Home Magazine Second Chance Stories Grady


Grady is a registered 12-year-old Florida-bred bay gelding by Prospectors Gamble. He made his first start as a two-year-old at Hollywood Park, finishing third going 5 1/2 furlongs. His next start was three weeks later at seven-eighths of a mile finishing second by a quarter length. That would soon prove to be his best distance. He broke his maiden in his next start, in a seven furlong stakes race and beat Real Quiet, who finished third to him and who would win the Kentucky Derby the following spring.

Grady continued his career in California, changing barns until finally being shipped East and running at the New York and New Jersey tracks. He ended up in a barn at Suffolk Downs in Boston and then was shipped to Maryland for the winter. He was nine years old and had dropped consider- ably in the claiming ranks. He was now running for anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 tags.

We had a small stable in Maryland, and I was familiar with this trainer. I knew him as a good horseman. I was confident Grady was receiving good care, so my husband and I decided to claim him for ourselves. He ran under our farm name, Pilots Cove Farm, and won his next start for us.

We learned a lot about Grady early on. He thrived on being in between horses and fighting it out, a true warrior! Grady did not like the whip – the jockeys were told that they could get away with hitting him once, maybe twice, that was it, after that he would pin his ears and duck from the whip in deep stretch!

Grady was claimed twice from us, and we claimed him back both times for a lower claiming price. The second time we claimed him back, we did it for Steven Walfish. Steven just loved the horse and wanted him to run in his name a few times. I was determined that I would keep him with us and give him a home for life.

His last win was in 2005 in Virginia at Colonial Downs. It was a hot day, and I worried the heat would bother an old horse, but what a thrill it was watching him run past the field to win by five lengths.

Grady began a well-deserved retirement last August. He ran 104 times, winning 15 starts and earning almost $800,000.

He now spends his days out in the pasture and has adjusted well to farm life, although occasionally he will let us know he is still the boss. Grady loves to entertain himself at our expense and will go through periods of not wanting to be caught to come in for the evening. Grady has a lot of “racehorse” still in him.

I have been re-schooling him and found he doesn’t like working in a ring. My guess is that he has spent enough time running in circles. My plan is to foxhunt him in the fall, that is – if he tells me it’s okay!
—Andi Puckett

Grady (FL), 1995, g., Prospectors Gamble—Petadear, by Subpet.
Raced 10 years, 104-15-22-19, $785,430, won Indian Nations Futurity, Albany H., 3rd Barrett’s Juvenile S.