It’s that time of year, EN! The Retired Racehorse Project’s ever popular Thoroughbred Makeover — this year branded America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest — will take place this weekend at Pimlico Racecourse, with 10 off-track Thoroughbreds showing what they’ve learned in their new careers with their respective trainers.
We’ve been following along with Phillip Dutton and Icabad Crane all year long as the much-loved Preakness Stakes runner and winner of nearly $600,000 on the track has made the transition from racehorse to Training level eventer, and Phillip said he’s excited to show what the horse has learned at Pimlico.
“He’s going to run in Training level at Morven Park before going to the Thoroughbred Makeover, so he’ll have a busy weekend,” Phillip said. “He’s still green at the level, but he’s taken to the sport well. To me, he exemplifies a classic American Thoroughbred. He’s intelligent and athletic, but he’s also sensible.”
Since starting his eventing career in March at Full Gallop Farm — where he won Beginner Novice on a score of of 32.1 — Icabad Crane successfully cruised through Novice and made the move up to Training Level at Fair Hill in August, placing 5th on his dressage score of 29.6.
His owners Graham and Anita Motion have become familiar faces in the eventing scene as they’ve followed along with Icabad’s new career, and though Phillip said he’s not entirely sure what Icabad’s future will hold after the Thoroughbred Makeover concludes, it’s a safe assumption that eventing will always be a part of his life now.
“Somewhere along the line, he’ll be eventing,” Phillip said. “This is his new career, and he won’t be sold.” The winner of the Thoroughbred Makeover receives $10,000, and if Icabad wins, the money would be put right back into furthering his training and new career as an eventer, Phillip said.
“Graham and Anita are great and have been extremely supportive of the horse through his career, both in racing and now eventing,” Phillip said. “It’s been neat to become good friends with them through this process, and Icabad keeps playing a big part in the story.”
Phillip said Icabad has become a favorite at his True Prospect Farm, as Kaitlin Spurlock and Waylon Roberts, who both ride for Phillip, kept the horse going during his month-long trip in Europe for the World Equestrian Games and Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials. And Phillip’s 12-year-old daughter Olivia has also fallen in love with Icabad.
“Olivia rides him really well, and he quiets down with her and takes care of her,” Phillip said. “When she’s on board, you can tell he takes it down a notch.” Phillip shared this really cute video on his Facebook page of Olivia asking people to vote for Icabad in the Thoroughbred Makeover:
Now here’s where you come in, EN! Voting for America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred runs through 11:59 p.m. EST Saturday, Oct. 4. A second round of voting will open during the actual competition at Pimlico Racecourse on Sunday, Oct. 5. Icabad is currently holding a narrow lead, so he needs our help to win. Click HERE to vote, and be sure to “like” his Facebook page for updates. And here’s Phillip himself asking for your votes:
Icabad Crane on EN: