Zippy Chippy is not the only star shining brightly at Old Friends haven for retired Thoroughbreds in Georgetown, Kentucky. Star Plus is right there with him.
We are so delighted and relieved to read in a newsletter written by Michael Blowen and posted on Facebook July 30, 2012:
We recently added to new retirees from Earl Mack (or Earl Macke). Star Plus, an energetic stallion, and Lion Hunter, a gelding. Mr Mack is very supportive of his horses and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and Old Friends. We previously retired his beautiful mare, Santona. Special thanks to Denali Stud for keeping all three Thoroughbreds until we had their spots open up.
Star Plus is a racehorse who was injured and could no longer race. His owner Earle Mack sold him with the understanding that Star Plus would not be raced again. But the new owner broke that agreement running Star Plus in several races anyway, knowing it was highly risky for the horse’s health and safety. That is a brief introduction to a story with a long, undulating plot populated with a cast of characters and the twists and turns of an Agatha Christie novel. If you would like attempt it, begin here at the Paulick Report, written by Ray Paulick who broke the Star Plus story.
The follow-up Paulick Report stated that Star Plus was safe, would not race again and retiring at Old Friends. We called Old Friends to see if Star Plus had arrived so we could visit him, and told he was not there. Not long after a New York Times article (one in a series of exposés on the underbelly of horse racing) stated that Star Plus was “somewhere in Kentucky” and we became alarmed.
Now we know where that “somewhere in Kentucky” was, and that Star Plus simply was awaiting an opening at Old Friends. Isn’t it sad that horse racing in the U.S. is so rife with tragedies and coverups that you fear for a horse’s life every time the slightest peculiarity is reported.
We trust that Star Plus is settling in beautifully and will have a safe and happy life.