Palace Diva was adopted through CANTER New England in 2009 after her racing career had come to an end at Suffolk Downs. “Diva” was 0-for-5 on the racetrack and the connections felt that racing was not her game. A 3-year-old filly at the time, she also suffered from ulcers. She was never bred, and we picked her up directly from the racetrack. We had been looking to acquire a Thoroughbred for pleasure riding, and Palace Diva was the first OTTB that our family adopted, as well as the catalyst for starting Racing for Home, Inc. Palace Diva is still in our barn all these years later- she is worked regularly and we show her at low level shows on occasion. Now 13 years old, she is a spirited chestnut mare who is the boss of our barn. During her career, she raced at Suffolk Downs, Calder, and Tampa Bay Downs. She raced distances from 5 to 6 furlongs on dirt. Total Earnings: $525.00! She is a 2006 Florida bred by filly by Lido Palace out of Missy Crew.
We acquired Perfect Love in 2011 from Cranbury Auction in New Jersey. “Pearl” was in the kill pen and purchased by Cranbury for resale, at which point she ended up in the kill pen a second time. We purchased her from the kill pen sight unseen and were told that within the next hour she would have boarded a van to the slaughterhouse. We paid $50 over the meat price for her. She is blind in one eye (we believe from an old racing injury but are unsure of the cause) and was very fearful at first. It took several years for her to become more trusting. She was never bred. She is a very even tempered horse who gets along with all of the horses in our barn. We have also allowed her to be used as a lesson horse by our barn. We recently learned that she had been trained by Ashley Quartarolo- who still had a picture of Pearl as a 3 year old on her phone! She raced at Parx, Philadelphia Park, and Monmouth Park. She raced distances between 5 and 6 furlongs on the dirt. Total Earnings: $3,750. She is a 2006 New Jersey bred filly by Perfect out of Lovin’nonna.
Zigs was given to RFH by Zilla Racing Stables in August 2018. After two impressive starts, he was scheduled to make his third start at Saratoga Racetrack. However, while galloping on the Oklahoma training track prior to the start he came back from training with heat and swelling in both front tendons, and the track vet told Zilla the bows were serious and the Colt would need to be on stall rest, and then light hand walking, for 9-12 months. The owners at Zilla made the tough decision to retire him due to the significance and severity of the bows. While still stabled at Saratoga, and days after his injury, Zilla contacted RFH asking to take Zigmund. They paid to have him shipped to Connecticut within days and also paid to have him gelded since was a three year old colt. Zilla had retired 2 other racehorses to RFH- Easy Street in 2016 and Firestar in 2018. Due to a very long rehab time, Zilla was very happy that we took their horse. Zigmund is a stellar patient and is doing very well on stall rest. A year later, and we are finally starting to put him to work. Our goal for him is pleasure riding and low level jumping (not higher than 2’3″) which our vet feels is possible. Total Earnings: $43,300. He is a 2015 New York bred gelding by Freud out of Russian Rosie (IRE).
Mike Piazza, the founder of Zilla Racing Stable, bought Easy Street privately in 2016 when he saw Easy Street racing in low level claiming races. Easy Street had been the first horse Mike ever owned when he began his journey in racing in 2012. Mike nicknamed him “The Copper Bullet” back then. However, after several races, Easy Street was claimed away from Mike and his partnership. A few months later, Mike decided to form his own syndicate. For several years thereafter Mike kept an eye out for Easy Street, and hatched a plan to buy him, race the gelding once in his Zilla Racing silks, and retire him to a good home. After that last race at Finger Lakes, Mike and Racing for Home president Acacia Courtney agreed on a contract where Racing for Home would retain ownership of Easy Street for the duration of his life. After that last race Mike shipped Easy Street from Finger Lakes to our barn in Connecticut in 2016. Easy Street has been training as a hunter jumper, although his various minor injuries from his 21 races have hampered him in his development. He raced at Finger Lakes, Aqueduct, and Belmont. He raced distances from 5 1/2 furlongs to a mile on the dirt. Total Earnings: $45,057. He is a 2009 New York bred gelding by Latent Heat out of Gretta’s Dream.
We’re All Set
1. Trainer Peter Walder approached Racing for Home president Acacia Courtney about We’re All Set in January of 2018. “Jet” had suffered a condylar fracture, and was rehabbed and given time away from the racetrack in order for the injury to heal. The connections brought him back to the track, where they breezed him once and decided that his racing career should come to an end and sought a good home for him. After seeing the horse in person where he was stabled at Gulfstream Park, Acacia and Peter agreed on a contract where Jet would permanently join Racing for Home for the duration of his life. Peter shipped Jet to Parx, where we picked him up and trailered him to our property in CT. Jet raced at Gulfstream Park, and Gulfstream Park West. He raced distances from 6 furlongs to 1and 1/8 miles on the dirt. Jet is the biggest earner in our barn – Total Earnings: $318,379 including a few stakes wins. He is a 2011 Florida bred gelding by With Distinction out of True Glitter. His injury delayed his start of training but he is now learning his new job.
We acquired Firestar in March of 2018 after her final race at Penn National. She was owned by the same owners as Easy Street and Zigmund (Zilla Racing Stables), and they wanted to ensure a good home for her when her racing days were over. After having Easy Street for two years, the members of Zilla Racing were so impressed and appreciative of the care that the horse was getting, that they reached out to Racing for Home once again to retire Firestar. Once again they shipped to to our barn in CT, She raced at Penn National, Finger Lakes, and Saratoga. She raced distances from 4 and 1/2 furlongs to a 1mile. Total Earnings: $112,446. She is a 2013 New York bred mare by Here Comes Ben out of Dancin on Broadway.
Can’t Tap This
“Tappy” is an unraced gelding who had suffered a knee injury while training at Belmont Park, approximately one month before his scheduled debut race as a three year old. Trainer Chad Summers gave the horse time off, and said that it was likely he could have brought him back to training, but did not want to risk anything after the knee had been hurt, and preferred to retire him to a good home and his second career. As a part owner of this horse, in June 2018 he opted to give him to Racing for Home. The track vet told us at the time that we would need an extended time off. Can’t Tap This has been on stall rest with a small turnout since we acquired him, although we just started start his training. We will need to monitor his knee for the foreseeable future, however. He is a 2015 New York bred gelding by Tapizar out of Sermonettes Hope.
Giana is an unraced filly who we acquired in October 2018. She was purchased by trainer Michael Trombetta as a two-year-old, and after they felt some heat and fill in one of her tendons, she was given time off and rehabbed. When brought back to training at Merryland Farm in Maryland at the age of three, the tendon issue persisted, and while she was never unsound, the connections decided to find a good home for her instead of pushing to get her to the racetrack and risk something bad happening. Since that time Giana has been on stall rest with a small turnout. She is a 2015 Florida bred filly by Gio Ponti out of Indian Banner.
Ocala Jim is a bay gelding who had 33 starts in his career. Zilla Stables acquired him later in his career and upon his retirement gave him to a former member of their syndicate. At some point the owner suffered difficulties and he was passed through a few auctions before being bought by a kill buyer in May 2019. When Zilla learned that he was due to be sent to slaughter, they arranged for us to acquire him. He had lost a huge amount of weight during his ordeal and we have been gradually nursing him back to help. He is a 2010 gelding by E Dubai out of Merion Miss. He raced at Aqueduct, Saratoga, Meadowlands, Belmont, and Laurel. Total Earnings: $357,618.