Thursday, January 13, 2011

Featured Horse--- Topper Shopper to The Second Race

Not often in the course of the work that we do at The Second Race, do we have the pleasure of having a horse retired to us that we have spent much time with over the course of their racing career, however such is the case with our latest arrival, Topper Shopper.

Topper Shopper (Old Topper) was foaled at Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, a beautiful breeding facility in the Santa Ynez Valley, CA. Tommy Town is a respite from the world, and I have had the pleasure of being guests of Tom & Debi Stull on a few occasions. On one such visit, there was a character of a chestnut, that I grew fond of right from the beginning. Topper Shopper looked so much like his sire. I still remember the first time I saw him, he was back from the track on a vacation and this large white muzzle was peering out from under the stall webbing. I found him often in this position over the weekend, and I am certain he spent many an hour trying to figure out how to crawl out from under his stall. He was interactive and enjoyed our frequent visits to him during that stay.

Topper Shopper won early in his career at the age of two; and was a promising race horse from the start. Before starting The Second Race, I volunteered for CERF (California Equine Retirement Foundation) and especially enjoyed painting with horses (yes, the horses actually painted their own masterpieces) to benefit the ranch. Topper Shopper was also a favorite of the owners at Tommy Town Thoroughbreds and a commissioned painting was done by Topper Shopper on another visit to the ranch.

Along the way Topper Shopper was claimed and it wasn't until recently that I saw him again in Doug O'Neill's barn after an absence. Topper Shopper was sidelined in 2009 for a surgery to his leg and after healing up, was brought back into training.

His current owners were very fond of him, and hoped that he could return to his winning self, but decided that if he wasn't able to compete at the level he had left at, then it was best to not continue having him go down the claiming ranks and retired him. It was a difficult decision for them after investing in his return, but a good one to make as well.

Topper Shopper earned over $ 345,000 during his racing career, and has the distinction of being the second highest money earner for Old Topper to date, behind Top This and That (who ironically resides in retirement at CERF). When Topper Shopper arrived last Friday to our foster facility, he bounced right out off the van and showed off for anyone that wanted to look. He was just as flashy and charming as he was when I first laid eyes on him. A smile came across my face, and it is going to be a pleasure helping him find a new home.

A very young six year old gelding, Topper Shopper would do well with an experienced handler, he is playful and bright. We believe Topper Shopper will make an excellent horse for a new career and he would relish and enjoy learning.

If you would be interested in learning more about Topper Shopper or any of the other horses owned by The Second Race, contact us directly at or visit our website at


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