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A Warrior's Heart

What drives you time and time again
To seek out the pain
To seek out the loneliness
For others' gain?

What distant far away havens
Do you seek refuge in
When the pain becomes unbearable?
When the loneliness is unrelenting?

A Warrior's heart is beating within you
A Warrior's heart is beating for us
A Warrior's heart is leading us

Let us grant you peace at the end of the day
Let us acknowledge your sacrifice
Let us embrace your Warrior's heart
~Penny Austin, copywright 2008

A few weeks ago, we recieved a gelding off the track named A Natural Bluff. Bluff has the most poignant story of all our trainees. He started his race career at age two in claiming and allowance races, and his trainer quickly discovered that he has an interference problem when he gallops (his back heels clip his front ankles and cannon bones). He was raced every 1-2 weeks anyway, and claimed several times; all the while the damage to the bones and ligaments in his front legs worsened. Eventually, he was sold in a kill auction to an out-of-country slaughter company. Lucky for Bluff, trainer Steve Murtough bought him out of the kill pen for $300 and incredibly, was able to treat the damage to his front legs to the point that Bluff raced for two more years and won several races. Steve eventually decided to sell Bluff, but couldn't find a buyer on the backstretch who would pay a meager $500 for him, so he donated Bluff to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.

Bluff is now 9 years old and has 60 career starts with 9 wins. After his arrival to the Secretariat Center, we discovered that he had a displaced pastern which he'd probably spent most of his career running on.

Fortuntely for both Bluff and the Secretariat Center, a fledgling fundraising organization called One Horse At A Time, Inc. heard about Bluff's story and immediately contacted us about sponsoring him during his time at the MMSC. For more information about One Horse At A Time, or to donate, please visit . Due to the injuries sustained during his career, Bluff will probably only be suitable for light riding or as a pasture ornament.

For more information on Bluff, please call us at 859-246-3080 or e-mail