Category Archives: Racing

Can Arrogate Defend His Breeders Cup Classic Crown for the Final Time?

Photo source: Clockers Corner via Twitter.

By James Hall

The Bob Baffert-trained Arrogate is one of the stars of thoroughbred racing and is aiming to clinch successive Breeders Cup Classics when he takes to the track at Del Mar on November 4. The lucrative race is set to be Arrogate’s final outing before heading to stud at Juddmonte Farms in Kentucky. The multiple Grade 1 winner faces stiff competition from Steve Asmussen’s Gun Runner, who will be aiming to crash the party and steal the headlines.

Arrogate’s trainer enthused about his chances in the race and was left beaming following a successful workout at Santa Anita. “That went perfect,” he declared after watching his charge travel the six furlongs in 1:13.20, whilst rider Rafael Bejarano boldly declared, “He’s ready now.”

After clinching a track record during his first ever Stakes race appearance, Arrogate was always destined for the top and the Baffert-trained horse will be hoping to end on a high after a mixed 12 months. Success in the Dubai World Cup in Meydan was followed by two underwhelming performances (by his high standards) which both came here at Del Mar. Some are blaming the track for the fourth place in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap but the four-year-old must prove his credentials and ability to bounce back at this particular venue on November 4th.

Arrogate’s last competitive action came here at the end of August when finishing behind Collected in the Pacific Classic Stakes, going down by half a length.

Whilst all eyes will be on Arrogate, the Baffert stable comes into this race extremely strong-handed as they aim to land the $6million prize-pot on offer to winning connections. They are likely to pitch Collected, West Coast and Mubtaahij into the contest and all three thoroughbreds are likely to be in the top six of the betting. The latter is an Irish-bred five-year-old who will be aiming to make it back-to-back successes in Grade 1 company after taking the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita at the beginning of October.

Source: JSC Communications via Twitter

Gun Runner is the current favourite for the one and a quarter mile contest and is fancied by many punters to steal Arrogate’s thunder. He has also been working out at Santa Anita ahead of the Grade One contest completing five furlongs in 1:00.40 and reportedly looking “fantastic” according to XBTV reporter Camilla Yakteen. She later added that the horse has a “huge reach”.

Trainer Steve Asmussen was equally impressed by his charge, claiming, “Gun Runner looked great galloping out throughout the wire; he cooled out nicely.” He comes off the back of successive Grade One victories, including making all in the Whitney and Woodward Stakes at Saratoga. The stable will be desperate to avenge the narrow defeat to Arrogate in the aforementioned Dubai World Cup back in March.

Another fascinating rematch arrives in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, where the Wesley Ward-trained Lady Aurelia comes up against Marsha once again, with just a nose separating the pair in the Nunthorpe at York racecourse earlier in 2017. It will be a debut Breeders’ Cup for both trainer Sir Mark Prescott and jockey Luke Morris and they’ll be hoping to make a winning start at the annual meeting.

No European representative has ever been successful in the Turf Sprint and the pair will be aiming to set records tumbling this year. Another British hope likely to be partaking in the Breeders Cup is Ribchester, although the Richard Fahey trained four year old also has an entry for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot’s Champions Day, a race in which the horse will be the 15/8 second favourite according to racing analytics site Timeform.

Arrogate is undoubtedly the star of the show once again and the Baffert stable appears to be pleased with his progress ahead of the showdown with Gun Runner. Despite a poor couple of runs here at the track, the four-year-old does have a victory to its name here at Del Mar but that success came back August 2016 when starting 1/10 favourite in an Allowance Optional Claimer, finishing narrowly ahead of Kristo. The Asmussen horse is the narrow favourite but Arrogate will be determined to add one final triumph to his already glittering racetrack record.

British Champions Day

British Champions Day is a thoroughbred horse race meeting held at Ascot Racecourse in October each year since 2011, which acts as the end of season highlight fixture of British flat racing. It is the culmination of the British Champions Series and features the finals of the five divisions of the series, together with a valuable one-mile handicap race. It’s the richest raceday in the British calendar and the chance to see the World’s finest horses and jockeys battle it out for their slice of history.

As the culmination of the QIPCO (Qatar Investment & Projects Development Holding Company) British Champions Series, this raceday features the end-of-season championship races for Ten-furlong horses (The Champion Stakes), Milers (The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes), Sprinters (six furlongs), Long distance horses (two miles) and Fillies and Mares (one mile and four furlongs).

