The Horse Park is a big place. Wells misunderstood the actual location.
"It was an honest mistake," the trainer said Friday. "I was talking to the Secretariat Center. The literature I received said it's 'nestled in the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.' I thought that meant it was the Kentucky Horse Park. I'm sorry I led [people] down the wrong path, but it was a total misunderstanding."
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The Secretariat Center is one of 30 to 35 national and regional equine organizations headquartered at the 1,200 acre Kentucky Horse Park as part of the National Horse Center. The Secretariat Center retrains race horses for other, post-race careers.
Once Wells sorted that out Friday, he said he did not think it was an appropriate place for Rapid Redux, who set the North American record for consecutive victories with 22.
"I don't think he is able to have another career," Wells said. "He is just starting to get arthritis in his ankles and he has some cartilage issues. What he needs is to be turned out in a field to eat grass and just be a horse. And I'd really like him to be somewhere where people could come see him and get excited about him."
Wells said he will now sort through other options - horse retirement homes in three different states, including Old Friends, in Georgetown, Ken., have inquired about him. But Wells said he will not be sending the horse anywhere for at least another couple of weeks.
"I haven't been letting him outside by himself, afraid he'd get hurt," Wells said. "But now I'm going to turn him out in a field and let him enjoy himself. He looks great. He's getting his race horse feed, his coat is shiny and he's not overweight. He looks like he could race, but it's definitely time to stop and I'm going to make a call to Old Friends tomorrow or Monday."