With legs as clean and sound as if she never raced a day, Exciting Bucket retired to Our Mims Retirement Haven this month after a lengthy career in the claiming races.
The pretty gray mare ran 92 times for owner/trainer Vincent Fariello, earned nearly $90,000, and yet never got claimed away from the family who loved her.
After her last race at Turfway in 1999, she had chalked up 19 wins, 10 places, and 14 shows in a lengthy career highlighted by a race with Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, who rode her to victory in a prep race on Cradle Stakes Day at River Downs in 1994.
Prior to arriving at Our Mims this month, Exciting Bucket enjoyed the life of leisure on Fariello’s farm in Piner, Ky., where the well-respected horseman personally cared for his gifted race mare.
Sire: Grey Bucket
Dam: That’s Exciting
Foal date: April 11, 1989
Earnings: $86,304, 92 startsThe racing team was only separated by death.
In January, the mare’s loving owner died after a brief illness, and plans for the animal’s continued retirement were immediately made.
They reached out to Jeanne Mirabito to secure a permanent retirement home for the family horse at Our Mims, impressing Mirabito with their dedication to their older mare.
That call, Mirabito says, was like a silver lining in the clouds.
“We are often blasted with the heartbreak stories of the race industry. We become despondent and look desperately for some shining light to give us hope,” she says. “The Fariello family is that light.”
Citing the love and connection they continued to show to the horse even after her ability to earn money had ended, Mirabito says that she was honored to accept her into the sanctuary for horses.
“In my eyes, Vincent Fariello was a top-notch trainer. Bucket raced 92 times and her legs are as clean and sound as if she never raced a day. She shows no sign of the wear and tear that we so often see in horses that raced only 10 times,” Mirabito says. “As I watched her run and play in her new pasture … I just couldn’t help myself, and I spoke out loud, ‘Well done, Vincent, well done.’ All horses should be so lucky.”