GEORGETOWN, KY — SEPTEMBER 29, 2012 — Sarava, winner of the 2002 Belmont Stakes, has been retired to Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY.
Co-owners Gary Drake of Louisville and Paul and Susan Roy of Great Britain donated the 13-year-old stallion to the organization.
Sarava arrived at Old Friends early this morning from the Appleton family’s Bridlewood Farm near Ocala, FL, where he has stood stud since 2010.
Bred in Kentucky by Bill Entenmann’s Timber Bay Farms, Sarava was sired by 1984 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Wild Again and is out of the Deputy Minister mare Rhythm of Life. He career boasted three wins from 17 starts and earnings of $773,832.
Beginning his career on the turf in Europe, Sarava failed to break his maiden overseas. Returning to the U.S., a minor injury kept the budding three-year-old off the Derby trail in 2002, but he returned with a vengeance under conditioner Ken McPeek to demolished the field in the Sir Barton Stakes on Preakness Day at Pimlico.
Sarava’s greatest victory – and maybe one of the game’s biggest upsets – came three weeks later when, at 70-1, he ended War Emblem’s bid for the Triple Crown by capturing the 134th running of the Belmont Stakes.
Not only was Sarava the longest shot in Belmont Stakes history but his victory came before what was then the largest crowd ever assembled for the race: 103,000 in attendance.
“Sarava is the first Classic winner to retire at Old Friends,” said Old Friends founder, Michael Blowen. “We are thrilled that Gary and the Roys would trust us with his great stallion and grateful for the generous endowment.
“I also want to thank Midway Mayor and bloodstock agent, Tom Bozarth, for his assistance. I know Sarava’s fans will love to visit him,” continued Blowen. “To me, it’s like having Michael Jordan in my yard.”
“Sarava has been a special horse to all of us,” said Gary Drake. “He has done his job well on the track and in the breeding shed, and has earned a respectful retirement. We are pleased that Michael and the Old Friends staff will be caring for him,” added Drake. “They do a marvelous job with their retired stallions.
For more information about Sarava or any of the retirees at Old Friends contact the farm at (502) 863-1775.
About Old Friends
Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 110 retired racehorses. Its Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has a satellite facility in Greenfield Center, New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, which is also open to visitors. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.