Suffolk Downs Holds its Annual Showcase on Sunday

As racing begins to wind down for the season at Suffolk Downs, the number of horses that will need non-racing careers is beginning to rise. Given the uncertainty facing the economy, there will be more horses than ever who need a soft landing. If you are looking for a “prospect” or just a horse to hack around on, there is probably an OTTB at Suffolk who is looking for you! 

For the past three years CANTER New England has hosted a Showcase at the track as a way to show prospective buyers to a large selection of available horses. The Showcase is Sunday, October 26th from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Certainly, it’s a great way to get an introduction to horse shopping on a race track because, let’s face it, visiting the track on your own is intimidating. The first time I walked the shed row I was ready to take home everything in sight, just to get them out of there!

CANTER volunteers have seen the horses (sometimes following a horse’s career for years) and know the trainers. They can help you figure out what horse might be suitable for the type of riding you want to do and help you evaluate the impact that old injuries or just plain lack of calories can have on a horse.

Here are just some of the horses that I would like to take a closer look at. A complete list of horses for sale by their trainers can be found here

Confident Heart: Dark chestnut with chrome, 16.2/16.3 hands, 8 years old. “Confident Heart” is a tall, very fancy mare with fabulous bone and popping dapples! She has a Warmblood physique, mustang endurance, and a puppy dog personality. Trainer has put a lot of time and great care into this mare, “because I really, really love her!” Regretfully selling, as Heart is showing she’s just plain tired of racing after 6+ years on the track. She is a kind, gentle mare who is described around the backside as “the easiest horse to ride.” This is a SUPERB broodmare prospect who will have no trouble getting into the Warmblood approved books. Price: $2,000 OBO – very negotiable to the right person; trainer most concerned with finding a great home. Contact Jill Lorenz at  603-479-5098 or

The Big Ugly (near white 17 hands, 8 years old) has a name that’s not only unfortunate, it’s entirely inaccurate, too! There is nothing even close to ugly about this mare; she’s tall, striking, kind…and has LOTS of off-the-track training and show experience. Beautiful form over fences…has gone up to 2’6″, always keeps her knees nice and tight, and is very intuitive about a course and judging distances. A whiz at flying lead changes, too! Has run primarily on turf, and has stayed sound and in great shape throughout her career. She’s been with the same owner/trainer for years, and her excellent care shows in her open, friendly nature. Her sister is a star in the Oldenburg Main Mare book and The Big Ugly could easily follow in her footsteps as a sporthorse broodmare, too. Price: $3,999 firm. Serious inquiries, please, to Henry Rosenthal at 603-568-8804.

“Buzzin Around” (Dark gray with roaning, 15.2 hands, 5 years old) is described by his trainer as “one in a million – he has the best personality.” This adorable boy (check out those bangs in his photo) is a born ham…always charming in exchange for attention and petting. Trainer notes with loving frustration that Buzz is sound but “never gets anything done on the track because he’s too busy clowning around.” Price: $3,000 negotiable. Call Bernie Bramante, 617-291-5104.

“Sol Royale” (bright chestnut with chrome, 15.2  hands (and growing!), 3 years old) is a showstopper…he is just incredibly handsome. He is a grandson of Secretariat, and his lineage shows in every way, from his gleaming copper coat to his solid, sizeable build (he has a big barrel that will take up a lot of leg) and classy demeanor. Sol would seem to be the ideal hunter/jumper prospect…he is a fancy mover, has a quiet and gentle disposition, and is very friendly…so laid back that trainer’s girlfriend leads him around without a chain. He also has the chrome and flash to catch the judges’ eye in the show ring! Sol is lightly raced…he’s sound but shows zero interest in emulating his famous ancestors. Has now started under-saddle work and loves being a riding horse. Price: $3,500 firm. Call Alan Lockhart, 508-415-9022, or e-mail

“Tom Who” (dark bay, 16.1 hands, 7 years old) is his trainer’s absolute favorite: he couldn’t rave enough about this big, showstopping boy! “I HATE to sell him,” he lamented, but there aren’t enough stalls at the track where he’s headed. Tom is still the picture of health and horsepower after 60+ starts; he’s not all that interested in racing anymore, but looks like a million bucks and clearly wants a J-O-B…this is a horse that will rise to the occasion every time you ride him. Very regal animal with tons of presence and a great brain. He’s even started ponying other horses to the starting gate, and is proving to be a fast learner. A quality horse in every way…don’t miss out. Price: $3,000 firm. Serious inquiries, please, to Dave Lezell, 781-956-0404. 

“Panky Hanky” (liver chestnut, 15.2 hands (and growing!), 3 years old) looks like a combination of sturdy QH and adorable pony – he is VERY attractive, nicely put together, and flashy. Snazzy boy with a distinct blaze. An elegant mover, too…once you can get him going: he’d much rather stop and eat! Did have a knee chip taken out some time ago, but knee has healed completely and does not appear to be bothering him. Trainer is headed to Puerto Rico and can’t take him along, so is pricing to sell. PRICE REDUCED: $1,500 negotiable to a great home; trainer leaving very soon, MUST SELL! NEW PHONE # FOR TRAINER: Call Greg Rivera, 508-685-3616.

These horses are all being sold by their trainers but CANTER New England also has several horses that are available for adoption. Keep in mind that CANTER always recommends that you have a pre-purchase exam performed on a horse before you buy.

If you can’t make it to the Showcase, or don’t have room in your barn for another horse, please donate to your local CANTER affiliate. Every dollar helps the horses as the organization is run completely by volunteers.

One thought on “Suffolk Downs Holds its Annual Showcase on Sunday

  1. CANTER does an excellent job at finding homes for retired racehorses. In the midwest I adopted my retired racehorse from New Vocations in Ohio and he is outstanding.

Leave a Reply