It was created by drawing together a number of historic races which had been features of Ascot and Newmarket’s end of season meetings for many years. These were the Diadem Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes from Ascot, and the Champion Stakes, Jockey Club Cup and Pride Stakes from Newmarket. In the new fixture, these became the finals of each of the divisions of the British Champions Series.

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Champion Stakes retained their names and became the finals of the Mile and Middle Distance divisions, respectively. The Diadem Stakes became the British Champions Sprint, the Jockey Club Cup became the British Champions Long Distance Cup, and the Pride Stakes became the British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes.

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is open to horses aged three years or older; it is run over a distance of 1 mile (1,609 meters). The Champion Stakes is open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older; it is run over a distance of 1 mile and 2 furlongs (2,012 meters).

For exciting non-racing horse activities, the Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police are set to make a fiery return to Olympia, The London International Horse Show (12-18 December, 2017).

Over in the United States, you may want to check out the article about racing Quarter Horse Iowa-bred stallion The Fiscal Cliff who romped to a three-quarter-length victory in the $330,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) for Iowa City, Iowa-based owner and breeder Tom Lepic.

Bank of America Challenge Championships

The American Quarter Horse Association, October 17, 2017 – The 25th running of the Bank of America Challenge Championships took place at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa on October 14 and saw a hometown hero conquer the biggest event of the night.

Iowa-bred stallion The Fiscal Cliff romped to a three-quarter-length victory in the $330,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) for Iowa City, Iowa-based owner and breeder Tom Lepic.

This is the third time the championship event has been hosted at Prairie Meadows, and it featured horses from all over North America. The horses must earn invitations to the event by placings in regional race competition.

The Fiscal Cliff is a 4-year-old son of PYC Paint Your Wagon out of the Shazoom mare Signs Zoomer. He qualified for the race by winning the July 4 Bank of America Canterbury Championship Challenge. He cruised 440 yards in this race, over a sloppy track, to win in :21.297 for trainer Kasey Willis and jockey Benito Baca.

“Thank you so much, AQHA,” said Lepic after the race. “Thank you for being in Iowa; thank you so much for letting us run on our home turf.

“He’s going to California for the Champion of Champions (at Los Alamitos Race Course),” Lepic added. “To have an Iowa-bred do this, on his own turf in this kind of conditions, is unbelievable.”

Baca is the program’s year-end high-point jockey.

“It was a dream trip,” he said. “He stepped away and all I had to do was hold on the whole 440. He’s an awesome horse to ride.”

The Fiscal Cliff has earned $564,875 in his career, while winning 13 of 23 career starts.

Horses competing in the Challenge Championships underwent and passed hair testing.

“This is evidence that AQHA’s stance on integrity is effective, and a high percentage of horsemen wish to abide by our rules,” said AQHA Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber.

Other winners on Challenge Championship night include:

  • Dauns First Desirio, winner of the $180,000 Adequan® Derby Challenge Championship (G3) for owner Rogelio Carbajal Santos of Thornton, Colorado; trainer Julio Corral and jockey Cesar Gomez. The gelding by Desirio is out of the First Down Express mare First Daun Express, and was bred by Dan and Jolene Urschel.
  • Jess Paint Your Lips, winner of the $105,000 Boehringer Ingelheim Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) for owner and breeder Michael Pohl of Colorado Springs, Colorado; trainer Stacy Charette-Hill and jockey Jorge Torres. The 4-year-old mare is by Jess Louisiana Blue and out of the Corona Cartel mare Paint Your Lips.
  • Carris Cartel, winner of the $131,300 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) for owner and breeder Nancy Carrizales of Harlingen, Texas; and trainer Edelmiro Carrizales and jockey Santos Carrizales. The filly is by The Louisiana Cartel and out of the Strawfly Special mare Shesa Wicked Gypsy.
  • Zoomin Racer, winner of the $105,000 AQHA Distance Challenge Championship (G1) for owner and trainer Fernando Carrete of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and jockey Ricky Ramirez. The 4-year-old gelding was bred by AQHA Past President Jerry Windham and is by Jess Zoomin and out of the Runaway Winner mare Racing Winner.

For more information on American Quarter Horse Racing, visit www.aqha.com/racing.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Cheltenham Betting Tips You Cannot Afford to Overlook

Considered one of the most looked forward to and popular horse racing festivals in the United Kingdom, the Cheltenham Festival offers a great number of betting opportunities to the interested punters.

