Who's the Cowboy

Who's the Cowboy

Courtesy Sleeter Farm

New Jersey Star Who's the Cowboy Retired

The 11-year-old gelding won eight stakes and placed in 14 others at Monmouth Park.

Garden State racing star Who's the Cowboy has been retired and in the next day or two will return to the New Jersey farm where he was born.

After a pair of off-the-board finishes in claiming races this year, current trainer Skip Einhorn and owner Law Legacy Stables decided to retire 11-year-old Who's the Cowboy and give the eight-time Monmouth Park stakes winner to his breeder and initial owner, the Sleeter family.

Kurt Sleeter, who runs the family farm near Clementon, N.J., with his mother Carolyn and brother Kasey, said a paddock is waiting for the Intensity gelding who earned $1,138,867 in his 10 seasons of racing. Most of that success came while he was trained by Kurt's brother, Kevin Sleeter, and campaigned by their father, Gerald.

"We have a brand new, beautiful pasture with his name on it," Kurt Sleeter said. "We're just so excited to have him back."

The Sleeter family had touched base with Einhorn, letting him know that if Who's the Cowboy needed to be retired, he had a home at Sleeter Farm. After a sixth-place finish in a $5,000 claiming race June 22 at Monmouth, Einhorn and the owner retired Who's the Cowboy and gave him to the Sleeter family.

Who's the Cowboy earned all of his stakes placingseight wins, seven seconds, and seven thirdsracing for the Sleeters. In August 2010, he was claimed for $25,000 at Monmouth by trainer Gary Contessa for owner Maggi Moss.

"After he was claimed, we cried like babies for a couple of days," Kurt Sleeter said.

But that disappointment helped motivate the family to keep an eye on Who's the Cowboy. That would prove a challenge after the claim, as Who's the Cowboy would start in New York and New Jersey for trainers Contessa, Rudy Rodriguez, Chris Englehart, John Tebbutt, Peter Walder, Chuck Spina, George O'Malley, Edward Allard, and Skip Einhorn.

During that time, the family celebrated in 2011 when Who's the Cowboy surpassed $1 million in earnings, but they continued to dream of bringing him home for retirement.

While racing for the Sleeters, Who's the Cowboy typically would debut each spring or summer at Monmouth, where he recorded all 22 of his career stakes placings. Who's the Cowboy won 20 of 88 starts, and placed 30 other times.

Out of the Better Arbitor mare Image's Image, New Jersey-bred Who's the Cowboy won the Icecapade Stakes in 2006 and 2008 and in those same seasons captured the Colts Neck Handicap. He also won the 2006 Teddy Drone Stakes and Friendly Lover Handicap, as well as the 2005 Rumson and City Zip Stakes.

Plans are in the works to parade Who's the Cowboy Sept. 21 at Monmouth, a day that will feature several stakes races for New Jersey-breds.