Honoring Mananan Mclir

Yesterday as The Usual Q.T. blazed to victory in the Gr. 1 Hollywood Derby, far from the crowds and glory stood a horse that has truly flown with the eagles. He was dozing in his paddock, enjoying the Tehachapi sunshine.
Named for the Celtic Lord of the Sea, Mananan Mclir ran a punishing second to Johar in the 2003 Hollywood Derby. The horses he faced on the racetrack were legends, horses like Inesperado, Moscow Burning, Geronimo, Sunday Break, Sarafan and Star Over the Bay. He won the Gr.2 American Derby, placed in both the Hollywood and Oak Tree Derby, and competed in ten graded events in his forty-seven race career. Mananan Mclir was a fierce competitor against the best, and he retired with earnings of $506,127.
Photo by Andy Padilla

How he came to enjoy dozing in the sun at Tranquility Farm on Hollywood Derby Day is a cautionary tale. You see Mananan Mclir fell into the claiming ranks, and on July 4, 2008 he officially became an “unwanted horse” when he was pulled up in a race at Hollywood park and could run no more. But for the chance passing of a friend of Tranquility Farm he was about to be traded away for scrap.

Year after year there are papers published, committees formed, rules enacted and general hand-wringing over the plight of horses like Mananan Mclir. Until one of these efforts hits the mark all these horses have are chance rescues and public support for retirement farms.Mananan Mclir is just one of the one- hundred reasons that we need and appreciate your support.


Capricho goes home.

Capricho left for his new home today, and took his first ride in a horse van. Because he had never been loaded into a trailer before his adopter Kelly and I decided to give him confidence by doing some exercises to teach him to load. Since the actual trailer he was leaving in was unavailable to us, we schooled him by breaking down the loading process into a series of simple tasks that he could easily master.We built an obstacle with a series of poles and rubber mats that we arranged in different patters on the ground, and set up a portal in the center of the obstacle.
His first reaction was to get a little clingy.He also wanted to do what many young horses tend to do when asked to load into a trailer for the first time, which is to look off in another direction.
This is probably a low- key flight mechanism, just checking to see if there is an alternative.

What we needed for him to do was to step forward keeping his head down so he can see precisely where his feet are and concentrate on the obstacle. With a few false starts he soon picked up confidence and began walking easily forward to carefully negotiate the pattern.
We did two sessions with this exercise, changing the pattern and heights of the poles.
At the end of each session we practiced “doors”, by stopping to stand in the obstacle, and also walking through our breezeway barn and arbitrarily going in and out of open stall doors, stopping for a few minutes until Capricho stood quietly inside each new stall.
This completed the trailer-loading task, which was broken down for him into three distinct parts:
1. Walking forward on to an unfamiliar floor.
2. Tracking straight through a door.
3. Standing still once inside.
Finally the big day arrived for him to put together his practiced tasks in a smooth sequence.Drumroll........!!!He waked right up the ramp and into the trailer and stood quietly inside like he was an old pro.I’m sorry I couldn’t get a “win picture” but I was busy loading the horse! We are so proud of Capricho and Kelly, another pair of horsefriends with a good beginning at Tranquility Farm.


Honoring Citation Handicap winner Southern Wish

Today is the Grade I Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park, and a very good day to honor our retiree Southern Wish, who won the Citation Handicap in 1993, and retired with earnings of over half-a- million dollars. Over the years his coat has turned snow-white and he now ambles more than he gallops, but Southern Wish is still young at heart and dearly loves to visit with his little friend Eva.Extra carrots today old boy, you are still a champ.



We are thankful.

Tranquility Farm has supported a record number of horses in 2009, and they represent every aspect of the world of Thoroughbred racing. We have racing superstars, hard- knocking claiming horses, rescued broodmares and their foals, and a wonderful array of young horses waiting for homes. Twice each day the feed rounds are made, delivering quality hay, grain, supplements and treats to all of these horses. This does not happen by accident. We are profoundly grateful to the organizations and individuals who have made it possible for us to care for our horses this past year. You are all heroes.

Mr. and Mrs. John Amerman
Madeline Auerbach
Mr. and Mrs. Gary Biszantz
Blue Horse Charities
The Donald and Carol Chaiken Foundation
Barbara Corey, Auction Chairman
Daily Racing Form
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
Fort Dodge Animal Health
Mr. and Mrs. Eoin Harty
Hollywood Park Racing Charities
Jay Hovdey
Mrs. Beverly Lewis
Mr. Donny McFadden and the Buddy Gil partners.
Magali Farms
Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss
Marsha Naify
Valerie Naify
Oak Tree Charitable Foundation
The Phillip D. Pitchford Foundation
Mace Siegel
Thoroughbred Charities of America
Larry and Sheila Ullmann
Gayle Van Leer
Winstar Farm
The Wrather Family Foundation
Arnold Zetcher
And to EVERYONE who contributed sponsorships, stallion seasons and support for Tranquility Farm, WE THANK YOU!!!


Buddy Gil makes a friend.

