12/11/2013 3:37PM

Spooky Mulder enjoying retirement on the farm


Friday’s feature at Aqueduct is named the Spooky Mulder, honoring a fan favorite known for his speed, tenacity, and consistency. Spooky Mulder retired in 2009 at age 11 after a career in which he won 34 of 85 starts, with 17 second-place finishes and 4 thirds. Racing for nine different trainers – some of whom claimed him more than one time – Spooky Mulder earned $950,548, winning just one minor stakes at Delaware Park.

Now 15 years old, Spooky Mulder is enjoying life on a farm in Harwood, Md., about 15 miles south of Annapolis, cared for by Sally Rohrbach, more an animal lover than racing fan. She was sent Spooky Mulder by Scott Lake, who was the last trainer to have campaigned the gelding. Lake’s wife, Jennifer Stisted, and Rohrbach are lifelong friends.

“When it was evident Spooky couldn’t run any more they were looking for somewhere to give him a home,” Rohrbach said in a phone interview this week. “They got in touch with me. I said ‘I don’t need a horse.’ Scott said, ‘You need this one.’ I’ll never regret taking him, I’m delighted to have him.”

Due to various physical issues, which included a suspensory problem and a broken bone in his foot, the early prognosis for Spooky Mulder wasn’t bright.

“When he came to me, I think he was 11, the vets told me he wouldn’t live long,” said Rohrbach, who has four ex-racehorses on her farm. “But he’s in fabulous shape. I bet you he’ll be here longer than I am.”

Spooky Mulder gets turned out with another horse, Older But Smarter, and occasionally Rohrbach will ride him. She has no plans to train him for any type of second career as a show horse or jumper.

“My goal is for him to have a happy retirement with lots of pasture and friends,” she said. “I don’t expect anything else of him. I ride him occasionally. Basically, I think he’s earned retirement. He gets piles of attention.”