Retirement Ceremony For Millionaire Drafted To Highlight Saratoga's New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Retirement Ceremony For Millionaire Drafted To Highlight Saratoga’s New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day

Drafted winning the 2022 Toboggan at Aqueduct

A retirement ceremony for globetrotting millionaire Drafted will highlight the festivities for the third annual New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day, to be held Thursday, Aug. 17, at Saratoga Race Course. Drafted was retired through New York's TAKE THE LEAD Program to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption in early July after a 38-race career. Owned by Dublin Fjord Stables, Racepoint Stables, Kevin Hilbert and Thomas O'Keefe, the 9-year-old gelding was trained by David Duggan for his last 22 starts. He competed on three continents and retired with 10 wins and $1,171,593 in earnings.

New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day, hosted by the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA), and New York Thoroughbred Breeders (NYTB), was created in 2021 to put the spotlight on the state's commitment to responsible retirement. As Duggan noted, “We used to hope that horses would end up in a good place when they retired; now we know they do, thanks to everyone in New York coming together to make aftercare a priority. We want to promote all that's being done, and Drafted is the perfect poster boy for this event.”

He added, “He has been so good to us. It's been said – he's like a little genie, everyone who touches him gets their wish. These horses, they just keep giving, so it is our responsibility to make sure they end up in the right place with the right people and find the right second career. There is life after the racetrack for these horses, and it is great to see.”

New Vocations' Anna Ford said the popular gray has settled right in to his new routine.

“From the day he walked off the trailer he has adjusted extremely well to his new life,” Ford said. “With his first couple rides at the farm, you can tell he loves having a job. We are honored to help him transition during this next chapter of his life.”

The winner's circle ceremony for Drafted will take place before the first race, at approximately 12:45 p.m.

While it remains to be seen what second career might best suit Drafted, more than 1,000 TAKE THE LEAD retirees have found their post-racing niche. Four retired racehorses will be on hand on Aftercare Day to show the new skills they have learned.

New Vocations will bring out Bielefeld, who is following a very unusual path and now takes part in Revolutionary War reenactments, and Soaring Star, enjoying a more conventional second act in the hunter/jumper arena.

ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption will perform demonstrations with Dangerous Edge, a beginner dressage horse, and Deregulation, who is so quiet that he wins blue ribbons while carrying small children and inexperienced adults in lead-line classes at local horse shows.

The demonstrations will be held on track near the winner's circle just before Saratoga's first and second races Aug. 17.

Behind the grandstand, racing fans and horse lovers can meet two retired racehorses in NYRA's Horse Sense stall. From 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., 8-year-old New York-bred Quietly Quick will represent the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, while Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue will have the two-time Saratoga winner Woodville on hand from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The day's featured race is named in honor of the late Rick Violette, who was a catalyst for the aftercare movement in New York while serving as the NYTHA President. Violette was behind the creation of TAKE2 and TAKE THE LEAD, and was a founding member of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.

Post time for Thursday's card will be 1:10 p.m. Racing fans will be able to donate to TAKE THE LEAD by texting AFTERCARE2023 to 44321 to make a contribution, or can make a donation to the TAA when cashing a winning ticket on an AmTote International self-service betting terminal. All donations are tax-deductible. New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day events are free with paid admission.

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