verify if the horse is successful at it's job or if you're walking into a re-training situation.

      Know what you're up against before you decide to do it. And that way it's far more likely that you and your OTTB will get along.

      I have offered before and I do so again. I am more than happy to help anyone decipher their Tb's record into english. Just send me a PM and I'll let you know what stuff means.

      ~Emily
      "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

      Comment


      • #4
        I WISH I knew who my horse really is! Sadly no tattoo so it will forever more be a mystery.
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home

        Comment


        • #5
          Good post, Emily. I think I would also want to know as much via investigative record deciphering beforehand... but id definitely need the help of someone more literate in race world than myself.

          I haven't owned one (yet!!) But get into moods where I just dearly want to know more about the tb's past lives. OP (not original poster, but Over Point, who was the tb of years past) was said to be a poor racer, but he had actually won a decent amount, and his sire is in the Canadian Hall of Fame. Never found pics of OP, but have found memorabilia for his sire. The two horses looked so identical it brought tears to my eyes (op has been gone for years now). They also both died from heart conditions at a relatively young age (17 and 18).
          The current tb was a much poorer racer.... As in, 4% of OP's earnings :-) not much to be found about his sire or dam, but harder to do a search too, because their names are common words.

          What I wouldn't give for race photos, foal pictures...... :-) I hold steady in my belief that both of those boys would have been THE cutest babies in the world.

          Comment


          • #6
            See I maintain that the Jockey Club is missing out on a very lucrative cash cow. Foal pictures.

            IMHO these could be scanned into the system when the horse is recorded, as I believe they may do already.

            Then sell the digital images of the pics for $10 or more a pop for personal use to future owners.

            I am telling you. CASH COW.

            I would pay a ton for Lad's baby pics.

            ~Emily
            "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

            Comment


            • #7
              I looked at his race record before I called on him, and later I found a free way to watch some of his races (he really IS a sprinter--his style was 'get out front, stay there, and hope they run out of track before you run out of gas.') There actually isn't much that I would need to track down, as he went straight from racing to me. Have all his papers so I know all his race owners and what he won where, know he ran on Salix (the vet certificate is stapled to them), and I know his breeder. I did try to track him down, but unfortunately the FL TOBA said he passed away a few years ago.

              The one fun thing Google produced was an article on Brooklyn Backstretch using Lucky as an example of those journeyman geldings who go along from track to track (and a payoff on a hunch bet-he paid $72 on one of his wins.) Teresa was happy when I left a comment letting her know one of the old-campaigner types she'd been following was in a retirement home once he disappeared from the virtual stable notifications.
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              Steampunk Sweethearts

              Comment


              • #8
                I did the Equibase research/race video research before my little mare hopped off the trailer at my farm.

                I tried emailing the owners/breeders (one in the same, a large farm in CT, and she was only three, so in recent memory) and didn't get any response. A shame, since I too would LOVE to have some baby photos.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I bought my guy after he had been two years off the track, and already well into re-training and the like, so my biggest concerns regarding his potential were not based in his race training from 2 years ago I definitely concur that if you're buying straight off the track or recently off the track, you should do as much research as possible.

                  My guy's "style" was really just go to rear of the pack, and stay there. There was one race where he was up in 2nd for the first furlong or so, but he got crowded out and wound up coming in last. His owner, jockey, and trainer stayed the same throughout his racing career.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I bought my little mare at the track, so I had the opportunity to talk to her trainer, and I learned that she was a sturdy, affectionate, quirky mare who did not race well on dirt. I looked her up online to see her papers and how much she'd won (a whooping $35,000 in 2 years). I contacted the track photographer to see if I could find a win photo, and he sent me a nice one.
                    I'd love to watch videos of her races but it's been a while now (she's 13) so I don't really know where to look.
                    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by big_red_ottb View Post
                      I bought my guy after he had been two years off the track, and already well into re-training and the like, so my biggest concerns regarding his potential were not based in his race training from 2 years ago I definitely concur that if you're buying straight off the track or recently off the track, you should do as much research as possible.
                      Ok but here's the problem with this way of thinking. If you don't do research, and the people before you thought he was the cutest pony ever with socks and a blaze and he'd had a real problem.... No one would know it. You wouldn't know ahead of time and yes 2 years of retraining should show the issues, but it's not a guarantee to. If you are investing more than $1 you should always protect your time, effort and money by doing the background research. It will protect you better than assuming that all his track issues are done because "Fluffy" is no longer at the track.

                      Emily
                      "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am lucky, I know all of my boy's owners, with the exception of the first two, and the third bought him from the 2nd. The first was the breeder, and he raced for the breeder. His best finish was third and I have not been able to find any race pics of him.
                        And nothing bad happened!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I got my gelding from his breeder and pretty much got his entire history. I saw the picture from his one winning race. And I met a farrier who used to ride for his former trainer and had very nice things to say about him--total coincidence! I watched his race replays after I'd had him a little while......super slow starter but had a good closing kick, and was best at a mile or better (only win at 1 1/16ths). The only thing noticeable about his reports is that it said "Failed to menace" on most of his races. He's about the least menacing horse I've ever known
                          I love my Econo-Nag!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The breeders/race owners of my OTTB were given my information and didn't want anything to do with me. I'll be caring for their "broke when I got him" horse until the day he dies and jeez, the least they could do is send me baby pictures if they have him. Ugh.

