Z Fortune's luck came up trumps again: The 2008 Kentucky Derby runner has been officially adopted by HRTV reporter and host of Race Day America Carolyn Conley after a sort of adoption competition held by New Vocations to find the best home for the former racehorse.
"I have been a huge fan of Z Fortune since his debut," said Conley, who lives in California. "I exercised his sire Siphon, and he was my favorite horse of all time. Z Fortune has Siphon's size and confidence, and I can't wait to spend time with him on the trail. ... We are so excited to have him become a member of our family."
New Vocations in Lexington was flooded with interest when it announced the beautiful gray was available. About 20 qualified potential adopters expressed interest.
"I would say this is a happy ending, but really it's a happy beginning for Z Fortune," said Anna Ford, New Vocations program director.
Ford hopes that publicizing Z Fortune's experience will help more horse owners think about retiring their horses while second careers are still viable. For the past six years, New Vocations has rehabilitated, retrained and found new homes for about 300 retired racehorses a year.
The Jockey Club took a new step that could help Monday, launching "Thoroughbred Connect," which will let previous owners of horses express their willingness to be contacted by current owners if the horses are ever in need of placements.
"Those interested in providing assistance or aftercare have the ability to attach their name and contact information to the electronic records of Thoroughbreds within The Jockey Club's database using Thoroughbred Connect," according to the announcement.
"With broad participation, Thoroughbred Connect will cast a wide net and help ensure that more Thoroughbreds are properly cared for in a safe environment," said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. "This platform provides an easy and convenient way for those with the means, capacity and desire to help any horse they have owned, admired or connected with over the years."
For information about Thoroughbred Connect, go to Registry.jockeyclub.com. For information about New Vocations, go to Horseadoption.com.