The Thoroughbred Makeover Class of 2019 is Set

September 04, 2019

Here’s how the field of entries emerged over the last eight months:

  • December 1, 2018: horses were eligible to start retraining for the 2019 Makeover
  • December 15, 2018: trainer applications opened
  • The field of 673 accepted trainers was announced on February 1, 2019, the second-highest number of accepted applicants in the event’s history
  • Trainers had until August 1 to designate the horse(s) they intended to compete, and in some cases, may have switched their entries. As a result, 589 horses have been in training for the Makeover over the last eight months
  • At the close of final entry, 474 horses were registered for the competition. Horses (especially green horses) being the way that they are, we do anticipate some additional scratches in the final weeks before the Makeover. We expect to see around 400 Thoroughbreds competing in Kentucky

Let’s take a closer look at the horses entered!

Disciplines

Ten different disciplines are offered at the Makeover, and horses can compete in up to two disciplines.

Disciplines2

Height

The majority of entered horses fall into the 16.0-16.3 hand range with a few notable outliers: our shortest entry Hebeafortunateson is 14.1 hands, while Cocos Eddy will tower over us all at 18.1 hands!

height

Color

As expected from past years’ trends, well over half of the horses at the Makeover will be bay. Keep an eye out for Painted Patchen, a rare white horse — yep, he’s registered white with the Jockey Club!

color

Gender

Geldings make up the majority of our entries. Four horses were listed as stallions at registration.

gender

Year Foaled

The minimum age for a Makeover contestant is three, but once again, the four- and five-year-olds are the most popular age group. Don’t write off those older horses though — there are 34 horses who were foaled in 2009 or earlier, which makes them eligible for the “Iron Horse Award.” Our two oldest horses are coming into their second careers at the age of 14: Worthy of Wings and St. Patrick’s Rib were foaled in 2005!

year foaled

Where Entrants Were Bred

Kentucky was the birthplace of a solid third of the 2019 field, as expected. A total of 28 states and four provinces are represented, as well as Ireland and France.

where bred

Prominent Sires

We always love looking at which of the breed’s stallions are represented — many of those we see over and over again are racing’s top sires, of course, but some lesser-known names often crop up, which can indicate both regional popularity as well as recognition of ability to sire sport horses. Eighty-eight sires are represented by two or more entrants.

prominent sires

Additionally, 19 of the top 20 leading sires of 2018 are represented — only City Zip is missing.

top sires

Six dams are also represented by more than one entry: Bald N Blue (Nathan O’Blue and Strive To Be Happy), CoCo Vive (CoCo Mon and Cocos Eddy), Cozinneta (American Colossus and Big Blue Arrow), Lavender Twist (Andouille and Extreme Justice), Mommie’s the Boss (Mammie’s Treasure and Put the Boss Back), and Shanghai Rose (Kovarro and Shanghaied).

About 49% of Makeover entrants were sold at public auction, bringing an average price of $61,959. Take a look at the highest auction prices paid:

auction price

Racing History

On average, Makeover entrants raced 21 starts with two wins, and average career earnings of $59,570. In total, entrants started 10,133 times, with 1,158 wins and over $28 million in total earnings.

To be eligible to compete in the Thoroughbred Makeover, a horse must have been in training to race and must have at least one published work, and for about six percent of our Makeover entrants, that’s as far as they ever went in their racing career. Of those who did race, entrants break down into three groups: 34 percent had 10 starts or fewer, seeming to indicate that while they showed enough promise to start, they proved to be not suited for the job. Another 36 percent were successful enough to keep running for awhile, notching between 11 and 30 starts. Twenty-four percent raced more than 30 starts, with 11 percent achieving “war horse” status with 50 or more starts.

number starts

 most starts

We usually tend to think of the OTTB as a horse who wasn’t particularly successful on the track, and we suppose that you could say that’s true with 68 percent earning less than $50,000 in their careers. But 17 percent of this year’s entrants were quite accomplished, earning more than $100,000.

