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/