Breeders’ Cup joins forces with Retired Racehorse Project

America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred: Old Tavern (rider Charlie Caldwell, right) was the overall winner at last year’s Thoroughbred Makeover. Photo: Retired Racehorse Project

The Retired Racehorse Project has announced a partnership with the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, bringing together the most prestigious weekend of Thoroughbred racing in the United States and the premier showcase of off-track Thoroughbreds.

RRP organizes the $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America, which takes place from Thursday to Sunday (Oct. 4-7) at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The event features about 500 recently retired Thoroughbreds competing in ten different non-racing disciplines. Spectators vote for one overall winner among the ten discipline champions, and that horse is crowned America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred.

In addition to prize money and other merchandise, the rider of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred from the Thoroughbred Makeover will receive two tickets to the Breeders’ Cup, which takes place on November 2-3 at Churchill Downs. There the recipient will be honored between races in the winner’s circle on Friday, November 2. RRP will also be promoting the Breeders’ Cup to off-track Thoroughbred enthusiasts.

“We are honored to be partnering with the Breeders’ Cup to recognize the winner of this year’s Thoroughbred Makeover,” said RRP Executive Director Jen Roytz. “The Breeders’ Cup has long been the proving ground for the best racehorses in the world, and in recent years the Thoroughbred Makeover has earned the same reputation for the country’s top Thoroughbreds in their post-racing careers. For the Breeders’ Cup to show such dedication and support in celebrating these horses after they’ve run their last race is a testament to how much they respect and value these athletes through all phases of their lives.”

“We are delighted to partner with the Retired Racehorse Project in support of the Thoroughbred Makeover and to honor the winning rider of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred at this year’s World Championships,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup president and CEO. “In just a short time, the RRP has become a remarkable success story in not only expanding the market for retired racehorses, but increasing value and demand for them at the conclusion of their racing careers.”

In addition to the competition, the Thoroughbred Makeover includes educational seminars and panel discussions focused on Thoroughbreds in second careers, as well as the Makeover Master Class, a demonstration featuring top trainers discussing how to select and restart an off-track Thoroughbred. The Makeover is also a premier opportunity for recreational or competitive riders to shop for horses, as around half the entrants will be available for sale in the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace.

The event also includes an extensive sponsor fair and silent auction with racing memorabilia. All seminars are free and open to the public, as are the initial rounds of Makeover competition on Thursday and Friday. The Makeover finale, featuring the top five horses in each discipline, requires an admission ticket, which can be purchased at

All horses competing in the Makeover are listed online, along with their pedigrees, race records, breeder, and their racing connections at their last start. The list is searchable and can be sorted by state and sire. View entries at

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