New home found for Santa Anita Derby winner discovered in kill pen
USA: The Deputy, winner of the G1 Santa Anita Derby in 2000, has been rescued from a Texas kill pen, an enclosure where unwanted horses are held before being auctioned for slaughter.
Former owners Team Valor stepped in to purchase the 24-year-old stallion on behalf of his former trainer Jenine Sahadi and owning partner Gary Barber after concerns were raised on social media. He was collected by Donna Keen’s Remember Me Rescue.
Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin said: “We decided to have Donna quarantine The Deputy for a while, do some diagnostic work including bloods and a fecal and not reveal anything about the rescue until we were certain that he was healthy, as Donna warned us that horses from feedlots can contract diseases quite readily.
“When the tests all came back negative today and the vetcheck proved unremarkable, we decided it was time to tell the story, not to portray ourselves as heroes, but to put an end to the salacious, untrue and unfounded tales that had been circulating online. We want to thank those horse lovers who helped us in our endeavors.”
The Deputy began his career in Britain, winning an Epsom maiden in five starts for the late John Hills, after which he was bought by Team Valor.
He won three of his first four starts under Shahadi and went into the Kentucky Derby as second favourite only to suffer a bowed tendon in the Classic won by Fusaichi Pegasus. He never raced again and was syndicated as a stallion in Kentucky, and also stood at farms in Michigan and Iowa.
Barber, best known as owner of Preakness Stake winner War Of Will, said “I have always had a soft spot in my heart for The Deputy. He was my first Grade 1 winner.”