Former Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender and grade III winner Z Fortune is officially up for adoption the week of April 25 at the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program in Lexington.
“I believe this is first time a Kentucky Derby contender has been made available for adoption publicly, which could make it a once-in-a-lifetime experience to the lucky chosen adopter,” said New Vocations program director Anna Ford in a release.
In 2008, Z Fortune was well on his way to be a major contender in the Kentucky Derby. The son of Siphon—Fortunate Faith, by Fortunate Prospect won the LeComte Stakes (gr. III) and ran second in the Risen Star (gr. III) and Arkansas Derby (gr. II).
In the Kentucky Derby, Z Fortune ran 10th to Big Brown. Following the Run for the Roses, he went on to race eight more times, and though he failed to find the winner’s circle again, he did run third in the Ohio Derby (gr. II). With earnings of $432,942 from 15 starts, Z Fortune was retired in late 2010.
During his race career, the New York-bred gray was owned by Ahmed Zayat and trained by Steve Asmussen. The Zayat Stable connections contacted New Vocations in early spring to see if they would be interested in taking the newly gelded Z Fortune.
“We were absolutely thrilled to get a horse in the program with such a prestigious resume,“ said Ford. “This is a perfect example of an owner doing right by their horse once its racing career is over. Z Fortune is a horse who still has a lot to offer. He didn’t need a retirement home; he simply needed an opportunity to excel in a second career.”
Over the last month, Z Fortune started receiving transitional training for a second career as a riding horse. “He is not only a big, beautiful gray gelding but he has proven to have a great disposition,” said New Vocations Lexington facility manager Lisa Molloy. “He has taken to his new life well and seems eager to learn.
“So far it appears he should be suitable as a pleasure mount or even some lower level competition such as dressage.”
Z Fortune’s information can be seen on the New Vocations website at www.horseadoption.com. Interested individuals are required to fill out an application online. Following this year’s Kentucky Derby all applications will be reviewed and an individual will be chosen to adopt Z Fortune. As with all New Vocation adoptions, a thorough background check will be done to ensure the best suitable home for Z Fortune.