Quick Call was humanely euthanized on Tuesday, October 8 at the age of 35 due to the infirmities of old age. Foaled in 1984, Quick Call was the oldest horse in TRF’s herd of 650 horses. In his lifetime he was a successful racehorse, then a riding horse and finally arrived at the TRF in 2001 where he was an equine teacher in the TRF’s well known Second Chances Program. He was truly an exceptional horse and served as a shining example of the versatility of the Thoroughbred breed. With 89 starts under his girth, he was a warhorse with a brave, strong heart and mind. He became a “poster horse” for aftercare, serving as an ambassador for all retired Thoroughbred racehorses.
Everyone in the TRF family loved and admired Quick Call. The TRF Board of Directors has donated money to have him cremated. The Kentucky-bred called New York home for most of his life and for him there was no place like Saratoga where he was a “horse for the course”, and fittingly forever there he will lie. Through the generosity of the New York Racing Association, Quick Call will be buried at Clare Court at Saratoga Race Course, where a stakes race named in his honor was inaugurated in 2008. He will be laid to rest alongside A Phenomenon, Mourjane and Fourstardave, who from 1987 until 1994 won at least one race every summer at Saratoga.
“He still had fans and sponsors that supported him along the way. Whenever his name is mentioned at a New York track, someone will tell a story about him. We are honored to have him in our herd for 18 years. People would visit the farm to just see him and to have their picture taken with him. Until the end he was dignified and all class; he knew he was special” says Jennifer Stevens, TRF Director of Development and Communications.
While he wasn’t the first horse at Wallkill, that distinction belongs to Promised Road, Quick Call was its most accomplished occupant. A son of Quack, he earned more than $800,000 and, at the age of 6, scored an upset over Sewickley in the 1990 Tom Fool Handicap at Belmont Park under jockey Jorge Chavez.
Quick Call, however, always was at his best at Saratoga. He had powerful connections, managed at different times in his career by the late Hall of Fame trainers Sid Watters, Jr. and Warren “Jimmy” Croll. Quick Call finished fifth as a 2-year-old in the Saratoga Special in 1986 but came back to become a Saratoga hero by winning the prestigious Forego Handicap in 1988 and 1989 under Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day. He missed a third straight victory in the Forego with a nose loss to Lay Down in 1990.
In all, nine of Quick Call’s 16 career wins came at the Spa. “He was a Saratoga special,” Day said in an earlier interview. “He always raced well. Every year, he would show up and run exceptionally well. He was a kind horse to ride. I remember he was competitive. Some horses have the talent, but no heart. Quick Call had both talent and heart. He gave me everything he had.”
Quick Call retired in 1992 after making 89 starts. For the last 18 years, he has been the face of the TRF and specifically at its ground-breaking TRF Second Chances Program where he was among approximately 50 horses that are cared for by inmates. In exchange, the inmates learn equine care as a vocation and mutual respect and responsibility as life lessons.
Quick Call’s class as a racehorse carried over to the pasture. “He still had his competitiveness,” said Jim Tremper, before he retired last year after serving as Wallkill’s Second Chances Farm manager since its inception. “He would put on a pretty good show some days. He would trot and canter around the green grass.”
TRF’s National Herd Manager Sara Davenport says, “When I get asked about TRF, I would usually respond with the same basic stats: how many horses we care for, where we’re located, etc., but my favorite piece of information to share, was that we had a horse older than me. It was only by 19 days but I loved bragging on Quick Call. He was truly remarkable and always looked great for his age. I’m proud he lived such a full life at TRF.”