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California Chrome chases Triple Crown; Wash. groups rescue retired racehorses

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Today California Chrome will either become the twelfth horse to win the illustrious Triple Crown or the thirteenth horse in thirty-six years to win the first two legs and fail to win the third. Whether he wins or loses today, the flashy horse with the blue collar background has put the spotlight on the sport of horse racing - and served as a reminder to help race horses after their racing careers are over.

In Washington State, several organizations provide support for rescued horses of all breeds and backgrounds.

Second Chance Ranch (SCR) in Rainier, Wash. is a non-profit 501(c)3 that specializes in the rehabilitation, transition, training, and adoption services of Thoroughbred race horses from the racetrack into second careers. SCR helps these athletes transition into a new careers, rehabilitate from minor injuries, or find their permanent retirement home.

SCR also welcomes into their program Thoroughbreds rescued from auctions and feedlots. The organization has been chosen as the retirement home of Washington champions such as Longacres Mile winners The Great Face and No Giveaway and fan favorite Flying Notes.

Hope For Horses (HFH) in Woodinville, Wash. has rescued horses in Washington State for the past 13 years. HFH advocates for stronger and enforceable laws, providing education and hands-on opportunities for enforcement officers and assisting in the removal, rehabilitation, and rehoming of horses who have come to the attention of animal control.

Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County (HAROTC) is a 501(c)3 that provides a network of foster homes for animals who have been impounded by local law enforcement pending prosecution of the owners for neglect and/or abuse.

Save a Forgotten Equine (SAFE) rescues, rehabilitates, and retrains horses who are facing neglect or abuse and provide them with the best opportunity for a permanent home and a lifetime of safety. Since 2005, SAFE has been rescuing and rehabilitating horses who have been starved, neglected, abused or are unwanted.

If you are in the Washington State area and would like to support a Thoroughbred Rescue/Retirement group, washingtonthoroughbred.com offers resources.

May all of the horses in this year's Belmont Stakes come home safe, sound, happy, and healthy. And here's to hoping that Chrome brings home the crown.

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