500th Horse Retired by Pennsylvania Racehorse Retirement Program

Turning For Home, the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association racehorse retirement program, recorded its 500th retiree when the mare Pumped left the track at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pa., for the last time on Dec. 24.

A 6-year-old daughter of the stallion Petionville, Pumped won five of 40 career starts, with 12 placings and earnings of $132,610.

According to a release from Turning For Home, the retirement of Pumped is a milestone for the non-profit program that was started in May 2008. Supported by the horsemen's group, owners, and Parx Racing, Turning For Home's mission "is to prevent non-competitive Thoroughbreds from ending up at slaughter."

"It is very appropriate that a mare like Pumped marks this accomplishment for the PTHA's program," program administrator Barbara Luna said in a statement. "She is a sweetheart of a mare who raced at 13 different tracks in four years, performing her best with four of her five wins at Philadelphia Park for owner Lou Caccio of Victory Thoroughbreds, and trainer Ramon Preciado. Her efforts are the very reason that retired racehorses deserve second chances after their days at the track are finished."

Pumped and three other retirees have been sent to the New England Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Deerfield, N.H., for "letdown" time before being re-trained and placed with approved new homes.

"She was a good horse for us, was versatile on the dirt and turf, and tried hard in every race," said Caccio, a supporter of Turning For Home. "I spoke to Ramon after her last few races, and we both felt that it was important for her to finish racing with something left, and we were confident that she'd fit into the retirement program. It was the safest place she could go."

Before a horse leaves the track, Turning For Home schedules a complete veterinary evaluation as a result of the cooperation of the trainers and the donated time and efforts of many of the track's private practice veterinarians, according to the organization.

Originally published on BloodHorse.com.

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