Mike Repole, a major owner of thoroughbred racehorses, claimed Be Bullish from Belmont’s third race yesterday and immediately announced his intention to retire him, according to David Grening at drf.com.
The ten-year old gelding had earned over a million dollars and was running for a $16,000 tag. Repole had owned the horse twice before for six of his 87 starts. Grening quoted Repole saying “All great athletes have to retire at some time…. If every horse could have an ending like this, the sport would be in a much better place.” The horse will be pensioned to Old Friends at Cabin Creek near Saratoga Springs.
Two of the major issues negatively affecting racing are the use of drugs and the care of thoroughbreds once they retire. Repole, who in the past has matched donations to Old Friends, is to be commended for giving back to the equine athletes by whom he has done so well.
Of course with racing, nothing can ever be an unblemished good. Grening quoted trainer David Jacobson who lost the horse via the claim box: “If Mike Repole claimed this horse to retire him, I don’t see it. I think it’s foolish. He shouldn’t be taking this horse away from the public.” Thanks, David, for advancing the interests of the sport.
Jacobson’s remark reflects what racing has become. A business run by fools instead of a sport run by horsemen.