Off-The-Track Thoroughbreds to Present Colors at Pegasus World Cup Saturday

January 22, 2021

Members of the Davie & Coral Gables Mounted Police Unit Part of Celebration

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Three retired Thoroughbreds who have excelled at second careers as members of mounted police units in South Florida will help present the colors before the singing of the national anthem Saturday at the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational at Gulfstream Park.

Tizrobertcharles and Guidoinaspeedo, both members of the Davie Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit, and Rockaway, a member of the City of Coral Gables mounted unit, will help present the colors before the playing of Saturday’s anthem on Pegasus World Cup Day featuring the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational (G1) and $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Championship Invitational (G1).

“Gulfstream Park focuses on racehorse aftercare to provide one time competitors a meaningful second career,” said Mike Lakow, Vice President of Racing at Gulfstream Park. “We welcome these athletes back to the track alongside local equestrian law enforcement.  The Stronach Group supports accredited programs so these horses can be retrained, rehomed and retired to caring homes.”

Tizrobertcharles, retrained at the Florida Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoptive Care (TRAC), was adopted by the Davie unit by former trainer and Officer Gary Cortolillo. An 11-year-old son of Bwana Charlie who won his seventh and final start, Tizrobertcharles patrols the town daily and has attended several special events. ‘Charlie’ has a soft eye and a great mind.

Officer Mark Groeneveld, ‘Charlie’s’ partner, has been an officer for 21 years and joined the mounted unit in 2019.

Katie Schmit, farm manager and trainer at TRAC, says retired Thoroughbreds can be retrained for lesson horses, therapy horses, trail, pleasure and show and performance horses.

“What makes OTTBs so incredibly special in my eyes is their impeccable work ethic and desire to please,” she said. “They are meticulously bred to win and thus have an inherent need to feel successful. The exposure they receive at such a young age gives them a huge step up when their racing careers are over. When we match their second careers with their personalities, they truly take it from there. They thrive on learning new things and have a love for adventure. We have seen them graduate from our organization and excel in every area imaginable, from simply bringing a smile to their owner’s face each morning, to the most demanding athletic pursuits.”

Guidoinaspeedo is a 9-year-old son of Maryland-bred Meadow Monster who also won once in seven starts while racing in the Mid-Atlantic. ‘Buddy,’ as he’s affectionately called, has been with the mounted unit since 2015. 

Officer Richard Spradling, ‘Buddy’s’ partner, has been an officer since 2007 and joined the mounted unit in 2019. Spradling has an equestrian background, having ridden Criollo horses in Argentina.

Rockaway, a retired Thoroughbred who raced 10 times in South Florida, is the first documented police horse in Coral Gables in nearly 90 years. Rockaway, who served as a flag horse at Bergeron Rodeo, enjoys the attention he receives from the public. His partner is Officer Ashley Sheran.            

Lt. Dan, a 15-year-old Quarter Horse who has been with the mounted unit since 2018, will join Tizrobertcharles and Guidoinaspeedo. Officer Angela Creel is Lt. Dan’s partner and has been with the unit since 2016. Lt. Dan will serve as the flag bearer.

Drako, a 21-year-old Belgian-Quarter horse cross, will also join the group. Sergeant Chad Bishop will partner with Drako, formerly a member of the Miami-Dade mounted unit. Bishop has been an officer since 1997. He is currently the K9 sergeant as well as a mounted unit sergeant.