03/24/2011 12:33AM

BFFs Greeley's Legacy and Hotstufanthensome

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Above:  Top row - Greeley's Legacy with Eibar Coa up, Aqueduct 4/06, and on Preakness morning 2006.  Second row:  Hotstufanthensome at Saratoga before the Fourstardave in 2005

Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue - part 2 of 3

Stephanie Cowser had no choice but to bring Greeley’s Legacy to Akindale. After all, she had promised him that she would.

A few years earlier, his stall faced a side street in Saratoga, and each day during the race meet as Stephanie passed, he watched her. She noticed him, too, her interest piqued by his stall webbing from the Preakness that noted his name, Greeley’s Legacy.

Day after day, she grew fonder of the dark bay who always seemed so interested. She began telling him that, someday, he would join the equine gang at Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue in Pawling, NY. Stephanie worked there, and she felt Greeley was reaching out to her. Someday, she told him, as she walked by, someday…

Greeley’s Legacy was 34-1 on Preakness day 2006. In his only prior stakes appearances he’d run fourth, seventh and fourth, and there was no reason to think he’d make things difficult for Barbaro, or Bernardini, on that third Saturday in May. He didn’t, finishing fifth.

He carved out a niche for himself, however, running competitively in optional claiming races for several seasons. Stephanie kept track of him as he eventually slipped into claiming events and wound up in the barn of Charlton Baker.

When fate brought Greeley to Saratoga last summer, Stephanie and fellow Akindale employee Erin Pfister sought Charlton out. For the first time Stephanie actually pet - and fed peppermints to - her old roadside friend. Greeley, then 7, was healthy, happy…and very sweet. Stephanie told Charlton that, if the owners decided to retire Greeley, to please keep Akindale in mind. Charlton said that he would.

The phone call came over Thanksgiving weekend.  Shortly thereafter, after a six-year, 35-race career (35-4-8-5, $254,376), Greeley stepped off the van at Akindale, his new home.

Above:  Greeley's Legacy (dark bay) and Hotstufanthensome (bay) at Akindale Farm on March 9, 2011.  Bottom right: closeup of Hotstuf's coat after a roll in the mud

By now, nearly everyone knows the tale of Hotstufanthensome, a stakes winner who earned $750,000 in his six-year career and was donated to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program as a potential riding horse. The only problem was that, in reality, Hotstuf was too unsound to be ridden. Suddenly, the beautiful gelding was an unmarketable liability.

Enter Esther Marr at The Blood-Horse, who wrote a blog about Hotstuf:

http://cs.bloodhorse.com/blogs/beyond-the-blinkers/archive/2011/01/06/graded-stakes-winner-needs-a-home.aspx

And then enter Richard Migliore, who literally lost sleep over the gelding:

http://hrtv.com/hrtvblogs/index.php/author/Migliore (Keeping Me Awake at Night, 1/8/11 entry)

And, finally, enter Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue:

http://www.facebook.com/notes/new-vocations/hotstuff-is-going-to-akindale/10150089126159415

And so Hotstufanthensome found his way to what should be his forever home at Akindale. Shortly after his arrival, he was partnered up with Greeley’s Legacy. The two became fast buddies.

Greeley has been ailing recently, and he wasn’t his usual self when I visited on March 9.  He was certainly no match for Hotstuf. You’d think Hotstuf was just released from a month’s stall rest, with all of his goofy, joyous jumping-bean action. He was dizzying to watch.

Greeley’s feeling better now, and rumor has it that the duo’s dynamic has changed a bit.

“Greeley usually makes Hotstuf look like the lazy one,” Stephanie says.

Above: Greeley's Legacy.  Below:  Hotstufanthensome

Above:  Hotstufanthensome with Erin Pfister (3/11), and Stephanie Cowser showers Greeley's Legacy with love (1/11)

Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue website: www.akindalehorserescue.org/

 

Sophia More than 1 year ago
This is so great to see. Greeleys Legacy decided to be born out in the field and I remember because he was so big, leggy and squirmy which made it difficult to carry him to the barn. I always wonder what happens to the horses I have helped raise, so this is fantastic.
NancyP More than 1 year ago
Hi Barbara, Thank you for the lovely and joyful pictures of HotStuf and Greeley's Legacy. I'm so happy to have had some small part in saving Hotstuf through a donation. You captured their joy and freedom so perfectly. It really brought smiles to my face to see such happiness. I went to Akindale in 2009 to see Evening Attire after he retired there. He has always been one of my favorites. The place is truly a horse haven - just gorgeous. Evening Attire had two pasture mates and he looked so happy - covered in mud - LOL. I also saw Secretariat's son D'Accord who is quite advanced in age. He is lovely. Truly, no one could wish for a better place than Akindale for horses who have retired from racing. John Hettinger was truly a generous and gracious lover of horses to protect Akindale into perpetuity for them. Thank you for these wonderful pictures of these former campaigners. Best, Nancy
Tricia More than 1 year ago
Thank you so much Barbara. I am so happy to see that they both are doing so well. I sent in some money to help with finding Hotstuf a good home and was wondering how he was coming along and now I know. Those two need to thank their lucky stars as they are so darn fortunate to have found Aikendale. Again thanks for the lovely photos and insight into their new lives.
stephanie cowser More than 1 year ago
Barbara, you are amazing -- thank you so much for capturing Greeley and Hotstuf perfectly. Your pictures (as always) are priceless and we had a ton of fun at the farm with you. Greeley is an amazing horse and I am so grateful to Erin for making room him and to you for getting our "happy endings" out there to everyone who followed he and Hotstuff on the track. Many thanks for your incredible work! Stephanie
Sue R-CT More than 1 year ago
What a joyful story! Does it get any better being a horse at Akindale Farm! Best friends, kind and loving people that adore you, a safe place to live and plenty of meals (and treats). Kicking up your heels for the sheer joy of being alive! Hotstuf and Greeley are just a few examples on how rewarding it is to help find retired race horses happy forever homes! I have been fortunate to come to know Hotstuf and Greeley and see how special they are! Thank you to Akindale Farm for sharing their story and thank you Barbara for sharing Akindale's story! Onto Part 3! Maybe a Part 4?
Nancy More than 1 year ago
I'm so happy to see these two great guys are safe and happy. I remember them well, and always loved Hotstuff's name. The photos are so full of life and happiness. Thank you.
Vicky More than 1 year ago
Nothing more fun that to see a horse have as much fun as these two! Sheer joy is evident and that is a great state to be in. Thanks to all who made it possible and thanks to Barbara for recording the results. :)
larry ulrich More than 1 year ago
OMG!!! I had GREELEYS LEGACY for his maiden win, has NWx, his loss in the slop in the Gotham.... all the way thru his Preakness.... I had the George Weaver string in barn 22 at belmont... Luis was his groom. We called Luis "quatro" bexause he wore glassses.... Oh, we loved this horse.... sooo glad he is well!!
Janine H More than 1 year ago
I was so shocked when I saw Greeley in the title- this was my favourite derby contender that year. I was rooting for Greeley's Legacy all the way in the preakness, although he was totally outclassed, I just loved the guy. Seeing him retired and out in the field having fun like this 4 years later so so amazing! Thank you so much, what a lovely treat. These photos tell such a story but it's such a different feeling when it's a horse I recognize and love.
Alysse Jacobs More than 1 year ago
I'm loving the Akindale series. Can't wait for part 3!