While Buddy Gil lived at this owner’s ranch in Idaho for the last few years he had a paddock to himself. But when he came to live at Tranquility Farm it was hoped that he might eventually like to go out in the big pasture with the other retired geldings. Depending of course on what Buddy thought about the plan.
Now that Buddy feels at home here we turned him out across the fence for a visit with the fabulous floating Good Direction, who is a very sweet but passive horse.Buddy Gil decided to show Good Direction his moves, or who had the ‘class edge”, as they say in racing.
Good Direction remained confident that some accommodation might be reached, and……
“If I can be in your dream I’ll let you be in mine.” Bob Dylan"All’s well that ends well.” William Shakespeare




NOV. 28th and Nov.29th
10:00 am to 3:00 pm

NOV. 30th and DEC.1
10:00 am to 10:00 pm

Pacific Standard Time

Phone or Fax Barbara Corey 909-887-9067




Remembering Fortunate Betty

Today is the Gr. 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes for two- year- olds at Hollywood Park, and in 1993 that race was won by a colt named Individual Style, who went on to be one of the best in California that season. Individual Style’s dam was Fortunate Betty, who was one of the retired matriarchs of Tranquility Farm. When friends came to see multiple stakes producers like Fortunate Betty and Victorian Heiress they would joke about paying admission to the “California Bloodstock Museum ”, and they were not too far off the mark. Retiring broodmares is difficult.If they go out of production early in life there are sometimes still options for them to be used as a pleasure horse, but the better they are at producing runners the later in life they will usually be retired. Mares like Fortunate Betty, Victorian Heiress, and Invited Guest were all in their twenties when they arrived at Tranquility Farm. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if breeder’s associations set aside a portion of the breeder’s awards to help retire these elderly matrons that need a non-profit to care for them in their golden years? That’s just me talking.
Fortunate Betty lived to the age of thirty-two and had a wonderful retirement with us.She was devoted to her little band of mares, and no-one ever had a better friend than Betty. This weekend Tranquility Farm will hold our annual STALLION SEASON AUCTION,and one of the fine stallions donated is Individual Style, who is throwing some very good runners in Arizona. Betty would be pleased. I guess what goes around, comes around.


Krystal and Lacey's Legacy

When Krystal came to Tranquility Farm to explore the possibility of training her first colt she did not have a firm plan, only a dream of having a young, unraced Thoroughbred for her very own. We had three yearling colts that were recently gelded, two were very mellow and the third, a beautiful coal black by Royal Cat, was the more challenging. His name was Lacey’s Legacy, the last foal of the good mare Lacey Native, and he was a lot of horse. Undaunted, Krystal fell in love.Lacey loaded right up when the van came to pick him up and I waited anxiously to see how he would fit in with his new owner and a training program. Once again love, trust and patience gave a beautiful result. Without these, experience training horses is worth nothing, and with them experience can always be gained. There is no other glue to bond horse to human. Krystal and Lacey are just one of the happy human/horse pairs that began at Tranquility Farm.


Here's lookin at you Kid.

If are not old enough to remember what classic movie that line is from I’m probably talking to you. You might be someone who feels too insecure or inadequate to start a young horse.
Why is it that when someone wants a really good dog they raise a pup, yet when they want a really good horse they feel they must have something that has been trained by someone else?
Meanwhile, from everywhere, come horrendous stories of truckloads of yearlings, Thoroughbreds and others, being run through livestock auctions and bought en masse by horse dealers, mostly for slaughter. Victims of a world gone mad with excess.
Yet the basic education these babies need is simple for anyone that has rudimentary skills with horses. There are books, videos, clinics, teachers, websights, horse whisperers, RFD TV and even animal communicators if you really need some help. How hard can this be? How did our forefathers survive for generations in a world where everyone needed a horse? Ever wonder about that?

It is so simple. If you want to have the best horsefriend you will ever own rescue one of these babies, never scare him, always be kind. When he trusts you anything is possible. If you want to start here at Tranquility Farm we have five beautiful weanlings and two yearlings from rescued mares. They love you already! Give it a try.


Capricho is Adopted!

Two-year-old Capricho is the kind of horse who is sure to catch the artist's eye. Tall and elegant, he is hard to pass by without stopping to admire. And that is exactly how his adoption came about. Artist Kelly McLane was not really looking for a "baby horse". What she had in mind was one of our former racehorses that could be started in training for hunters. But then she saw him, saw his kindness and sweet, trusting eye, and she couldn't stop thinking about him. It took Kelly days to committ to the time it would take to train a horse from scratch, but when she left Tranquility Farm the day she met Capricho she took with her a video of him moving beautifully and being carefully mindful as he was worked. It did the trick. Capricho will soon be leaving for his lifetime home with Kelly. He might be the subject of a beautiful painting someday,but for now, it is enough that he will be well-loved.

AND Zenyatta says "PLEASE don't forget to ORDER your beautiful 2010 In the Presence of Champions Calendar starring me!"
All proceeds go to feed the horses at Tranquility Farm.


Calendar Puzzler Winner!

