Retired Thoroughbreds, Happy Endings

Covert Action wasn’t much of a race horse, at least, not the kind of horse his bloodlines would have suggested.

The gelded son of Silver Deputy — who was the sire of champion Silverbulletday, among others — out of the unraced Secretariat mare Office Affair was bred to be something special.  It didn’t work out that way, though, and the horse found his way towards the bottom of the barrel.  Two of his three career victories came at the Northampton Fair in central Massachusetts — far from the bright lights his breeders, Windfields Farm, might have anticipated.

Of course, for most horses, the story is similar: bred to be, as they say, any kind of horse, ultimately fated to be no kind in particular.

It’s what happened next that made Covert Action’s story interesting.  He found his way to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s James River chapter.  That chapter — one of The Racing Biz’s Partners for Happy Endings — is dedicated, it says, to “second chances for horses and men.”

It brings together inmates at the Deep Meadow Correctional Institute and retired racehorses, giving the horses a new home and in some cases a new lease on life and the inmates both a potentially marketable skill for their post-prison lives — and something harder to define yet perhaps even more important.  Call it a new outlook.

Read more at The Washington Post, here.