                            I know everyone who had him between the breeder/racer and me (only 2 people, both COTHers) and they're super. One was the communicator between me and the breeder (I sent them a "I have your horse and he's in a forever home" note when I bought him and x-mas cards that went unanswered for several years before I gave up). As far as I can tell, the breeders bred a whopping 2 horses and can't be bothered. Frustrating.
                            ~Veronica
                            "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                            http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The previous owners of my OTTB gave me copies of his pedigree/record (Equibase) when I was inquiring about him. They got him from New Vocations, no papers were released. Everything from Equibase and what his owners told me matches up with what I have learned about him as I got to know him as well as the pre-purchase exam.

                              I do wish, however, that I could find race pictures, video, ANYTHING from his younger days. I haven't been able to. I know what I need to about his health and history, but I would love to see what he was like back then. Just a cool piece of his history.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I *think* I know some stuff about my two OTTBs, but it's all hearsay.

                                Pony #1: Was being raced in Florida near the end of the season, got an abscess and they chose to retire rather than rehab. His stats kind of justify that, it seems. I feel like he might have been claimed as deceased... The people who sold him to me were super fishy about getting me his papers. I was just a kid at the time and my parents didn't know any better so... I have no idea if that is accurate or not. For a long time, too, the online data bases did not have any information on him, which was weird because I have a winners circle picture with his name clear on it, so I know I have it accurate. He raced at Finger Lakes a bunch, and the people I got him from are Rochester-based so that part makes sense.

                                Pony #2: Raced in Canada, failed at the track, was on trial with some BNR (or maybe his kid?) in Canada (at the time I didn't recognize the name, but I also barely knew the top US riders at the time so... meh) and the kid passed. Horse made its way into the US and was with a well-respected WNY training outfit for a little bit, sent to a lesson barn near me for trial, the person passed and I just happened to be there to snatch him up. Online stalking lead me to learn he was born/bred in Arkansas and got some starts down there, too. Sadly I didn't get this guy's papers, either, but it was more of a "too far removed/too many cooks" transaction and I think it just kind of fell through the cracks. The papers for an OTTB are more sentimentally valuable than anything else, and I think it just wasn't really a priority for the various sellers, even if they meant well.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Xctrygirl View Post
                                  Ok but here's the problem with this way of thinking. If you don't do research, and the people before you thought he was the cutest pony ever with socks and a blaze and he'd had a real problem.... No one would know it. You wouldn't know ahead of time and yes 2 years of retraining should show the issues, but it's not a guarantee to. If you are investing more than $1 you should always protect your time, effort and money by doing the background research. It will protect you better than assuming that all his track issues are done because "Fluffy" is no longer at the track.

                                  Emily
                                  I'm really not sure what really huge problem wouldn't have come up in an extensive PPE with rads or a well documented history of his retraining with a legitimate trainer with whom I am familiar and trust. But fair enough, I suppose. My bad for not doing research that I wasn't entirely aware was even possible before I bought him.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by dreaminOTTB View Post
                                    The previous owners of my OTTB gave me copies of his pedigree/record (Equibase) when I was inquiring about him. They got him from New Vocations, no papers were released. Everything from Equibase and what his owners told me matches up with what I have learned about him as I got to know him as well as the pre-purchase exam.

                                    I do wish, however, that I could find race pictures, video, ANYTHING from his younger days. I haven't been able to. I know what I need to about his health and history, but I would love to see what he was like back then. Just a cool piece of his history.
                                    He won four times, twice at Beulah and twice at Thistledown. Call the tracks and ask for the track photographer. Have ready his race number and date of win. Also have a credit card to pay for the pics and shipping. Should be roughly $20 a pic.

                                    ~Emily
                                    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Xctrygirl View Post
                                      He won four times, twice at Beulah and twice at Thistledown. Call the tracks and ask for the track photographer. Have ready his race number and date of win. Also have a credit card to pay for the pics and shipping. Should be roughly $20 a pic.

                                      ~Emily
                                      Beulah also has live race replays going back a few years. Click Using the equibase info, you can find the days and race #'s and probably track down video of any races he had there. :-)

                                      ETAx2: Oh bah. Found his reg. name on your blog, and his last races at Beulah were in '06, and their videos only go back to Jan 1, 2007 :-(

                                      ETA: To access replays, go to "Live Racing" in the sidebar and then click race replays. Then navigate the calendar.

                                      Thistledown doesn't appear to have any videos.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Both of mine were unraced.

                                        My current mare sat in a field for a couple of years with her dam before my trainer got both of them. She was way past weanling age so I assume she got some race training and then was turned back out.

                                        My gelding went through the Keeneland yearling sale, was bought by a race trainer, then was sold to a polo player, then went through the Aiken Select Polo Pony sale, then went to another polo player before arriving at my place, all before the age of 3!

                                        I don't recall anyone mentioning it, but I suppose there's no hope in hell of getting the xrays required for the big sales like Keeneland that buyers at the auction can look at. Would they be kept on file?

                                        Comment

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