Nine-Year-Old Rated R Superstar Defies Convention, Shows No Sign of Retiring

The Enduring Success of Rated R Superstar: A Seasoned Veteran on the Racetrack

Rated R Superstar, the 9-year-old gelding, is proving that age is just a number in the world of horse racing. Despite being a millionaire at the tender age of 9, this retired racehorse is far from calling it quits. As he prepares to open his season at the prestigious Fifth Season Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Rated R Superstar is ready to showcase his talent and defy expectations.

A Long and Storied Career

This one-mile, $150,000 race is specifically designed for older horses, making it a suitable platform for Rated R Superstar to demonstrate his prowess. Even with formidable opponents half his age, such as 4-year-old Concert Tour and 5-year-olds Necker Island and Silver Prospector, Rated R Superstar remains undeterred.

Rated R Superstar’s journey on the racetrack spans several years, with notable achievements along the way. In 2015, he finished an impressive third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. To put that into perspective, the horse who came in second behind him was none other than Exaggerator, who went on to win the Preakness Stakes the following year.

Throughout his career, Rated R Superstar has experienced changes in trainers, each contributing to his growth and success. Kenny McPeek oversaw his training during his first 30 starts, resulting in five victories and over $500,000 in earnings. Eventually, in November 2018, Cipriano Contreras claimed Rated R Superstar for $62,500 after a fifth-place finish in an allowance optional claiming race at Churchill Downs.

A Change of Fortunes

Under Contreras’ guidance, Rated R Superstar thrived, accumulating an additional $363,656 in earnings from 18 starts. Notable achievements during this period include a victory in the 2019 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park and a solid third-place finish in the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap.

However, Rated R Superstar underwent yet another transition when owner Danny Caldwell claimed him for $50,000 in March of last year. It proved to be a wise decision as Rated R Superstar demonstrated his worth by finishing second in the prestigious Essex Stakes, instantly recouping the owner’s investment. Subsequently, an eighth-place finish in the Grade 3 Oaklawn Handicap catapulted Rated R Superstar into the millionaire’s club.

Under Caldwell’s ownership, Rated R Superstar has continued to impress, amassing $298,991 in earnings from eight starts. He consistently delivers strong performances, with six top-three finishes out of those eight outings. Overall, Rated R Superstar boasts an impressive career record of 9 wins, 10 second-place finishes, and 8 third-place finishes, earning a total of $1,181,014 in 56 starts.

The Professionalism and Dedication of Rated R Superstar

Rated R Superstar’s remarkable accomplishments do not come as a surprise to those who have closely observed his career. Danny Caldwell, his current owner, unabashedly commends the horse’s professionalism and work ethic. “He’s just a professional racehorse,” Caldwell proclaims. “He knows his job, he loves his job, and he loves to go out there and perform. I wish I had a barn full of horses like him.”

Caldwell’s admiration for Rated R Superstar is rooted in his past experience with another talented racehorse, Domain’s Rap. This bargain-bin claimer, acquired for a mere $10,000, emerged victorious in the 2017 Fifth Season at the age of 9. Following this triumph, Domain’s Rap went on to achieve impressive results against fierce competition, including a third-place finish behind Horse of the Year, Gun Runner, in the Razorback Handicap.

Caldwell’s affinity for experienced horses led him to take a chance on Rated R Superstar, recognizing the horse’s potential and running style. “We love older horses,” Caldwell explains. “The best horse I’ve ever had is Domain’s Rap, and he made me more than a half-million dollars, most of it as a 9-year-old.”


Rated R Superstar’s journey in the world of horse racing serves as a testament to the resilience and enduring spirit of a seasoned athlete. From his early days under Kenny McPeek’s guidance to his current success under the ownership of Danny Caldwell, the gelding has proven time and time again that age should never be a barrier to achievement.


1. What is the significance of the Fifth Season Stakes?

The Fifth Season Stakes is a prestigious race held at Oaklawn Park specifically for older horses. It provides an opportunity for seasoned racehorses like Rated R Superstar to compete against their peers and showcase their abilities.

2. How has Rated R Superstar’s ownership changed over the years?

Rated R Superstar has experienced changes in ownership throughout his career. From being claimed by Cipriano Contreras for $62,500 to his current owner, Danny Caldwell, who claimed him for $50,000, Rated R Superstar has found success under different ownership arrangements.

3. What sets Rated R Superstar apart from other racehorses?

Rated R Superstar’s exceptional professionalism and work ethic distinguish him from his peers. He approaches his job with dedication, enthusiasm, and a love for performing, making him a standout on the racetrack.

4. How does Rated R Superstar’s career earnings compare to other racehorses?

Rated R Superstar’s career earnings amount to an impressive $1,181,014. While this figure may not be as high as some of the top-earning racehorses, it is a testament to his consistency and longevity in the competitive world of horse racing.

5. What can we expect from Rated R Superstar in the future?

As Rated R Superstar continues to defy expectations and deliver strong performances, there is excitement surrounding his future races. With his proven track record and unwavering determination, he is sure to leave a lasting impact on the world of horse racing for years to come.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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