Kari Lyman has correctly identified Jay Hovdey as the photographer of Zenyatta, which will be the cover photo for the 2010 In the Presence of Champions. This beautiful photograph was taken by the saddling paddock on Breeder's Cup Day, before she went out and did we all know what! Congratulations Kari!

In addition to Zenyatta, In the Presence of Champions 2010 features wonderful photographs of Rail Trip, Lethal Heat, Well Armed, Gabby's Golden Girl, Bel Air Sizzle, Tiznow, The Del Mar Jockeys, Summer Fete, Balance and her A.P.Indy foal, Pretty Unusual, and Spring at Last.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER your copies of our beautiful 2010 In the Presence of Champions!


New Calendar Puzzler!

Here is a puzzler for our readers and also a sneak preview of In the Presence of Champions 2010. To win your copy of our 2010 calendar you must first identify this famous Thoroughbred champion, and second, identify our mystery photographer. Clues: The person who took this photo is a four-time Eclipse Award winner who did not win these awards for photography. He or she is also the author of some well-known books on racing, among them a biography of a famous racing personality known as “The Bald Eagle” and a horse known as “America’s Horse”. Can you name this person?


Buddy Gil Arrives at Tranquility Farm

Santa Anita Derby winner Buddy Gil arrived yesterday to join our band of retired racing stars at Tranquility Farm. Buddy also won the San Felipe stakes, the Baldwin Stakes, and finished sixth in the 2003 Kentucky Derby. For the last three years Buddy has been at his owner's ranch in Idaho, so he is perfectly adapted to life here at Tranquility Farm where horses live in pasture and play in the winter snow. No hothouse flower is Buddy Gil.

Buddy seemed very happy trying out our grass and meeting his new friends at Tranquility Farm.


Candy is Quicker Adopted!

Love at first sight, love from afar, meant to be? I'll never pen a romantic novel but I know a good love story when I see one. Linda Baxley saw a photo of Candy is Quicker strolling around his pasture and called to see what size blanket to buy for him. Not because he looked cold and she felt sorry for him, but because she could see he was a big,lovable moose of a horse and she knew she had to have him.

This weekend Linda arrived with husband and horse trailer, and Candy in person did not dissapoint. He loved her too. So off they went into the the early winter sunset, and yes, I think to live happily ever after. That was really an easy little story to write. Now about those other twenty-some adoptable horses........


Connecting the dots on Breeder's Cup Day

Today is Breeder's Cup Day,and also the running of the Gr.2 Oak Tree Derby at Santa Anita Park. To their great credit, for the first time, the Breeder's Cup has named Thoroughbred Charities of America as a sponsored charity for 2009. Although this would seem a logical choice, considering the Breeder's Cup is a global showcase of the best of racing, it is an important first and hopefully an indicator that the organizations who labor in the field of Thoroughbred retirement are growing in recognition and support within the industry.

Here at Tranquility Farm it just so happens that among our retirees are
Areyoutalkintome, who competed in the 2006 Breeder's Cup Sprint, and
Mananan Mclir, who ran third to Johar in the 2003 Oak Tree Derby. The retirements of both Areyoutalkintome and Mananan Mclir are entirely supported by charitable contributions. Without the support of Thoroughbred Charities of America it would not be possible for us to take in these and other gallant competitors when their races are run.

MANANAN MCLIR at Tranquility Farm.
To acknowledge Thoroughbred Charities of America today is more than an abstraction, and it is more than political correctness. What it means is that horses like Areyoutalkintome and Mananan Mclir can continue to thrive in their retirement, and that horses leaving the racetrack today will also find resources for their futures. Personally, I'm going to write a letter thanking the Breeder's Cup committee, and let them know how much it means that horses like Mananan Mclir and Areyoutalkintome are helped by their support of Thoroughbred Charities of America. I'm going to tell them that I hope in future Breeder's Cups the horses will never again be forgotten. And I hope you will too.


New Farm Security System

Rodents are hereby put on notice that two new guard dogs are now in residence at Tranquility Farm. Lilly and London intend to show no mercy to mice, rats, and ground squirrels… in a few weeks, just as soon as when they outweigh them.

These new pups originate from Star Valley Russell Terriers, in Scotsdale, Arizona, and their learning capacity is absolutely astounding. In two days they have been crate trained, learned to go up the porch steps, and they have already met the horses. Rest assured our grain room will soon be well protected!


In memory of Diamonds at Dawn

Sadly today we learned of the passing of one of the fillies that was born and raised here in 2004. Diamonds at Dawn was adopted as a yearling by Denise Constanide, who gave her a wonderful home. She lost her to colic yesterday. Our sympathies go out to Denise, who loved her tremendously. Although she lived a short life she had wonderful care and she knew that she was loved every day. Here is the lovely Diamonds At Dawn (foreground) as a yearling at Tranquility Farm in 2005. Rest in peace sweet girl.


Don'tbeatattletale adopted!

One of our most talented and endearing horses was adopted yesterday, and his new role is to be the darling of three generations of dedicated horsewomen who will undoubtedly make him into the dressage star that he is destined to be.

Congratulations to Milby family! We are looking forward to following Don’tbeatattletale as he progresses in his new career.