Marco Be Good, a seasoned campaigner who earned more than $570,000 in 85 starts, was retired this week to Old Friends Equine’s New York chapter in Clermont, N.Y.
The 12-year-old gelding chestnut, who is said to be in excellent health and fine body, was loaded up at Suffolk Downs this week and put on the road to Clermont Farms following a call for his retirement by horse lovers who argued, via social media discussion groups, against his return to racing. Discussions noted Marco had been retired two years earlier, and deserved to stay retired.
The horse, bred by Toronto-based horseman Mike Romeo, raced primarily at Parx and Woodbine before he was retired. Concern for the animal mounted over the Memorial Day weekend, when Marco was entered in a $4,000 claiming race at Suffolk Downs.
Marco Be Good
Sire: Bold n’ Flashy
Dam: Berg Venus
Foal date: April 22, 2002
Earnings: $571,989 in 85 startsWhen it was learned that the horse was to be raced, Suffolk Downs-based trainer, advocate and Old Friends volunteer Lorita Lindemann began fielding calls, and making plans to get the horse retired.
In Canada, his breeder says that when he was notified by a Canadian blogger that Marco was scheduled to race, he picked up the phone and called Lindemann. “She was amazing!” he says. “She attacked this like he was her own horse. I told her she’s my hero.”
Lindemann says that as people were buzzing about the horse on social media, she and Old Friends Equine Founder Michael Blowen made plans to get Marco retired.
“I think Michael called me before I had the chance to call,” Lindemann says. “He’s going to a farm in New York where they have a hyperbaric chamber, treadmills—it’s an amazing farm run by Mary Lu Dolce Conti.”
The plans to retire Marco came together seamlessly, adds Blowen.
Noting that Old Friends forged a partnership last month with the famous Clermont Farm in New York, Blowen says that eight horses have already been transported there from his Kentucky-based facility, and that Marco will be a wonderful addition.
The facility where Marco will reside was originally owned by Founding Father Robert (The Chancellor) Livingston, a member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence. And in an ironic twist, the Livingston family eventually produced one of horse racing’s finest photographers—Barbara Livingston!
“I ran into Barbara Livingston the other day and told her about the farm and our partnership and I couldn’t believe it when she said, ‘That’s my old family farm.’ ”
Blowen credits Lindemann and Suffolk Downs for the efforts to retire Marco and praises Conte for her work at a sprawling facility that offers retiring racehorses all they could possibly want.
“I went up to visit a couple of weeks ago, and it’s an amazing place,” Blowen says. “The farm itself has over 200 acres, tons of stalls, and it’s beautifully maintained.”
Blowen and Lindemann note that Marco is actually in very fine shape. Shiny and in good form, he has no apparent physical issues, they say.
“I think there was this impression that the horse was in bad shape,” Blowen says. “I just want to correct that. He has been getting great care, and you can tell by how the horse looks now.”