This past Friday and Saturday the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships took place under sunny skies in Southern California. We were fortunate to have safe trips by all horses involved, and at the moment we haven't heard of any injuries sustained during the 15-race card--hooray!

Old polo pony

Nine-year-old Calidoscopio won the Breeders' Cup Marathon, making him the oldest horse in history to win a Breeders' Cup race.
Photo by Anne M. Eberhardt

Royal Delta and Fort Larned took home top honors in each day's featured races: Ladies' Classic and Classic, respectively. But one of my favorite moments from Friday was when Calidoscopio, an Argentinean gelding, won the 1 ¾-mile Breeders' Cup Marathon. Why? Because with his victory, 9-year-old Calidoscopio became the oldest horse ever to win a Breeders' Cup race.

Calidoscopio is, by far, the youngest "senior" horse I've discussed here. But in a world where many horses retire by age 5 (and that's considered 'old' by some individuals for racehorses), it's an uncommon, but very welcome, sight to see such a successful--and sound!--horse still racing as he nears his 10th birthday.

In my opinion, Calidoscopio's owners, veterinarians, trainers, and all his connections deserve a round of applause for keeping the gelding so in such great physical shape as he ages. I think they're also deserving of a thumbs up for giving the horse the chance to keep doing what he loves to do, as long his body holds up. I'd love to ask them what their secrets are--perhaps we could learn a thing or two from them!

Calidoscopio wasn't the only aged racehorse on the card this weekend. Other older horses racing in the Breeders' Cup included:

  • Romp, an 8-year-old gelding who competed against Calidoscopio in the Marathon;
  • California Flag, an 8-year-old gelding who raced in the Turf Sprint, a race he won in 2009;
  • Eldaafer, a 7-year-old gelding who won the Marathon two years ago and was back for more this year;
  • Pool Play, a 7-year-old stallion who competed in the Classic after recovering from a potentially career-ending tendon injury in 2011; and
  • Rail Trip, a 7-year-old gelding who ran second in the Dirt Mile against a tough field that included a Preakness Stakes winner.

No, none of these horses really qualify as seniors in my eyes; however they are some of the incredibly successful elders in their sport. Kudos to all their connections for keeping these horses sound and happy as they age!

Did you watch the Breeders' Cup? Who were your picks, and what were your favorite races? Share your thoughts below!