Category Archives: Racing

Old Friends at Kentucky Downs Horse Exhibit Now Open

Canadian Horse of the Year Thornfield is one of the Old Friends retirees now at Kentucky Downs.

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 16, 2015 – Old Friends at Kentucky Downs, the joint venture between the Georgetown, KY Thoroughbred Retirement Facility and the historic oval in Franklin, KY, will open its doors to the public on Friday July 17.

The new horse exhibit, located at 5565 Nashville Rd in Franklin, KY, will showcase five retired racehorses — including athletes with a history of running at Kentucky Downs — via tours coordinated by the Simpson County Tourism Commission.

The 30-minute tours will be offered at 11 am and 4 pm daily except Mondays. Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by calling the Simpson County Tourism Office at (270) 586-3040 or toll free at (866)-531-2040. Tours are $5 per adult, children 12 and under are free. Group tours can also be accommodated by appointment.

Five Old Friends retirees are currently featured on the tour:

Ball Four, the 14-year-old son of Grand Slam who earned over $730,000 in his 31 starts. Ball Four has some distinct ties to Kentucky racing having won the Kentucky Cup and the Tejano Run Stakes at Turfway Park and the Fayette Stakes at Keeneland.

Rumor Has It won the Kentucky Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs in 2008. The son of Awesome Again, he captured over $300,000 in his 38 starts.

Sgt. Bert won the 2005 and 2006 Woodford Stakes at Keeneland, where he set a track record for 5½ furlongs. The bay son of Confide earned over $350,000 in his career.

Thornfield is a Champion from the North. The 21-year-old son of Sky Classic was Canada’s Sovereign-Award winner and Horse of the Year in 1999 and is best remembered there for his searing victory in the Canadian International at 19-1.

Tour of the Cat is a multiple graded-stakes winner of over $1.1 million. After a prestigious career he was found racing at bottom level at 11 years old. Concerned owner Maggie Moss claimed him in order to retire him at Old Friends in 2009.

Other equine retirees are expected to arrive in the fall.

In addition to the horse exhibit, an adjoining Visitor’s Center and an Old Friends gift shop, open from 10 am – 5 pm daily except Monday, will be housed in a newly renovated structure on the Downs stable area.

“We’re proud to be working with Kentucky Downs and the Simpson County Tourist Commission on this venture,” said Old Friends Founder and President Michael Blowen. “This is a great facility, and the best part is that we’ll be able to introduce these retired athletes to even more fans. This exhibit will offer people a way to maintain emotional ties to the horses, and it will also offer a new way to celebrate the history of horse racing in their community.”

“We are so pleased to be the first live racetrack to provide a home for these former equine athletes,” said Rick Albright, Racing Manager and Assistant Racing Secretary at Kentucky Downs. “This is a very unique layout that will allow them to enjoy their retirement in an environment they are accustomed to: a beautiful racecourse. Some of the paddocks even border the outer fence of the course,” Albright noted, “so the horses can look down the homestretch of a track they may have once won races on. That, to us, is a very exciting twist to the Old Friends at Kentucky Downs facility.”

Franklin-Simpson County Tourism Director Dan Ware also noted: “People everywhere associate Kentucky with horses, and visitors to our tourism log cabin are always asking, ‘Where can we see a horse?’ It’s great to finally be able to direct them to Old Friends at Kentucky Downs. There is no other tourist attraction like it anywhere along the I-65 corridor in Kentucky,” Ware added.

The joint venture is expected to help raise awareness of the need for Thoroughbred aftercare and to promote local attractions and increase tourism in Simpson County.

For additional information, contact the Simpson County Tourist Commission at (270) 586-3040.

About Old Friends

Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement farm in Georgetown, KY, conducts tours daily and attracts nearly 20,000 visitors annually. The farm is home to over 100 of the organization’s 150 retirees, and star attractions include Hall of Fame Champion and 1997 Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm, three-time winner of the Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude, Breeders’ Cup Champions Gulch and Amazombie, and 2002 Belmont stakes winner Sarava.

About Kentucky Downs

Kentucky Downs is located in Franklin, KY. The track conducts a live turf racing meet each September on the only “European-style” race course in North America. The meet is staged in an informal festival setting and features the annual running of the Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup. Additionally, Kentucky Downs offers year-round simulcasting and an expanded Gaming Floor that now offers 390 Historical Horse Racing games. Kentucky Downs also serves as the site for numerous entertainment events in Franklin and Simpson County. For visitor information, call (270) 586-7778 or see their website at www.kentuckydowns.com.

