Summit Racing LLC was only fortunate enough to own Spot the Diplomat for the final two races of his 41-race career. A career that saw him win seven races, including a stakes race as a 2-year-old, while earning more than $342,000 over five seasons.
After winning a Cal-bred allowance race at Santa Anita first time off the claim in early March, the 6-year-old gelding came back a month later and ran a terrific third against similar, earning a 91 Beyer speed rating–his best figure in nearly two years. We were riding high, having earned back our $20,000 investment in two races, and owners of a horse who clearly was in top form.
However, three weeks later the bad news came. He had fractured a sesamoid bone in a workout at Hollywood Park and would have to be retired.
After letting him rehabilitate at a farm in Murietta, we were able to find him a home with the Hays family, who would be relocating from California to Texas in August.
Grant Hays and his wife Greta are not your typical “horse people”. Grant was working as a producer at a radio station; Greta, in the fine dining business and a mother of two young boys, Jack, age 5, and Dylan, 2. But as the parents of two severely autistic children, they were moving to Texas so their young boys could be around horses, which are known to have a tremendously therapeutic effect on autistic kids.
“Spot” is enjoying his retirement in a large, shaded paddock and the Hays family is thriving. “Our family is so happy to be adopting Spot. All of us feel the good energy,” said Grant. “Being around these horses has changed my perspective on life. He is an angel around the kids. Worst he ever does is being too friendly and social!”
Trainer Jeff Mullins put it best. “He is one of the coolest horses I’ve ever trained, and he deserves a good home. Hopefully he can make a difference in these little kid’s lives. Thank you all for giving him a great life.”
And a special thank you to our partners Neil Haymes, Jeremy Peskoff and Selman Shaby, who continued paying bills after Spot’s racing career was over while we waited to find him that good home, one this old warrior richly deserved.