It’s not the title of a spy novel. No, “Covert Action” is a retired racehorse who was foaled in Canada in 1995. He is by Silver Deputy and out of Office Affair, a mare by Secretariat.  Out of 26 lifetime starts, he had three wins and earned $22,569.

COVERT ACTION (Debby Thomas/AnimalArtAndPhotography)
He was accepted into the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s program in 2001 with a very sore knee.  He eventually ended up in Virginia and was moved to the James River Work Center in 2007.
The story of Covert Action is the story of so many horses which drop down through the ranks, changing owners several times, and wind up in cheap claiming races, usually with soundness issues.  The last owner said that he was lame for a week after each race and was just trying to get out from under the daily expenses once he was no longer sound enough to earn his keep.

Today, Covert Action is enjoying his life on the banks of the James River and being well cared for by one of the inmates in the TRF James River program.  Covert Action’s bad right knee is readily apparent but does not seem to bother him too much.  He has trained several inmates in the Groom Elite Program and, more importantly, touched the hearts and souls of more than one horse lover. 
(Debby Thomas/AnimalArtAndPhotography)
Covert Action travels around the state representing the TRFof James River.  Having Virginia-bred Triple Crown winner Secretariat in his pedigree remains a great draw wherever he travels.