Friday, May 11, 2012

Oil Money's Dream--a quest from TB to OTTB

In my last post, I mentioned purchasing/obtaining a racehorse. Here is her story.

Sometime in 2009, my husband was at Arlington Park for a routine day of handicapping. While looking over the PP's there, he noticed the damsire of a particular horse: Hot Oil. The name caught his eye because not only is that Limerick's sire, but it's also a name that you don't see much these days.

He was able to get a look at her, and reported back to me that she was a small mare with a blaze--well now, that sounds like my kind of horse! I eventually saw her for myself, and she was indeed cute--very cute. Standing about 15.1 or 15.2, her "shape" is almost like that of a cross between a Quarter Horse and Arab, rather than a Thoroughbred. She had a wispy, thin tail and big soulful eyes. Her name was Oil Money's Dream.

Oil Money's Dream at Arlington Park, June 2010

I added her to my Virtual Stable and began following her. She would finish in the money sometimes, and it was cool to see a 'niece' of Limerick's running. In early 2011, I found out that Owen Rainwater, her trainer, passed away. I wasn't sure what would happen to the mare. A few months later, I got a notification that she was at Mountaineer under Bart Baird. She won her first race with him.

I hoped she would be okay there, despite the track not having the most stellar of reputations. A few months went by and I didn't receive any more notifications. Then in February, I received a single workout notification for her at Mountaineer. She did 3f in 39:20, ranking 28 out of 33 for the day.

After that day, she was entered in races nearly every other week, starting in March.

March 5: 5k claimer, finished 7th, beaten by 9 lengths
March 16, 5k claimer, finished 5th, beaten by 3 lengths
April 6, 5k claimer, finished 5th, beaten by 8-1/2 lengths
April 24, 5k claimer, finished 5th, beaten by 11 3/4 lengths

Each race had 7-8 horses on average. This mare was clearly tiring, and she was being over-run, particularly for a nine year old mare. While it's not uncommon to see geldings being raced up to this age, it is unusual to see mares still on the track when they are approaching double digits in age.

I began to worry about this mare. Finally, I began asking around. "What can I do? I can't afford another horse, but I want to help this one somehow." Most people had no answer for me, but finally I found a woman that gave me the name of another, who in turn gave me the names and contact information of a couple ladies at Mountaineer that could help.

"What can I do?" turned into "How can I do this?", which turned into deciding that I was willing to pay money--$300--for this mare, which gave me the confidence to try to get in touch with Baird via my contacts at the track.We contacted him on May 2, and his response was that he wanted to enter the mare in another race in a couple weeks. Depending upon how she did in that one, he would either enter her again or give her up to me.

I began asking for advice regarding the next step. Initially, I thought I would try to find a home for her closer to Mountaineer. But I hardly know anyone close to the track. One of the women I asked for advice--Lori--suggested that I have the mare vanned back to IL. That way it would be much easier for me to rehome her. With that seed planted in my head, I began digging around for possible homes, as well as how I could have her vanned from Mountaineer.

Unfortunately, while there are routes from Mountaineer to Hawthorne or Arlington, they are not very common. Furthermore, I was quoted anywhere from $450 to $1500 for this! Then Lori had a suggestion--for the cost of diesel, she and I could road trip it to Mountaineer to pick the mare up ourselves. At around the same time, Christine with Teener Thoroughbreds said she had a stall for the mare at her barn. The fact that Christine is experienced in rehabbing and re-homing fresh-off-the-track Thoroughbreds is a huge plus!

All at once, the plans came together. All we need to do is wait for Oil Money's Dream to be entered in a race, and after she runs, my husband will reach out to Baird the night of, or day after, the race. Hopefully he will decide it's time to retire this little old warrior of a racemare.

In the meantime, to offset some costs, I am going to hold a small fundraiser by selling some moderately-priced handmade sterling silver jewelry. 100% of the proceeds from this will go towards the mare. More details on the jewelry to come....

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