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TODAY   |  April 09, 2013

Retired racehorse has new career painting art

Metro Meteor was on the fast track, winning eight races from Saratoga to Belmont, but in 2009 he was forced to retire due to knee injuries. Given a new life after he was adopted by artist Ron Krajewski and his wife, Wendy, Meteor now paints for other horses in need. NBC’s Jill Rappaport reports.

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>>> with him in rocky ridge , maryland.

>> this shores a rare breed, indeed, matt. he certainly is unusual. his name is metro meteor. a retired racehorse who won the triple crown off track. he got a loving home and a special career that's painting a very bright picture for horses in need.

>> and they are off.

>> as a 2-year-old metro meteor was definitely on the fast track .

>> he's just inhaled the field.

>> winning eight races from sar saratoga to belmont. in 2009 this 6-year-old thoroughbred saw his last finish line due to crippling knee injuries. for most retired racehorses the future can be bleak. much worse for the injured. but for metro, he hit the trifecta by getting a second chance for a new life after this artist and his wife adopted him.

>> these horses when they are done racing they still have 20 years of life to go. so think about what you're doing to the horse and what kind of a career he'll have when he's done racing.

>> reporter: and a new career he's got. donning a saddle for an easel.

>> he's our most popular artist. i just shipped one of the smaller paintings to japan, canada, we probably shipped to at least 20 or 30 different states.

>> his work is in high demand.

>> i know. i wish i had his career.

>> how now because you're an artist this horse could have this sort of talent?

>> you can see he's always moving around. he would sit and out bobbing his head up and down the stall. i thought if i could teach him maybe we could do something with him. i never thought he would pick up painting.

>> reporter: there's the sign of a contemporary flare.

>> do you find there's some days where he's more inspired than others.

>> oh, yeah. there are days when i come out and he has a different brush strokes. sometimes he's feeling violent and stroke and take it across the canvas. sometimes he's feeling whimsical where he makes nice circles.

>> do you think it's gone his head?

>> everything goes to his head.

>> reporter: a big ego is bringing in big bucks . selling up to $500 for a masterpiece. this gelding has garnered $20,000. but rondo nats it donates to racehorse adoption programs.

>> metro meteor has done more for retired racehorses than any ambassador. he's spreading the message you just don't discard them when their racing careers are over. they can aldo something.

>> he's talented. he's my buddy.

>>> now ron only let's metro paint up to an hour a day a few days a week because there's a high burn out rate amongst horses who paint. it's a wonderful message. gives these horses another life because they have so many more years to live.

>> you want a couple more metros?

>> we'll take you through. aren't they beautiful? violent. creative. whimsical and romantic.

>> i don't know what to say, jill. thank you very