Far Rockaway leaves low claimers in the dust

Far Rockaway is already a barn favorite among lesson girls!

Far Rockaway is already a barn favorite among lesson girls!

Far Rockaway may not have set the world on fire on the racetrack, but he sure did light up Facebook a week ago when horse-lovers were aghast that the 4-year-old had dropped like a stone in a year’s time to run at the bottom-of-the barrel.

The grandson of Dynaformer, and progeny of millionaire Macho Uno ran for a $75,000 tag last May, but had now fallen so far that he was scrambling in a $2,500 claimer at Los Alamitos Race Course.

“Clearly this horse had no interest in running races anymore,” says Jenny Earhart, owner of Royal Star Ranch in California. Earhart has taken in many ex-racehorse Thoroughbreds over the years, and after being implored by donors and friends, she agreed to make room for one more: a pretty chestnut gelding.

Far Rockaway
Sire: Macho Uno
Dam: Rock Goddess
Foal date: March 6, 2010
“After the Los Alamitos race on Jan. 26, I contacted the trainer and he agreed to take $2,400 for him,” Earhart says. With financial backing from racehorse owner Maggi Moss, an outspoken proponent of Thoroughbred welfare, and other donors, Earhart drove to the racetrack the next day with her trailer, paid cash for the animal, and loaded him up.

A perfect gentleman, he loaded easily and quickly settled in on her farm. Already a favorite among her riding students, Rocky as she calls him for short, appears destined to remain at her stable, potentially becoming a lesson horse.

“I’ve already had several offers from people who want to adopt him, but I think I’ll be keeping him,” she says, noting that the game plan is to give him 30 days to decompress.

1779964_10202820390372103_802410605_nShe will pay close attention for signs of lameness or other issues during his letdown, and if all goes well, start slowly retraining him.

Ideally, Rocky will be trained for six months under saddle, and if his calm nature continues, she will allow her advanced students to start riding him. “A lot of my students who’ve been with me for several years like to help me retrain Thoroughbreds,” she says. “So training Rocky could be an important next step in their own training process.”

“There was clearly no reason for him to keep running,” she says. “I think he clearly wanted to be doing something other than be a racehorse. And now that we have him, he’s already proven to be a standup guy, and he deserves some time to enjoy his life and just be a horse.”

Chalk up a big win for all involved.

17 responses to “Far Rockaway leaves low claimers in the dust”

  1. Karin Wagner

    Excellent job Jenny! One horse at a time we all make our mark on these deserving animals.

  2. Skip Ean

    My team heard of this horse’s plight weeks ago and we know that when a young horse is put into 4.5 furlong race, there is trouble. We knew the horse needed to be rescued because Mexico was his next stop. Should TBs run in 4.5 furlong races? They are just starting to breathe at that point on the track…a ridiculous length for TBs. Many of us networked Rocky’s story to everyone we knew–and then…it just took off. Every equine press outlet carried his story. Thank you Jennie for adopting Rocky. Thank you, too, to all the people along the networking pathways who rallied to call attention to this beautiful horse’ dilemma. Wonderful outcome. Networking is the key to saving horses like this from impending danger. Keep your eye on tracks and length of races like this, and racing record and purse amounts, and you can find hundreds of Far Rockaways across the country. It’s wonderful to read about all those who truly cared for him and did something which led to his rescue.

  3. HorseLuv73

    Great story but it’s unfair to cast blame on the Mosses for not helping. This horse was claimed from them back on 12/12/2013. Claiming races make up the majority of races and it’s a risk one takes when entering a horse in that type of race. At least Rocky is no longer racing as it didn’t appear to be his forte.

  4. Grace M

    I am a lover of horses although I don’t own one. I wish I can be as noble as you and as generous too! To have a big heart and share is a very special quality. You are celebrated ,!!!

  5. cheri vaughan

    Jenny, Maggie and Rocky… We love you all!! Bless you all!!!

  6. Barbara Griffith

    This goes to prove just how little a horse is worth in a claiming race. The owners and trainers consider these horses losers because they simply don’t want to run anymore. Its all about the money and nothing else.

  7. Delrene in Carlsbad, Ca.

    I am just thrilled for Far Rockaway – Some of us were shocked at his plight in the low claiming race. So thankful for folks like Jenny stepping up. There were many watching out for him and happy he is off the track. and I do agree, watchful of Know More. This is some of the good that comes from Facebook, this website and the Zenyatta website. We try to help as much as we can. I agree Barbara. Those that have the least continue to try and those that could contribute much, oftentimes are not . Not all, but many.

    Happy ending for Rocky. So happy, wish it was so for all thoroughbreds and others in need.

  8. Barbara Wood

    This is wonderful news. I just wish I had enough money to contribute a large amount. It is a shame that those of us with the least resources have to step up when others won’t. My donation money has pretty much run dry at this point.

  9. Michelle

    Pretty neat to see a race horse named for my home town wonder if there’s a connection

  10. Lisa Melone

    Tales like this make me so happy–love what Facebook can do for some of these horses!

  11. Linda

    Please keep a watch for Know More, multiple G1/2 winner/place including the Best Pal Stakes win has traded barns often and slid down the claiming ranks. Now in the barn of Steve Miyadi (maybe moving from SA to GG?).

    1. Jenny

      Know More was claimed in his last race however it was voided, so returned to Adam’s barn. I was told he will be give time off and return for Del Mar. He is one that is definitely on my radar 🙂

  12. debra

    Keep a watch out for thoroughbreds running at 4-1/2 furlong races at Los Alamitos! The next step is a trailer ride over the border to a Mexican slaughter house. I rescued a mare I had once owned who was racing at the $2,500 level there. Both the new owner and the trainer intimated that, yeah, she was headed over the border. I bought her for$1K, got her home quick, and she’s now has a very nice 2 yr old and is currently in foal to a Seattle Slew stallion. This mare was from a foundation mare line with at least three champions out of it. (Not that that would have made ANY difference to me. She would have come home anyway.). All of these thoroughbreds deserve a second chance. As breeders, owners and fans of racing we have to step up to save them. Cudos to all of those folks who go out on the front lines (slaughterhouses, barn areas, etc) and rescue!

  13. Lynne Jones

    Hooray. God love you. May he enjoy his life with you forever. Where in California are you? I’m in Southern California.

    1. Jenny Earhart

      I am located in Orange, CA. Visitors are welcome anytime!

  14. Fran Doos

    Thank goodness for the kind heart of some wonderful people. Just a shame that jerry and ann moss were not interested in helping one of their own and members of the public were left to help help this boy.

  15. Michelle

    Wonderful story! I’m so glad there are people watching out for these guys. Thanks to Jenny and Maggi and all involved for helping to get him off the track and into a stable, forever home.

Leave a Reply