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.
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?