Cappucino Kid, an earner of nearly $250,000, was rescued from a feedlot in Washington State March 23 and is on his way to a new home at Old Friends, a Thoroughbred retirement facility near Georgetown, Ky.
A half-brother to grade I winner and prominent sire Medaglia D’oro, Cappucino Kid was scheduled to be shipped to a slaughterhouse, possibly in Mexico, within a few weeks. Cappucino Kid, who finished his career with a record of 10-7-8 from 44 starts, was a familiar name on the West Coast, where he competed at Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields, and Hollywood Park.
Discovered by SOS Equines, a Washington-based organization dedicated to saving slaughter-bound horses, Cappucino Kid was adopted for a fee of $425 by a Maine-based racing fan named Linda Madsen.
Bred in Kentucky by Albert and Joyce Bell, Cappucino Kid was claimed several times throughout his career for as much as $50,000, however, he was most recently was purchased for a $10,000 claiming tag by Roy and Steve Demarta, Cindy Olsen, and Jack Retzloff at Bay Meadows last March. The 10-year-old gelding raced three times for that partnership, after which he ran his last start in the name of James Haverty at Grants Pass Downs, a fairgrounds track in southern Oregon.
“I don’t know how he ended up (at the feedlot),” said Michael Blowen, president of Old Friends. Blowen said SOS Equines had probably discovered Cappucino Kid at a slaughter auction, after which they contacted Alex Brown, an exercise rider and founder of an anti-slaughter organization. Brown, who is a close friend of Blowen’s, approached him about taking Cappucino Kid after his adoption fee was paid.
“There are a lot of great groups that go to these auctions and find Thoroughbreds--they’re the ones that deserve all the credit because they’re on the front lines,” Blowen said.
He added that horses are often picked up by “killer trucks” that claim they will take retired runners to a riding academy. Instead, they are sent to slaughter auctions.
Blowen said Cappucino Kid would be kept at the nearby Cedar Springs farm owned by Dr. Doug Byars, who recently agreed to lease some paddock space for Old Friends geldings and mares. Because of Cappucino Kid’s name, Blowen said he’s trying to get some coffee companies interested in sponsoring the gelding.
“Whole Foods in Louisville found out about (Cappucino Kid), and they’re going to do a little fundraiser for us on April 18 at their store,” said Blowen, who noted Holly Hill Inn in Midway, Ky., had also agreed to host a cappuccino festival in honor of the gelding.
Blowen said he is anticipating a future fundraising collaboration to benefit retired racehorses with Stonewall Stallions near Versailles, Ky., where Medaglia D’oro stands. Details will be announced later.