Where are they now?

Every once in a while I get the urge to clean up my DRF watch list, about as often as I get the urge to clean out my closets or put away the stack of filing on my filing cabinet. And I act on the urge about as often as I file: the current stack on my cabinet dates back to 2006; my watch list dates back longer than that.

So my horse watch list contains a lot of horses about which I don’t hear much these days, and unfortunately, our sport doesn’t make it easy to find out where they are, especially if they weren’t particularly high-profile horses. But on this cold Brooklyn night, here’s what I know about where some of them are now, and why I liked them in the first place:

Madonna Lily: I saw her race in the White Carnation on the Belmont undercard in 2005; I don’t remember why I liked her, but I did, maybe because I used to have a cat named Lily. She finished second, but Judy Soda was DQ’d and Madonna Lily placed first, so I cashed. I don’t remember ever hearing much about her after that, though she raced at Belmont several times that fall.

When I did a Google search for Madonna Lily, I got a lot of botanical sites (apparently there’s a breed of flower called the Madonna Lily); narrowing the search to include “horse” or “mare” or “race,” I got some race results, and her sales page from the Keeneland November sale, in which she was entered as a broodmare prospect. Pedigree Query yields little, and I have no idea where she is now.

Sir Walter Rahy: Five or so years ago, I brought my friend Jessica to the races for the first time, at Saratoga. She doesn’t like to bet, but she does like to make picks, and she picked out this guy right away, probably because of the literary/historical allusions in his name. He won that day, I think, and when I’d see him entered after that, I’d often run around the corner to the OTB near my school and throw down a few dollars. I never cashed a ticket on him.

A Google search turns up pages and pages of information and results on him, including a Gulfstream chart from April of 06 that notes that he was pulled up and vanned off; his Pedigree Query entry contains the sickening news that he died in 2006. I had no personal connection to this horse at all, but I felt awful when I read this. He was a hard-working horse with a lot of heart, and he often finished on the board. I have no plans to remove him from my watch list at this point.

Zakocity: On Sunshine Millions day 2005, my friend Jonathan and I went to Aqueduct for simulcasting; a longshot, Zakocity (27 – 1) finished second behind super longshot Musique Toujours (70 – 1), for a $1,700.80 exacta. Zakocity paid $23.60 to place. There was some woulda, coulda, shoulda element to this…I boxed Musique Toujours in exactas but threw out Zakocity, whom I liked? I forgot to bet Zakocity to place? Something like that.

Zakocity raced a lot after that but somehow I completely lost sight of him. There is no dearth of electronic information available about him, and I had to stop myself from reading after about forty-five minutes. Pedigree Query tells us that he was “sent to Saudi Arabia as of 5/21/2005” (incredibly specific) to race for King Abdullah; at some point he got hurt and was away from the track for seven months. He came back to win two races in Saudi Arabia, racing as “Sattaie” and last winning (as far as I can tell) in January 2006. Thanks to the website of trainer Jere Smith for all of this information.

If you can read Japanese, you can check some of his race results here; if you prefer a translation, you can see Zakocity’s “order of arrival” here.

But where is he now? Google searches of “Zakocity retired,” “Zakocity stallion,” and “Zakocity stud” turn up nothing. Ditto for “Sattaie” replacing “Zakocity.” After January of 2006…he disappears.

A while ago Patrick over at Handride wrote about what he’d do if he were commissioner of racing; if I were, I’d create a database—free, of course—with information about every horse who ever raced in the US: where they were bred, where they sold and for how much, where they raced and how they did, when they were retired, where they went to stud/breeding, etc. I don’t even know if such a thing is possible, but these are only three of five or six horses on my list, and two of them disappear without a trace (which I am actually watching as I write this. Or at least it’s on; I have no idea what’s going. I love TNT (edited to note: I was not actually watching Without A Trace; it was Cold Case. Damn.). I don’t pretend that this is a realistic endeavor, but if I had a racing fairy godmother, this is one of the things I’d wish for.

Do any of YOU know where they are?

9 thoughts on “Where are they now?

  1. Okay, call me a total computer geek, but I found this about Madonna Lily…Keeneland sales records show she sold at that Nov 2005 sale for $180,000 to Gulf Coast Farm LLC—Lance Robinson and Jerry Bailey (not the jock), and is probably boarded at either Taylor Made Farm or Viking Stud. See: http://breederscup.com/bio.aspx?id=28678 Here’s a KHRA document that says she gave birth to a foal by Stormy Atlantic in 2007: http://www.khra.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/16EFDD2D-089A-4539-962C-E532C77F6BC4/0/BornDuringorafter2007.xls

  2. I can relate closely to this post. I usually try to clean up my watches once a year (about this time actually) mostly because I am adding new horses and I am at my limit at both drf and equibase (still room at bris). Mares, I can track if they have had offspring. But, geldings are harder. Especially since I’ve had some disappear for years and then appear again.

  3. i’m adding your ideas to my campaign, a database of where are they now like a post script to pp’s would be awesome.

  4. I knew somebody would find this a challenge to me, and I should have figured it would be our Pedigree Queen Valerie–I tried to find her at Taylor Made and Viking, but so far nothing. Thanks for looking into it.Patrick: let me know if you need an assistant commissioner, OK?

  5. What a blast from the past. June 11, 2005, Belmont Park, Race 4 was first ticket I played, and the first I cashed! The Madonna Lily-Judy Soda quinella payed $26, and the Quinella Queen was born.

  6. Very thoughtful entry. Like you, I peruse over the names of many of the horses I enjoyed and wagered on. Some I remember, “Hey, he was a goodie!” while others would cause me to frown at the dollars thrown away because they were actually crummy dobbins and I must of consumed one too many margaritas when I watched them race the first time. And then, of course, the ones that are sadly gone …

  7. Quinn: I am pleased to have reminded you of a good racing memory…I remember being in the stands and hoping against hope for the DQ, and exulting when it came in.Sue: There are horses in my list now that I look at and go, “Who? Why the hell is this one in there?” Usually it has to do with my having put one in for my father, at his request, so that I can alert him to an entry. Not enthusiastic about embracing the internet age, for him I am a living/breathing watch list.Unfortunately, with the death this week of Hesanoldsalt, another sad reminder lives on in the list.

  8. I just googled Sir Walter Rahy. Funny I came across your blog. That race of his at Saratoga was my greatest near miss of all time. I was 0-for-Saratoga, about three days at the track. Sir Walter was lightly raced, but there was something in his pedigree or PP’s that I liked. He was about 25-1 … I used him on the bottom of the tri and in the last two slots of the super. He out ran his odds and “won” a photo for second … Which meant I lost – $25,000 super and about a 10,000 triple, as the winner himself was about 9-1.

    Unreal. I loved that horse. Or maybe, I love to hate him !!!

    • This is one of my favorite things–when someone looks for news about a horse they loved or watched, and lands at Brooklyn Backstretch. Was so sad to hear he broke down…but glad to hear that other people paid attention to him.

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