Twelve-year-old Chilean stallion Porfido was claimed and retired this weekend through a coast-to-coast effort by several American Thoroughbred advocates who mapped out a plan of action to buy the aging warhorse and retire him sound.
Gail Hirt of Beyond the Roses Equine worked with Texas oilman and racehorse owner John Murrell, as well as with Donna Keen of Remember Me Rescue of Texas and Michael Blowen of Old Friends Kentucky to provide a very special victory for the bay Thoroughbred who has earned $750,000 in 79 lifetime races.
After he finished second Saturday in a $3,000 claiming race at Turf Paradise, a plan, like clockwork, went into action.
Sire: Mash One
Dam: Piazza Venezia
Foal date: Aug. 17, 2002
Earnings: $756,816 in 79 startsA trainer friend of Donna Keen’s dropped a claim on Porfido using funds donated by John Murrell. The transaction went off without a hitch, and plans continued to roll. Bob Hubbard Transport, which had already agreed to transport the bay racehorse 1,500 miles from Phoenix to Kentucky, will get underway today, with a planned arrival at Old Friends by the week’s end, Gail Hirt says.
After he arrives, the 12-year-old stallion will be welcomed into a family of ex-racehorses, which includes Boule D’or, a British racehorse he ran against in his heyday.
“This horse has been on my watch list for about eight months,” says Hirt, who helped organized his purchase. “He first came to my attention when I was notified by (friend) Susan Sefscik. This was a horse that ran against Lava Man in G1s and G2s, who was very competitive, and who was now in the low claimers.”
At age 12, Porfido was still game enough to be entered in $35,000 handicap races in April and May of this year. But by the weekend, he had dropped precipitously, and was running for a $3,000 tag.
“We couldn’t raise the money to claim him before this. Even when he was in a $7,500 claimer, there was no way we could raise that kind of money for a 12-year-old stallion,” Hirt says. “But when we learned he was entered for $3,000, John Murrell stepped forward and offered to pay for him.”
With funding in place for the claim, Hirt next called Michael Blowen of Old Friends.
“I had already told Michael about him, and Michael said if I could get him claimed, he’d take him,” Hirt adds. “I called him Saturday and told him we have him!”
Porfido is said to be 100 percent sound and after a lengthy career spent grinding out paychecks, was especially deserving of retirement, says John Murrell, who paid for his claiming tag. “A 12-year-old horse has no business running against significantly younger foes … someone had to step in and make the point that this is unacceptable, Murrell says.
Meantime, Beyond the Roses still seeks to raise approximately $1,300 to defray shipping costs and other incidentals, such as a health certificate. Please donate to them via this hyperlink. ♦