We’re excited to see multiple graded stakes winners including Samraat and Mr. Hot Stuff, graded stakes placed Braveman and Virtual Machine, multiple stakes winners Jersey Justice and Parker’s Project, stakes winner Gung Ho, multiple stakes placed Flash McCaul, and stakes placed Future Express, Crushin Hard and Berry Loud.

Here are our highest earners heading to this year’s Makeover:

highest earners 

How Makeover Entrants Were Acquired

We’re always interested to see how our Makeover trainers obtain their horses, as this represents the crossroads of the racing and sport horse worlds and can indicate how those worlds are working together.

On average, Makeover entrants, as of August 1, have been off the track for 12 months. About two-thirds of trainers purchased their horses, while the other third obtained their horses for free. The average purchase price across all entries was $1,960, which is up from $1,200 in 2018.

About 55 percent of horses were acquired straight from the track, with about a fifth of those coming through an off-track listing organization or individual. Out of the horses obtained after they had left the track, about 40 percent came through a reseller. Other sources include independent non-profit organizations, such as New Vocations, or track-based after organizations such as New Start or Turning For Home. Ten horses were reported as “self rescues” from feedlots or auctions.

Our top five non-profit sources for horses:

non profits

It’s fascinating to see the tracks from which Makeover horses retired. As expected, they tend to be lower-tier tracks populated by runners reaching the end of their careers. These numbers also indicate where programs such as New Start, based at Penn National, or Finger Lakes Finest, based at Finger Lakes, are having an impact.

The top ten tracks where entrants last raced:

last race

 

In Other News

May 29, 2024

Thoroughbred Makeover Adds Clinic Opportunities

Clinics and guided schooling will be offered at the conclusion of preliminary competition for horses and their trainers that did not qualify for the Finale Championships.…
Read More
Featured image for “Thoroughbred Makeover Adds Clinic Opportunities”
May 27, 2024

Selecting the Best Hay for Your OTTB

Understand the differences in hay available to your off-track Thoroughbred…
Read More
Featured image for “Selecting the Best Hay for Your OTTB”
May 24, 2024

May Trainer Newsletter: Upcoming Deadlines, Makeover Updates, and other Events

The 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover is fast approaching! Now is the time to make sure you are prepared for the upcoming deadlines such as horse registrations, entry type changes, jumping video submissions, and more. The Real Rider Cup and the Thoroughbred…
Read More
Featured image for “May Trainer Newsletter: Upcoming Deadlines, Makeover Updates, and other Events”
May 23, 2024

After the Races & Retired Racehorse Project Split Win in Resolute Racing’s Poker For Ponies Tournament

ATR and the RRP jointly announced their gratitude and appreciation for splitting the win in Resolute Racing’s Poker For Ponies Tournament earlier this month on May 1.…
Read More
Featured image for “After the Races & Retired Racehorse Project Split Win in Resolute Racing’s Poker For Ponies Tournament”
May 13, 2024

Picking Prospects May 2024

Makeover trainers evaluate sport horse potential based on conformation shots.…
Read More
Featured image for “Picking Prospects May 2024”
May 3, 2024

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: HERO PICO Donated as Top Prize for Make the Makeover Fundraiser!

Great news, Thoroughbred Makeover class of 2024! Thanks to the incredible generosity of Magnus Magnetica, we’re thrilled to share with you today that we’re offering a TOP PRIZE for the Makeover trainer who raises the most funds for the RRP…
Read More
Featured image for “SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: HERO PICO Donated as Top Prize for Make the Makeover Fundraiser!”
April 30, 2024

The Real Rider Cup Announces 2024 Competition Dates

Mark your calendars: the friendly show jumping competition returns for 2024 to raise funds for Thoroughbred aftercare!…
Read More
Featured image for “The Real Rider Cup Announces 2024 Competition Dates”
April 29, 2024

Understanding Track Surfaces for Racehorse Safety

Consistency of racing surfaces at a track, between surfaces and from track to track is key for racehorse safety…
Read More
Featured image for “Understanding Track Surfaces for Racehorse Safety”
April 19, 2024

April Trainer Newsletter: EHV-1, KY3DE, and Fundraising Tips!

