Two warriors of the track, one the son of the great Dynaformer, who ran with the best before he dropped in class, the other a hard-knocking winner who ground out 105 starts in his lifetime, saw their lives in racing end not hard, but with a soft, gentle welcoming into a life of blue sky and green grass.
Just before Christmas, Dynaformer’s son Ea, the handsome embodiment of his famous father, who also sports the same white chin marking of his famous brother Barbaro, arrived at Florida TRAC fit as a fiddle, and ready to take on the world.
He just wasn’t too sure about taking on a grassy field of other horses.
“It was really cute. The first day we turned him out with other horses, he’d run right out, look at them, and come right back to me,” says Barbi Moline, Florida TRAC’s director of farms. “It was like he was asking if this was real, and if he could do it too.”
Ea quickly got the hang of the good life, however, and is especially adept at socializing with other horses, and heading out on trail rides.
The change in lifestyle came abruptly. After he finished first in a $5,000 claimer at Laurel Park, the gentleman who had claimed the hardworking animal reached out to Florida TRAC, seeking to retire him. He had been contacted by Friends of Barbaro, who asked him to consider retirement.
“The trainer deserves a lot of credit, because he readily agreed,” she says. “The horse is 10, and, although he won his last race, it was a little sad that he was running for a low amount” after previously running at such elevated levels.
“When they’ve made so much money and have raced so many times, it’s sad when they’re running” for low tags, she adds.
A few weeks later, racing warrior Hollywood Left took a page from Ea’s playbook.
After finishing 7th in a $4,000 claimer at Mountaineer, the Multiple Stakes Placed racehorse, who knocked in 105 starts and earned approximately $600,000, also found a new home with Florida TRAC.
“This is a blue collar horse who was running every week or two, and was ready to retire,” Moline says. “His trainer Craig Cox had promised to call us when he was ready to let him go, and he did; he called after his last race and said he was done.”
Both Hollywood and Ea arrived at Florida TRAC in very good shape, she says.
“He was sound, but needed to be gelded, so we took care of that,” she says of Hollywood. “We get horses in who are injured, some come with bowed tendons, but in this case, both of these guys were good.”
So good that after a few weeks hanging out, they were tacked up and taken on trail rides. Slow, relaxed, fun jaunts getting them ready for the next good turn in life: a good home.
“I wouldn’t put any restrictions or limitations on what they can do in the future,” Moline says. “They’re both in good shape, and even though they’re older, they don’t seem to have any problems at all.”