Before we get far into the Adventures of Play and Grace, it probably makes sense to talk about Play’s retirement. In July, Jesse (her trainer) and Grace noticed she had some tenderness. An ultrasound showed a tendon tear in her left front leg. This injury requires multiple months of stall rest before training can resume. At that point, Wasabi Ventures Stables decided to retire her, so she could rehab with Grace, and then begin a second, less taxing career.

Grace’s update on rehab:

Shecanflatoutplay has been resting in her stall, being bathed and then hand-walked for 15-20 minutes every day for about a month. She was fresh the first week or so, but I think she has started to realize that she’s not going back to the track. She’s settling down more and more every day.

It had been about 30 days of this schedule, so on Monday she was able to go outside in the round pen! I was so happy to bring her outside, since she is always happiest being outside! She was such a good girl. Play got down and rolled around in the dirt and then didn’t do anything too exciting. She just walked around in there (ate some dirt) and stayed there for about an hour since she was being so good and quiet. After that, she came inside and got a nice bath. I hope to be able to keep bringing her outside everyday so she can stretch her legs, roll, and maybe even play a bit.

And future plans for Play:

When we get to Tampa in the beginning of November, I found a beautiful riding farm to board her at. There, she will be turned out in a grass field every day for at least another month until I begin riding her. I can’t wait until I can finally ride her and see what she’s like off the track! Our plan is to apply to the Retired Racehorse Project 2023, which is held at the Kentucky Horse Park! There are so many different disciplines we can do at RRP, but the hunters is my favorite. I’m hoping it will be hers, too! The hunters is all about a slow and steady rhythm and having a good moving and nice jumping horse. I have a feeling Play will excel in this discipline. But if she doesn’t, we will pick whatever she is best at and I will adjust!

This road will be long, but I am thrilled to be able to do this with my best girl and can’t wait to see where this journey takes us!

To read Play’s previous update, please click here.

Many thanks to Grace Smith for these updates and photos of Play!

Wasabi Ventures Stables purchased Shecanflatoutplay at the October 2019 OBS Yearling Auction. She then went to Zoe Valvo at the Middleburg Training Track to begin her training as racehorse. In late spring 2020, she was sent to trainer, Jesse Cruz, who was stabled at Pimlico. There she began her on-track training.

She debuted at Charles Town in January 2021, breaking her maiden there in a maiden special weight in March. Play raced under WVS silks eight times, earning two wins. She also won the hearts of our club with her playful antics and her special relationship with Grace Smith, Jesse Cruz’s assistant and girlfriend.

Grace’s introduction to Shecanflatoutplay

I have known Shecanflatoutplay since I met Jesse, about 2 years ago. I would go over to see him and the horses at feed time when we first started dating. She was clearly very beautiful, but I had my eyes set on sweet Shamrock Kid. As most of Wasabi Ventures Stables and the club know, I loved him very much and losing him truly devastated me. (Shamrock Kid broke down during training on March 17, 2021.) I told Jesse standing in the barn, “Never let me get attached to another racehorse like that again because I won’t be able to handle it.”

However, when Jesse could no longer stand seeing Shamrock’s empty stall (as it was the first stall), he hesitantly asked if we should move Shecanflatoutplay in there. I, even more hesitantly, agreed. From the moment we moved her into that stall it was like she knew I needed her. She has been there for me every day since. Whenever I needed a snuggle or a shoulder to scratch, she would stand there for me, for however long I needed.

A very special bond

I truly don’t know if she understands how much I love her, but I have loved every second of watching her train in the morning, every breeze, every race. More than anything, I can’t wait to ride her off the track. I feel so blessed that TK, Michele, and, of course, the WVS club retired her with me where she will be forever loved and spoiled (more than she already was!) I can’t wait for this next chapter with Play; I am beyond excited. It will be a long road with rehabbing her tendon injury. No matter what, I just can’t wait to have her in my life forever and discover what she wants to do in her life off the racetrack!

A new partnership

With Play’s retirement from racing, Grace will be sharing regular updates on Play with The Horse Fund. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to see her latest adventures, which are sure to include PopTarts. In addition to following Shecanflatoutplay’s transition, The Horse Fund will sponsor Grace and Play, as they plan to compete in the 2023 Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover.