Meet the Horses of the 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover

August 25, 2022

The final entry list for the 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America, is complete! View individual entries with a filtered search feature at theRRP.org/entries to look for specific horses; we’ve taken a look at trends and statistics for the entire class here.

With an initial round of trainer acceptance combined with wait list acceptance over 2022, a total of 484 trainer applications were accepted to this year’s event, representing 559 possible horse entries (trainers are permitted to participate with up to three horses including both individual and team entry). Ultimately, 516 horses were registered for the 2022 competition, and 377 made a final entry — that’s about two-thirds of the initially-registered field, which represents the highest retention rate to date for the Makeover.

Let’s take a closer look at the class of 2022!

DEMOGRAPHICS

Year Foaled
The average age for a Makeover participant has gradually been trending younger in recent years, indicating that racing connections may be choosing to retire horses from racing somewhat earlier.

Height
We have one proper pony entered in 2022: Dance With Bode, coming in at 14.1hh. The majority of the class of 2022 comes in at the 15.3 to 17hh range.

Gender
Mares make up a little under a third of entries, while geldings make up the vast majority of the field. Five stallions are currently entered to compete.

Color
Some trends stay the same… such as the coat colors represented at the Makeover this year. Bays and dark bay/browns will make up more than half of all horses!

RACING HISTORY

On average, our 2022 Makeover entries made about 18 starts with 2 wins and an average of $71,088. That’s fewer starts than previous Makeover years but a higher average of earnings — while we’ll take a closer a look at this trend, initial data may suggest that racing connections may be retiring horses somewhat earlier from higher classes of racing, rather than dropping horses in class and racing them longer.

In total, this year’s class of Makeover entries made a total of 9,018 starts with 1,061 trips to the winner’s circle. In total, they earned $36,113,138. Our highest earner is fan favorite Whitmore, who retired with over $4.5 million!

War Horses
To be eligible for the Thoroughbred Makeover, a horse must have been in training to race and must have at least one published work — and for about 8% of our entries, that’s as far as their race careers ever went. Others, including the top 10 listed below, achieved “war horse” status, making over 50 career starts.

Stakes Horses
We always love seeing former stakes winners embarking on their journeys to second careers: here are the stakes horses you can plan on seeing in person at the 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover!

BREEDING AND SALES

State Bred
Kentucky traditionally breeds a little over a third of our entries each year, but Florida and New York each bred 10% or more of the class as well. Here are the top ten states represented:

Sires Represented
We always love to look at the bloodlines of Makeover horses and see which of the industry’s stallions are represented: many of those we see over and over again are racing’s top sires, but some lesser-known names often crop up annually which can indicate both regional popularity as well as recognition of ability of offspring in sport. Here are sires represented by multiple offspring:

Top 10 Sire Representation
It’s fun to see which of the leading sires of 2022 (as reported by Bloodhorse as of press time) are represented by Makeover entries:

Siblings
We won’t be seeing any full siblings this year, but we will have two sets of half siblings: Rise Up Redhawk and Permit out of Best Credentials, and Spots Appeal and Maria Rose out of Mariastheboss. Interestingly, both Spots Appeal and Maria Rose are coming to the Makeover under the guidance of the same trainer, Karyn Wittek!

Sales History
Over a third of Makeover entries went through at least one sale, including Keeneland, Fasig Tipton and OBS in North America as well as Tattersalls in the UK.

HORSE SOURCES

The acquiring of Makeover horses represents the crossroads between racing and sport, and can provide valuable information for how these industries are interacting and working together.

Following the trend in recent years, a little over half of this year’s entries were acquired directly from their racing connections. Other sources for horses include non-profit aftercare organizations as well as for-profit resellers or listing agents. Four horses this year were true rescues, coming via auction or kill pens.

Interestingly, we observe that horses sourced directly from racing connections have less time elapsed from their last start to their acquisition by Makeover trainers — only 70 days on average, down from 114 days in 2020 and 85 days in 2021. That same timeframe is on the rise somewhat for non-profit aftercare facilities, with horses spending an average of 168 between last start and adoption.

The overall price paid by Makeover trainers for their horses continues to tick upwards: for 2022, trainers spent an average of $2,863 (including adoption fees as well as direct purchase).

Top Sources
While over half of entries came direct from racing connections, both non-profit aftercare organizations as well as listing agents/resellers remain popular sources for horses.

Last Track

Looking at the tracks from where horses retire offers insight into where rehoming programs and aftercare organizations are making an impact, as well as what tier of racehorse tends to be retiring into second careers.

Come see these horses perform in person at the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium on October 12-15! Former connections are invited to stop by the Connection Corner in the TCA Covered Arena for assistance finding their former horses.

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