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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen, (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org; Dan Ware, (270) 586-3040, dan@franklinky.com; Rick Albright, (270) 776-3447, rickalbright@kentuckydowns.com

Q-Racing Video Upgraded with Crisper Image

American Quarter Horse Association, March 13, 2015 – Q-Racing Video has gotten an upgrade to its live-streaming service.

Q-Racing Video is a one-stop shop to watch every live American Quarter Horse race in America, and its video experience has just gotten better. Roberts Communication Network, which provides the video service, has upgraded its hardware and increased bitrates for all devices. The increased bitrates will make live video on smartphones and tablets dramatically clearer. It will also make desktop viewing on larger monitors a better experience.

This crisp viewing experience is available only on Q-Racing Video and Racetrack Television Network and is available immediately.

Q-Racing Video offers every live Quarter Horse race in America on multiple viewing platforms, including computers, tablets and smartphones. It also offers access to years of race replays, searchable by track, date or horse name. With RTN Q-Racing Video, the races go wherever you do. The service costs $8.95 per month, and can be found at www.qracingvideo.com.

In the coming months, high-definition video will also be added to the video service.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104
www.aqharacing.com

Take Advantage of Top Tips Ahead of the Cheltenham Festival

The build-up to the Cheltenham Festival is a special time of year for horse racing fans.  The wet tracks of the winter are a thing of the past and the sport’s premier jumpers are gearing up for the biggest meeting of all.  To really get the most out of the four-day Cheltenham Festival, check out the form of some of the top runners.

The William Hill Champion Hurdle provides the first feature race of the meeting.  Last year Noel Fehily rode Rock on Ruby to victory and the horse will be back to retain his title.  However, Nicky Henderson will be hoping to put a spanner in the works with his two horses, Darlan and Grandouet.  However, keep an eye out for Don McCain’s horse Cinders and Ashes.  Although not widely fancied, there is plenty of potential in this horse, especially on the relatively good ground of Cheltenham.

Ladies’ Day is all about fashion, style, and of course some excellent Cheltenham betting at the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Most people think that Sprinter Sacre already has this one in the bag.  However, don’t be so sure.  Prestbury Park will provide a particularly difficult test of stamina and character and Rainbow and Sizing Europe will be poised to take advantage of any chink in Sprinter Sacre’s armour.

Of course, the festival ends with the crescendo of the Gold Cup, one of the most prestigious titles in the sport.  Champion jockey AP McCoy rode Synchronised to victory last year, under the tutelage of trainer Jonjo O’Neill.  This year, the pundits have put Bob’s Worth in the driving seat.  However, the Hennessy Gold Cup winner will come under pressure from previous winner of this race Long Run and keep an eye out for Jewson winner Sir Des Champs.

Online Charity Auction Benefiting Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Facility Continues

GEORGETOWN, KY – FEBRUARY 5, 2013 – “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby,” the 4th Annual Online Charity Auction produced by Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility, and custom millinery Maggie Mae Designs, continued February 1st as bidding opened on a new handcrafted Kentucky Derby Hat.

Old Friends opened bidding on “The Popcorn Deelites,” a beautiful chapeau honoring the gelding more famous for his role in the film Seabiscuit than his years in the claiming ranks on the racetrack.

Bidding will be conducted for 10 days only. Go to the Old Friends website at www.oldfriendsequine.org and follow the link. The hat can also be viewed by visiting www.maggiemaedesigns.com.

Continue reading Online Charity Auction Benefiting Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Facility Continues

GR1 Winner Marquetry, 26, Euthanized at Old Friends

Marquetry at Old Friends. Photo by Rick Capone

GEORGETOWN, KY — FEBRUARY 1, 2013 — Marquetry, a GR1 winner and top sire, died today at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY.

The 26-year-old stallion was humanely euthanized after an accident in his stall.  Veterinarians from Hagyard Equine Medical Institute attended to him, and a full necropsy report is expected in a few days. Michael Blowen, president and founder of Old Friends, made the announcement this afternoon.

Marquetry, by 1982 Horse of the Year Conquistador Cielo out of the Vice Regent mare Regent’s Walk, won 10 of 36 career starts and retired with earnings of $2,857,886. He was a Grade 1 winner on both dirt and turf, registering victories in the 1991 Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (G1), 1992 Eddie Read Handicap (G1), and 1993 Meadowlands Cup Handicap (G1).

He is the sire of Breeders’ Cup winners and Eclipse sprint champions Artax (1999) and Squirtle Squirt (2001).

