Luckarack, A Race Track Warrior and Stakes Placed Champion Retires, Comes Home
Luckarack is now ten years old and spent the greater part of his ten years racing. He raced 75 times, starting as a two year old in 2010. He raced an average of 10 times a year, except in 2014 where he got his only break and raced just four times. Just after breaking his maiden on June 10, 2010 at Golden Gate Fields he won two black type stakes races consecutively. First, the Everett Nevin Alameda County Stakes
on July 10, 2010 and then the Cavonnier Juvenile Stakes on August 14, 2010. He won both of those as a two year old. He then raced in three additional closely following stakes races where he finished off the board. In 2011 after racing in allowance and claiming company Luckarack was shipped to Del Mar and on August 10, 2011 was entered into the Real Good Deal Stakes and finished a respectable 2nd. Thereafter, he went to FairPlex Park, was entered in the Jim Kostoff Stakes and finished 1st. Two weeks later he raced in the Pomona Derby and placed 4th.
Luckarack also raced in the most elite company and highest ranked race, namely a Grade 1 stakes, and specifically the Malibu Stakes, at Santa Anita on December 26, 2011 where he finished 4th.
Throughout his long and stellar career, Luckarack competed in an incredible 15 black type stakes races out of his 75 starts and one graded stakes for a total of 16 stakes races in total. His last start was on February 17, 2018 at the Los Alamitos Quarter Horse track in a low level claiming race where he could be purchased for just $3,200 after winning over $630,000 over his career. Always a hard trier, even at 10 years old, Luckarack finished 2nd and was claimed. This was, however, to be his very last race.
On that night at the small track in Cypress, California there were many cheers from the audience and tears and congratulations. Long time trainer, Rosemary Trela had claimed Luckarack for retirement for his new connections, the Executive Director and Founder of Neigh Savers, Karin Wagner and her partner in this venture, Dr. Ixchel Mosley. He was purchased privately by Wagner and Mosley as Neigh Savers’ by-laws preclude buying horses off track and then was immediately donated to this northern California aftercare thoroughbred foundation, now in its 11th year.
From grooms, to trainers, to track management at Los Alamitos and even from his last trainer Angela Aquino, trainer Rosemary Trela was congratulated on this retirement. Everyone agreed that it was time for Luckarack to retire, that he had done all that was necessary and more to prove his mettle; that he was indeed one of the special horses in racing that had amassed a large fan following over his many years. When Neigh Savers posted his retirement on Facebook, the post received over 700 likes and many congratulatory comments, the most ever by a social media posting by Neigh Savers.
Rosemary Trela runs just a very tiny barn with just 4 active racers. She took Luckarack back to her home near the track to let him down and personally oversaw his transition to retirement. He was claimed from another Los Alamitos female trainer, Angela Aquino, who had taken exceptional care of him and although we claimed him for retirement Angela was happy to hear this news as she felt it was time for him to stop racing.
We started calling him Lucas and enjoyed hearing about his daily activities, likes and dislikes. At first fearful of being outside, he spent a lot of time in a stall and slowly acclimated to a paddock. He then decided that stall life was pretty much over for him and that he’d spent enough of his life confined there. It seems that sometimes, doing something good has some sort of a karmic effect and ever since Rosemary agreed to retire Luckarack for Neigh Savers, her own luck has dramatically improved. With just 13 starts in 2018, she has now won 6 races and all of those have come after retiring Luckarack! Lucas had some angels watching out for him…primarily Neigh Savers’
friend and owner of Friendship Farm in San Bernardino, Barbara Corey. Barbara first alerted Neigh Savers about a year ago to look for an opportunity to claim Luckarack so Neigh Savers quietly started watching him. But that’s not the end of the story for this incredible horse with his many angels.
While Lucas is a perfect gentleman, with impeccable ground manners and a stately attitude who considers all visitors to be friends with treats, he was also a very fierce competitor in his time. Other horses are the foes that must be vanquished. This attitude probably wasn’t the best for retraining into a trail horse and this retooling project might have been a long one indeed. Lucas is also a very big boy, coming in at just under 17 hands, so he’s a lot of horse to handle.
What we haven’t said yet is that Luckarack is a son of Lucky Pulpit, the same sire as California Chrome and one of Lucky Pulpit’s most successful sons. Lucky Pulpit sired seven foal crops. At the time of his death in 2017, he had sired 148 winners from 229 starters and was credited with progeny earnings of $24 million. In addition to California Chrome, Lucky Pulpit sired several other stakes winners: Rousing Sermon, who was a California Champion Two-Year-Old Colt; as well as Luckarack, a multiple stakes winner, Gatheratthealter and You’re Late.
Luckarack is by the dam Tamarack Bay (KY) and both his sire Lucky Pulpit and his dam belonged to Mr. & Mrs. Larry Williams, successful breeders with operations in both Oregon and Idaho. Luckarack was foaled at Harris Farms in Coalinga, California. As a matter of fact, the Williams’ first ever Thoroughbred yearling was Tamarack Bay, by Dehere, and was purchased in 2000 for $35,000 at the Keeneland sale. Tamarack Bay earned $210,000 on the track and produced four winners including Grade 1 winner Tamarando and of course, Luckarack.
Although foaled in California Luckarack will now retire to his breeders’ ranch in Idaho. Farm Manager Dan Kiser has been working with Neigh Savers since Luckarack was claimed at Los Alamitos and ultimately the decision was made in the best interests of this amazing horse that he be retired back to their ranch. After stopping back at his birthplace of Harris Farms, Lucas was transported to Idaho. And what a ranch he has been retired to! A paradise for any horse or human. We know he will be very happy there and cannot thank Mr. & Mrs. Williams enough for offering him a lifetime home.
The bulk of Larry and Marianne Williams’ horses reside at Tree Top Ranches, a 700-acre Thoroughbred farm in Parma, Idaho. Built from scratch 21 years ago and modeled after the leading farms in Kentucky, the farm is a full-service operation. Since Luckarack retired sound he will enjoy running free in spacious fields and paddocks enjoying the seasons, the freedom and the excellent forage found in the Boise Valley.
We recently received a photo of Lucas with Dan Kiser up. They look very happy together and are again reunited after so many years apart. Of course, Dan and the Williams followed his career all along and were happy for his successes. Dan adds: “That photo was from the first time I saddled him after he got back to Idaho. I broke him when he was a long yearling so it had been a long time between rides.
Luckarack was so calm and nice to ride it was unbelievable. It was like he felt “alright I am home.” He is still handsome and doing great.
Thank you NEIGH SAVERS for helping return an old friend.”
The word Lucky pops up in so much of Luckarack, his pedigree, his own name, his career and now his incredible and well deserved retirement. Cheers to all that made this happen! And Cheers to the great aftercare movement that is still gaining momentum.