Diving into the durability of a standardbred

As we approach the end of 2018, we begin to look at horses that are nearing the end of their 14 yr old year, the year their racing careers end in the United States.

Foiled Again makes yet another start today at Rosecroft in the 3rd race. Foiled Again’s record before tonight stands at 327 starts 106 wins 70 seconds and 46 thirds. That is an in the money percentage of an astounding 67.89%. During that time, Foiled Again has earned $7,616,518 in purse earnings. He retires at the end of 2018, his final 14 yr old season.

Also on the Rosecroft-Potomac card are several older horses with equally astounding stats in their own rights. Are they multi-millionaires? No, not by a longshot. But their number of starts and % in the money are awesome to look at in-depth as they all near the end of their careers as well.

In the night’s 2nd race, #4 Wellthereyougo makes his Rosecroft pari-mutuel debut at the young age of 11. He has raced at nearly 3 dozen different tracks and has 300-lifetime starts, 37 wins, 52 seconds and 39 thirds hitting the board at a clip of 42.67% and purse earnings of $671,745.

In the 3rd race, #1 Q Rock, who is 11-years-old, has 328 starts 44 wins 50 seconds and 49 thirds and $388,006 in earnings. #3 Arts Blaze, age 14, will be retiring at the end of 2018 like Foiled Again, he has 363 starts (36 more than Foiled Again) 54 wins 50 seconds 53 thirds and an in the money percentage of 43.25% and $384,869 in purses. And #4 Real Flight, who turns eleven on January 1, has 222 starts 44 wins 31 seconds and 25 thirds and $615,085 in purses during his storied career. #5 RC’s Super Toy, has 319 starts 25 wins 27 seconds and 50 thirds hitting the board at an impressive 31.97% clip and purse earnings of $162,093. And # 7 Broadies Song, 11 yrs young, has 237 starts 37 wins 33 seconds and 23 thirds (39.24%) and $507,468 in purses earned.

Race 12 features, #6 Talbot Redneck, 14 yrs old, has 379 starts of those he has 56 wins 47 seconds and 50 thirds currently with $327,367 in purse earnings.

Lastly, race 13 has 13-year-old San Antony-O who has 354 starts 59 wins 51 seconds and 37 thirds hitting the board  41.53% of the time and has $427,847 in purse earnings.

In addition to the horses mentioned above, there are 10 more on the card with over 200 starts each and feature solid consistency

116 horses entered to race Sunday night, 19 horses that could be considered ‘war horses’ by definition, have $11,103,998 in total purses earned over 2,829 combined starts or 2,829 miles. The distance from Fort Washington, Maryland to San Diego, California by car is approx 2,700 miles to put that number in perspective.

It is without question, that when comparing the standardbred breed to others like thoroughbreds, standardbreds are the most durable breed in the world. In addition, standardbreds are able to transition to a multitude of other careers post-racing. Whether they become pasture pets, broodmares, breeding studs, riding horses, show horses, war re-enactment horses, police horses or therapy horses (to name a few), there are very few animals, let alone breeds of horses with the durability, versatility and demeanors to do what the standardbred does each and every year of their lives.

There is much talk about the negatives of racing and those that believe racing should end sooner than later. But those that believe racing is all bad have certainly not experienced all that the standardbred has to offer. The love they give, their personalities and their willingness and desire to please are all unmatched. And those that take care of our horses, what about all they give? Their love, care, time, attention. Harness horsemen and women put everything in that the horses give out and then some, 365 days a year. It is a tit for tat situation. One that is unsurpassed by any other sport, industry or relationship that comes to mind.

So, as we end 2018 in the coming weeks, praise your horses for all that they have done this year and every year. Thank them for all they give you each and every week, good or bad. And give them a hug and a carrot or apple and remind them they are part of our families and not just some machine, tool or means to an end as they are far more valuable than any business asset.

Good luck to all of the horses on tonight’s card at Rosecroft. May you all race well and come back to the barn safely and to the horses retiring this month, thank you for all you have given to this sport, to the fans and to your connections.

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