All the Way Jose, a Grade 1 winner and a novice champion, has been retired from racing and is in training for the Retired Racehorse Project’s 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover with Dr. Erica Gaertner.
An accomplished horsewoman based in Kennett Square, Pa., Dr. Gaertner is no stranger to All the Way Jose, who was bred by his trainer, Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard, and owned by Rod Moorhead’s Buttonwood Farm through much of his seven-year racing career.
Currently a sports-medicine fellow, Dr. Gaertner galloped All the Way Jose over the last three years while she was completing her medical residency. “When they retired him, I said I’d like to have him,” she said. “Jose is my dream horse, and I’ve very excited about the Makeover.”
By Senor Swinger out of Maternity Leave, by prominent steeplechase sire Northern Baby, 10-year-old All the Way Jose was entered to compete in the show jumper and field hunter divisions of the Makeover. Sponsored by Thoroughbred Charities of America, the Thoroughbred Makeover will be held Oct. 7-10 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
All the Way Jose was a notable performer from his first starts over fences. Sheppard tried him twice on the flat to no effect as a three-year-old. Sixth in his first start over fences in Far Hills’ 2013 Gladstone Stakes, All the Way Jose showed promise when second to three-year-old champion Schoodic in the Colonial Cup’s Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial.
That promise was realized the following year when he was crowned the novice champion. He progressed from a maiden hurdle win at Parx Racing through an allowance hurdle score at Saratoga Race Course to a victory in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle for novices.
His finest moments occurred in the fall of 2017. After a third in Saratoga’s New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1), he scored a 1¼-length victory in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) on Sept. 21.
A month later, he ran what was arguably the best race of his career. Under Darren Nagle, he set all the pace in Far Hills’ Grand National (Gr. 1) and was caught at the wire to finish third, beaten two spare noses by winner Mr. Hot Stuff and Modem.
He finished third in the 2018 Grand National and last year was third in the Lonesome Glory. All the Way Jose completed his career with $456,400 in purses over fences and ranks among the National Steeplechase Association’s top 25 all-time earners.
Mr. Hot Stuff competed in last year’s Thoroughbred Makeover, and the field hunter division was won by another 2017 Grade 1 winner, Adam Newman’s Diplomat.