There are 189 days until the 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover, but who’s counting? Now that we have your attention, please take a moment to catch up with our April trainer newsletter. What follows is important information regarding your horse’s vaccination requirements,…
Read More
Featured image for “April Trainer Newsletter: EHV-1, KY3DE, and Fundraising Tips!”
April 15, 2024

The Thoroughbred Lovers’ Guide to the 2024 KY3DE

Join the RRP for Thoroughbred-centric activities at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day-Event, April 25-28!…
Read More
Featured image for “The Thoroughbred Lovers’ Guide to the 2024 KY3DE”
April 11, 2024

Erin Gilmore Photography Announced as Official Show Photographer of 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover

Erin Gilmore Photography covers internationally rated equestrian events as official photographer in the Northeast USA and beyond.…
Read More
Featured image for “Erin Gilmore Photography Announced as Official Show Photographer of 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover”
April 5, 2024

Save in the RRP Store in the Spring Fling Sale!

Score seasonal savings in the RRP Store and wear your OTTB pride.…
Read More
Featured image for “Save in the RRP Store in the Spring Fling Sale!”
March 25, 2024

Ask a Trainer: Introducing Lateral Work

Alison O’Dwyer shares her tried and true method to introduce lateral work to the green OTTB.…
Read More
Featured image for “Ask a Trainer: Introducing Lateral Work”
March 14, 2024

RRP Launches 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover Fundraising Initiatives

Learn more about the Make the Makeover and Fund-a-Need campaigns!…
Read More
Featured image for “RRP Launches 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover Fundraising Initiatives”
March 11, 2024

Building a Nutrition Plan for Your OTTB

How to feed your retired racehorse: Start with high-quality pasture and hay, then look to grain to shore up any deficiencies, consulting experts whenever possible.…
Read More
Featured image for “Building a Nutrition Plan for Your OTTB”
March 7, 2024

2024 Thoroughbred Makeover Vendor Fair Applications Now Open

Reserve your space by April 30 to secure early bird pricing!…
Read More
Featured image for “2024 Thoroughbred Makeover Vendor Fair Applications Now Open”
February 28, 2024

Tendon Injuries in Off-Track Thoroughbreds

If you give an OTTB with a tendon injury the time necessary to recover fully and are diligent about preventing re-injury, the horse can have a long, healthy second career.…
Read More
Featured image for “Tendon Injuries in Off-Track Thoroughbreds”
February 26, 2024

February Trainer Newsletter: Trainer Fundraiser, Marketing Opportunities, & Educational Resources

Earn a refund on your 2024 entry fees by participating in the new “Make the Makeover” fundraiser, find your audience in sharing your horse’s retraining journey, and start the process off right by utilizing RRP’s educational resources! Read the entirety…
Read More
Featured image for “February Trainer Newsletter: Trainer Fundraiser, Marketing Opportunities, & Educational Resources”
February 15, 2024

2024 Trainer Acceptance Letter

Congratulations! You are one of nearly 400 talented trainers and team members who are on track to show the world what a Thoroughbred ex-racehorse can do at this year’s Makeover. Would you like to announce your acceptance on social media?…
Read More
Featured image for “2024 Trainer Acceptance Letter”
February 15, 2024

396 Trainers Accepted to 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover

Accepted trainers have signed up to bring a total of 416 horses.…
Read More
Featured image for “396 Trainers Accepted to 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover”
February 12, 2024

Picking Prospects: Spring 2024

Makeover trainers evaluate sport horse potential based on conformation shots.…
Read More
Featured image for “Picking Prospects: Spring 2024”
January 23, 2024

Strong to the Core: Under Saddle

Apply these techniques to build your OTTB’s second-career strength and agility…
Read More
Featured image for “Strong to the Core: Under Saddle”
January 12, 2024

Budgeting For an OTTB

Breaking down the costs associated with OTTB ownership…
Read More
Featured image for “Budgeting For an OTTB”
January 12, 2024

RRP to Host Aftercare Industry Month Virtual Conference

Aftercare Industry Month is coming in February!…
Read More
Featured image for “RRP to Host Aftercare Industry Month Virtual Conference”