The 2023 TAKE2 Jet Run Awards Go to ReRun and Second Stride

Dictionaries define “tenderfoot” as “an inexperienced beginner,” “a newcomer,” “a novice.” Strictly speaking, those descriptions are apt for this year’s TAKE2 Jet Run Award winner in the Jumper category, but first-year competitor Tenderfoot acted like anything but a neophyte in the ring, earning enough points to finish in the top 10 in the year-end standings for the TAKE2 Thoroughbred League.

Tenderfoot transitioned from racetrack to show ring through ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption in East Greenbush, New York. The TAKE2 Jet Run Award, created to put the spotlight on the programs that pave the way for second careers, goes to the high-score TAKE2 League member that was retired through an accredited aftercare organization.

Six-year-old bay gelding Tenderfoot was bred in Kentucky by Marylou Whitney Stables and owned by her estate. Unsuccessful in his first three races, he was dropped into a maiden claiming race at Saratoga during the summer of 2020, where he was snatched up by trainer Charlton Baker and owner Francis Paolangeli.

In seven starts for his new connections, Tenderfoot notched four wins and two seconds, including a runner-up finish in the Jazil Stakes to millionaire Mr. Buff.

Tenderfoot’s last race came on March 26, 2021. He won at Aqueduct Racetrack and was retired through the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association’s TAKE THE LEAD program, which is part of the TAKE2 network.

“I loved Tenderfoot from the moment he got here,” said Lisa Molloy, ReRun’s program director. “He’s got a lot of personality, and he’s unflappable. He’s beautiful. If I’d have been in the market for a horse, I’d have been quite happy to have him.”

Founded in 1996 in Kentucky as an extension of the Kentucky Humane Society, ReRun is one of the oldest Thoroughbred retraining and adoption programs in the country. Molloy, a native of England who grew up riding horses and also worked in the racing industry in both Britain and the U.S., joined ReRun in 2012. The organization was accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance the following year, and relocated to a 21-acre facility in upstate New York in 2015.

ReRun has found homes for 2,000 Thoroughbreds since it started, 1,000 in the last decade alone. The organization relies on a network of adopters who have been thoroughly screened to ensure they can provide all that a retired racehorse will need. One of their most reliable partners is Ashley Stump. Molloy thought Tenderfoot and Stump would be a perfect fit.

“Ashley and her daughter have adopted several horses from us,” said Molloy, “so I have an idea of what works for her and her program.”

Added Stump, “I get most of my horses from ReRun. Lisa handpicked Tenderfoot for me.”

A nurse at an addiction campus near her home in eastern Massachusetts and a mother of four, Stump is also an advocate for Thoroughbreds in second careers and a veteran in the OTTB world. She’s competed at the Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover, and she has twice participated in Aftercare Day at Saratoga Race Course, once with Tenderfoot, demonstrating his post-racing skills over jumps. She couldn’t make it to Aftercare Day this year because she and Tenderfoot were at a horse show.

She learned about the TAKE2 program from other riders at her barn, Winslow Farm in Valatie, NY, which is owned by Leann Kelly.

“Leann has been by my side through this whole process, and she really made all of this possible for us,” said Stump.

“I’m partial to Thoroughbreds and I enjoy working with them,” said Kelly. “Tenderfoot is very, very brave and very willing, which is pretty typical of Thoroughbreds. That’s why I like them.”

Before turning to jumping, Kelly initially thought that Tenderfoot might make a good hunter.

“But he’s definitely got a jumper’s mentality,” she said. “Hunting wasn’t quite quiet enough for him.”

Though Stump rarely goes to the races, she’s been riding Thoroughbreds for decades.

“I’m a Thoroughbred girl all the way,” she said. “I love working with them as they start a new career, and the ones I’ve gotten from Lisa have been amazing. ReRun gives them the down time they need, and when they leave the farm, they have pretty much all the foundation they need.”

After a successful summer in the ring, Tenderfoot is getting a bit of a vacation. Though the duo qualified for the TAKE2 Finals in Kentucky in September, Stump elected to sit the big show out.

“He’s worked so hard and gotten so far, and his last competition was so good that I decided that we’d end with that and take a break,” she said. “He can get a little cranky when he’s not working, but he’s really a lovebug, a good boy with a mellow attitude.”

“It’s exciting,” she reflected. “This is his first year doing TAKE2, and it’s so exciting to see what he’s accomplished.”

Repeating as the Jet Run Award winner in the TAKE2 Hunter category was Cinthia Ane McGreevy’s Tavish, who was retired through Second Stride in Crestwood, Kentucky. Second Stride founder and executive director Kim Smith and her team have placed more than 1,500 retired racehorses since starting out in 2005. Tavish, the overall TAKE2 High-Score Hunter for the 2021-22 season, finished ninth in the TAKE2 Hunter standings for 2022-23.

McGreevy, a successful real estate agent in south Florida, also serves as Vice President of TAKE2.

“These aftercare organizations play a vital role in ensuring that our retired racehorses go on to happy and healthy lives beyond the racetrack,” McGreevy said. “TAKE2 would not be able to fulfill our mission without their contributions. We are proud to honor programs like Second Stride and ReRun.”

Contact: Teresa Genaro
[email protected] 

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