TCA Announces July Award of Merit Winner

Tuesday, August 04, 2015


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Thoroughbred Charities of America has announced Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program (OTRP) as the July recipient of its Award of Merit. Launched in January, in celebration of its 25th anniversary, TCA has honored nearly 20 recipients throughout the year. Recipients are nominated by the leadership of various state Thoroughbred owners and breeders associations and honored at their annual awards ceremonies.


On July 31 representatives of OTRP were acknowledged with the Award of Merit at the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma’s Awards Banquet in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program Has Big Year On Many Fronts

Mary Rampallini • December 14, 2013


In a year of accomplishment, the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program has forged a relationship with the equestrian team at the University of Oklahoma, assisted in rescue efforts during the Moore, Okla., tornado, and reunited the 12-year-old Prospective Kiss, who last raced in July, with his breeder, CresRan.


The Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2007. The goal was to place racehorses off the track in new homes, with a focus on caring for horses that had ties to Oklahoma. Since the program started, about 80 horses have been adopted, said board member Chris Kirk.

OTRP Featured In Southern Racehorse

Lindsay Whelchel • January/February 2013


On a farm in Guthrie, Oklahoma, sits CK Thoroughbreds, the successful breeding operation of Larry and Nelda Kettles. Here, you will find stallions, broodmares and foals with winning bloodlines. What you might not expect to find, however, is a horse like Loves Bonus.


“Bonus,” as he’s called these days, is an easygoing bay gelding. Yes, he’s got an ancestry that traces back to greats like Storm Cat, Northern Dancer and Secretariat, and yes, his race record boasts 14 wins and earnings of more than $300,000, but what separates the 10-year-old Oklahoma-bred from the horses you might expect to find on a Thoroughbred farm is what he doesn’t have, at least not anymore, and that is a career as a racehorse.

Is This A Great State Or What

Galen Culver • October 1, 2012


OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA — He was one of the first trainers to move into the barns at Remington Park. Chuck Turco’s dusty steps walk past a long line of race horses that stretches back more than twenty years, and which lead forward to the latest, to a horse he calls Joe.


Taking Care Of Their Own

Liane Crossley • March 17, 2012


SILVER SENOR was highly unremarkable as a racehorse but possessed several attractive qualities for a second career, including a gray coat and ever important youth. Despite a three year career in which he won once in 16 starts, the gelding had little interest in competition, so owner breeder- trainer Francisco Bravo opted to point him in another direction while he was still young, age four. Another factor in Silver Senor’s favor was his status as an Oklahoma-bred, which made him eligible to be channeled through the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program.


The nonprofit organization is supported by various means, including private donations, industry grants, and a fund established by legislation and subsequent rule of the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission. 

Former Oklahoma Champion Returns Home

February 10, 2010


Earlier this year, the OTRP welcomed the return of Picaso, a stakes winning 2005 Oklahoma bred gelding by Alphabet Soup, out of Breakthrough, by Prosper Fager. Picaso had dropped through the claiming ranks, ending his career in a $4k claimer at Penn National in Pennsylvania. With the help of Marlene Murray of R.A.C.E. Fund, Inc.,and financial support from After the Finish Line, the OTRP was able to bring Picaso back home. Picaso is a past Oklahoma bred champion with earnings of $115,211 and was the Two Year Old Champion Colt at Remington Park in 2007.  The OTRP wishes to thank Marlene Murray, Dawn Mellen, and Picaso's trainer/owner who graciously donated Picaso to the OTRP. 

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Highland Ice Inducted Into Oklahoma Hall Of Fame

Dale Day


A true horse for the course, Highland Ice achieved all but one of his career victories at Remington Park as he dominated the sprint ranks here during his prime. The speedy gray rarely tasted defeat when he was on top of his game in the late 1990s in Oklahoma City.


Bred by legendary horsemen Walter Merrick of Sayre, Okla., Highland Ice was purchased as a 2-year-old at a sale by Gerald Dixon of Guymon, Okla. for $5,500. Dixon eventually placed him in the care of trainer Chuck Turco, with conditions that he be able to personally hot walk his horse in the mornings of a race week. The gelding by Highland Blade from the Icecapade mare Ice Magic received plenty of extra care and along with the talent he already possessed, found his niche by rolling to 15 of his 16 career wins at Remington Park.

Sad Story Manages Happy Ending

Jay Hovday • August 14, 2009


Those lucky enough to be at Longchamp on the afternoon of Oct. 4 were able to witness the final, glorious competitive appearance of Europe's most celebrated racehorse, Sea the Stars, as he galloped into retirement by winning the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Ribot, Sea-Bird, Allez France . . . move over.


Sea the Stars, presumably sound as a euro, trots off to stud now with the fanfare attendant to the coronation of a king, ready to spawn a robust new line of Thoroughbred. In an attempt to anticipate the economic impact of Sea the Stars at stud, bookmaker William Hill was offering 6-4 that his fee would end up in the $133,000 to $163,000 range. 

OTRP Helps Save Oklahoma Bred Honorless Rascal

August 11, 2008


A 2002 son of Notable Cat, Honorless Rascal is an Oklahoma-bred who earned $48,610 in 31 outs. He fell through the claiming ranks and found himself ending his racing career on May 4, 2008 with a 7th place finish in a 4,000 claimer at Charles Town. On August 11, 2008, the OTRP was contacted by Lost and Found Rescue in Pennsylvania when Honorless Rascal was found in the kill pens at the New Holland sale. The OTRP was able to purchase Rascal and he was transferred to Another Chance 4 Horses in PA for adoption/placement.

Multiple Stakes Winning Highland Ice Now With OTRP

February 12, 2008


Highland Ice was in need of place to spend his retirement, so the OTRP stepped up and took the Oklahoma-bred star into their care. The multiple stakes winner and earner of $474,090, Highland Ice raced for owner Gerald Dixon of Guymon, Oklahoma at tracks throughout the south and midwest including Remington, Oaklawn and Lone Star Park. The son of Highland Blade and the Icecapade mare Ice Magic was trained by Chuck Turco.


Best known for his dominance of the sprint division at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, Highland Ice won the 1995 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile and then prevailed in the next four runnings of the Classics Sprint. In '97 and '98 he won consecutive editions of both the Silver Bullet Centennial Handicap and the Remington Sprint Championship. The gelding also ran in the money in nine other added money events. In 1999 Highland Ice set the Remington track record for five furlongs-:57.20. "Highland Ice is one of state's winningest Thoroughbreds, so we're happy and proud to have him with us" said OTRP's Robin Brookins.