09/20/2012 3:20PM

Old Friends takes in Racketeer, graded-placed for Adena Springs


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Racketeer, a graded-placed earner of more than $400,000, has retired to the Old Friends equine facility in Georgetown, Ky., after his rescue earlier this year from a California feedlot.

Adena Springs and the California group Neigh Savers arranged to pull the Adena Springs homebred gelding from the feedlot. In his last start, September 2011, Racketeer had won in claiming company at Fairplex Park for La Canada Stables and trainer Jack Carava, but then fell off the radar until identified at the feedlot, according to an Adena Springs announcement Thursday.

The 9-year-old gelding won 6 of 52 starts in his career and was once trained by the late Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel. His 9 seconds and 11 thirds include placings in five stakes, three of them Grade 3 races.

Racketeer shipped from the feedlot to Adena Springs in Kentucky, where he “recuperated, put on weight, and has been just fantastic,” said Adena general manager Eric Hamelback. “He has such a wonderful attitude, and he’s the epitome of what people want in a Thoroughbred. He’s sound, strong, and raced at the highest level.”

Hamelback said he thought Racketeer would be a good fit for Old Friends partly because Frankel had left his racing trophies to the Kentucky-based program.

Racketeer arrived this week at the Old Friends Kentucky division. Adena Springs also operates its own retirement and retraining program at its Canadian farm in Aurora, Ontario. Horses unsuitable for adoption retire permanently at Adena Springs Florida.