Sunday, December 2, 2012

Just Making It Official

                                          Tabby Lane enjoying retirement. Photo Credit: Annie Ringwelski

It’s official.  Tabby Lane is now retired.

We had Dr. Jen Selvig, vet extraordinaire, come out and take a look at her last week and she made official what we really figured anyway: Tabby Lane needs to be retired.  In theory, there may have been a way to keep her going, but with her ankles and the wear and tear of 40 starts, things could only end badly.  Either should could one day not walk off the track under her on power or not be good for anything else for the rest of life.  Both of these are unacceptable to me.

Her stat line bears some repeating.

The 6-year old daughter of Even the Score out of the Rodeo mare Keeley Chay won 10 of 40 races in her career: a winning percentage of 25%.  That’s good no matter how you slice it up.  Seven of those 10 wins were after we claimed her for $10,000.  She hit the board 21 times for just over 50% and earned $116,416 in her career.  Her lifetime best winning Beyer speed figure was a respectable 77 and her highest win was a first level allowance/optional claiming race at Tampa Bay Downs.  While her expenses matched her earnings for us over the 2.5 years that we had her, she provided us with winner’s circle photos, thrills and hopefully gave some folks a taste of owning a racehorse.

It certainly doesn’t hurt that Tabby’s sweet demeanor and good manners make her a pleasure to be around and exceptionally good with children.  We had partners that could cuddle with her and small children that could feed her carrots and pet her.  Now we look forward to a second career for her.
What her second career will be is the interesting question.  With her breeding and mild success on the racetrack she certainly looks like she could be a solid producer here in Minnesota.  Will we be the ones to breed her remains to be seen.  It is a three year outlay with no possibility of return but the potential rewards, especially with the Mystic Lake Purse Enhancement in place, could be tremendous if she can throw a good one.

I’ve been working with Deb & Jeff Hilger of Bleu Valley Farm and Lisa Duuos at Dove Hill Farm and Reproduction to learn as much as I can about this process before we proceed.  All three have been exceedingly generous with their time and knowledge and I would like to publically thank them here.  Whether we move forward or not, without their assistance, I wouldn’t be able to even think about entering this end of the business.  I don’t want to even entertain this if she doesn’t have the potential to drop anything decent and it appears she does have a fighting chance for that.

There is the possibility that there might be some folks out there that would like to breed her as well -  I am not opposed to that either.  It’s certainly easy enough to check out her pedigree, as some have already have and inquired, and determine yourself if she would be a nice addition to your broodmare band.  I would prefer not to sell her 100% outright but retain a percentage of her ownership in order to be a part of this fascinating part of the industry as well as to be able to keep tabs on her (oh my…bad pun!). 

The next month will be devoted to the wind down of the racing group and the potential wind up of the breeding group as well as at least another one, and possibly two, claiming groups for 2013.  The most wonderful time of the year indeed!

I certainly can’t write a post about Tabby Lane’s retirement with thanking Bernell Rhone, our trainer, whose sharp eye and local knowledge brought her to our attention and his excellent horsemanship kept her winning over 3 seasons.  And I certainly can’t end a post without thanking the big grey girl herself.  Thanks, Tabs, for your heart, desire, effort and even love, that you provided in the nearly 3 years of racing for us.  We love you and will now look to take care of you as you did us.

1 comment:

Teresa said...

What a great post, Ted. It was so wonderful meeting Tabby at Tampa, and you are so right about that terrific disposition of hers. Glad that she's safe and sound and that you'll be keeping an eye on her whatever she does next. Selfishly, I'm bummed I won't get to see her at Tampa this year.