Continue reading GR1 Winner Marquetry, 26, Euthanized at Old Friends

From Bench to Track – Irish Solicitor to Take On the UK’s Largest Racing Festival

An inspiring tale of dogged determination and a passion for horses hit the press this week, as the tale of Dublin-based solicitor Grainne Loughnane (27) emerged. The amateur jockey has been invited to partake in the auspicious St. Patrick’s Day Derby at the Cheltenham Festival – the UK’s premier annual racing event.

Working full-time in a solicitor’s office during the week and finding the time to make the grade as a potential champion jockey is no mean feat, but her hard work and dedication the sport she so clearly loves has certainly paid off. Grainne told Irish newspaper the Herald: “It will be competitive, because everybody dreams of having the winner at Cheltenham.”

She’ll be one of four Irish riders in the famous 1.5 mile race, but notably, the only amateur, and the only full-time legal practitioner!

Continue reading From Bench to Track – Irish Solicitor to Take On the UK’s Largest Racing Festival

Champions, Top Runners Fill Los Alamitos Winter Trials

Q-Racing Journal, January 25, 2012 –  This weekend’s trials for the $200,000 Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G1) and $232,650 Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) themselves have a Grade 1 feel, as a number of champions will be on display.

Champions Rylees Boy, Cold Cash 123, Jess You And I and Hez Our Secret are all set to run at Los Alamitos. The horses with the 10-fastest times will return for the finals on February 16-17, and the Winter Championship winner receives the year’s first invitation to the Champion of Champions (G1) in December.

In the Winter Championship trials, the first provides a matchup of Rylees Boy with El Aguila Real.

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One Dashing Eagle Named World Champion

Q-Racing Journal, January 16, 2013 – Freshman colt One Dashing Eagle is the 2012 World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse. He also is the champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old colt.

Owned by Jose and Gustavo De La Torre with Jorge Carmona’s San Gregorio Racing Stable of Norco, California, One Dashing Eagle made history by winning three million-dollar futurities and setting a single-season earnings record of $2,079,065. He won six of seven races, including the $2.4 million All American Futurity (G1), $1,073,000 Golden State Million Futurity (G1) and $1,001,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1). One Dashing Eagle joins a select group of 10 horses chosen as world champion in their freshman year, with the most recent being Stolis Winner in 2008.

Bred by American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame members Allred Bros. of Mesa, Arizona, One Dashing Eagle is by champion and leading freshman sire One Famous Eagle and out of the First Down Dash mare One Sweet Dash. His trainers include Jose and Ugo De La Torre and Eloy Navarro, and his jockeys include Ramon Sanchez and Adrian Loza.

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Long and Short Highlight Louisiana Downs Opener

Q-Racing Journal, January 11, 2013 – The long and the short of American Quarter Horse racing highlights opening day of the Louisiana Downs season with the $15,000 Marathon Stakes over 870 yards and the $15,000 Harrah’s Dash at 250 yards topping Saturday’s program.

Kellie Hebert’s Mr Fallen Angel (Oak Tree Special-Angels Quick Dash by Royal Quick Dash) tries for his second-straight stakes win in the Marathon after taking the 870-yard Au Revoir Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths while leading for the entire race. The 4-year-old gelding from the Randy Hebert barn moved up from the claiming ranks to take the Au Revoir Stakes. Previously, he raced to two wins and a pair of second-place efforts in four starts from the $5,000 to $10,000 claiming level.

Mr Fallen Angel has found his distance at 870 yards with two wins and two second in four starts, his four most recent efforts.

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Frankel Reigns Supreme

20/10/12 – Rarely has a racehorse captured the hearts of an entire country in the way that Frankel has in the last twelve months. The very popular National Hunt heroes Desert Orchid and Kauto Star spring to mind but neither created the tide of emotion witnessed at Ascot last weekend.

Trained by the ever popular Newmarket based Henry Cecil, Frankel has been ridden by Irish jockey Tom Queally in all of his races, the partnership securing their first Classic victory in the Qipco 2000 Guineas in 2011. From there onwards it has been a true fairy story culminating in ten Group 1 races (nine consecutive) and nine of the Qipco British Champion Series.

Frankel was born in 2008 at Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket and bred by Prince Khalid Abdulla. The winning combination of both well renowned sire Galileo and Juddmonte bred dam, Kind, produced this impressive looking bay colt who inherited his mother’s laid-back temperament. He is aptly named after one of the greatest American trainers of all time, Bobby Frankel, who died in 2009 and who had also successfully trained horses for Prince Khalid.

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