Although you can avail Cheltenham free bets, offers and tips from several reputed online bookmakers, are you aware how to make them count? Let’s tell you about some very important Cheltenham betting tips you cannot afford to overlook.

Don’t get overly obsessed with the hyped up horses and trainers

All such festivals throw up various ‘so-called’ certain possibilities that people often latch onto quickly causing ridiculously short prices on fiercely competitive horse racing. The odds are often cramped up so badly as if it was some five-runner race in Thurles or Plumpton, in UK, on a Monday. All that talk about value-based betting is thrown right out of the window. These so-called superstars and super horses are touted as unbeaten, no matter where they may have competed in the past. The fact they belong to some well-known owners is good enough to send the market into a tizzy. You should avoid getting carried away by all such hype and bet purely based on your own due diligence.

Keep your bets at minimum, unless you have a solid edge

A large number of horse race bettors indulge in huge bets over the 4 days of the Cheltenham Festival, placing punts much bigger than they normally prefer to. There rush from one race to the other, trying to chase their losses. Please note, in case it’s a must for you to get involved in every race, ensure that you keep your bets small, unless you strongly feel that the odds are in your favour.

Follow the Cheltenham form

A task that every punter must accomplish before betting on any race is watching the last 3 years’ recordings of the Cheltenham Festivals, and taking detailed notes related to the festival form. The results of the previous years can tell you how the horses may perform in the present year. Particularly keeping the ultra-tough handicaps in mind, you’d be able to see things clearly and jot down any runners which performed exceedingly well compared to the bare result. Regardless of what their recent form may be like, these runners can be expected to perform well once again, if the circumstances haven’t changed greatly.

Punt in the morning instead of later in the day

As there would be plenty of punters in the fray, it might provide terrific value if you bet in the early morning hours on the race day. Any astute horserace bettor would set a 5 AM alarm every morning of the festival and place his/her bets well in time, not waiting until the dust has settled and everyone knows what’s going to happen.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/wYNazaU0om8

Open accounts with multiple bookmakers

It would be better if you have already-running accounts with multiple bookmakers and have already deposited ample money into each one of them. This way, you’d be able to quickly benefit from the competitive racing prices.

Racing Legends Hand the Reins to Their Mini-Mes for Shetland Pony Grand National at Olympia

Organisers of Olympia, The London International Horse Show (12-18 December, 2017) are delighted to announce the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National will be back in action at the iconic venue, with a fierce line-up of young jockeys following the footsteps of their famous parents.

Amongst the starting line-up will be 10-year-old Alice Crowley, daughter of Jim Crowley, the current Champion flat jockey who commenced his racing career in the Shetland Pony Grand National. Crowley will be competing against Rocco Dettori, son of racing legend and three-time Champion jockey, Frankie Dettori. Olympia Horse Show will be a family affair for Rocco, as Frankie Dettori is set to compete in the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, as part of Friday’s ‘Race Night’ at Olympia.

Frankie Dettori said: ‘Rocco has competed in many Shetland Pony races now; he’s got a taste for winning. This year is going to be really special as I will be there too, competing in the Markel Champions Challenge on the Friday. Hopefully we are both going to win!’

Rocco Dettori said: ‘I just can’t wait to race in front of the crowd. It’s a little bit nerve-wracking, but once the race starts I’ll forget about all that and hopefully I can win.’

Also striving to replicate the success of her father will be Lucy Aspell, daughter of renowned jump jockey Leighton Aspell, winner of two consecutive Aintree Grand Nationals. Aspell will be contending for the win against Zak Kent, who will be joining Crowley to race in the notorious blue and white racing silks of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled to stage the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National once again. Not only is it entertaining, but it is a chance for young jockeys to compete on the big stage. It’s great for the grassroots of racing; this is where many top jockeys have begun their careers.’

Top national hunt jockeys Sam and Willy Twiston-Davies kick-started their racing careers in the Shetland Pony Grand National, as did Tom Garner, who made the step up to compete in the Grand National for the first-time last year.

The young jockeys and their Shetland Ponies will be put through their paces around a miniature version of the Grand National course. All riders are between the ages of nine to fourteen and less than 5ft tall; however, onlookers are not to be fooled by their size, as Olympia Horse Show is the climax of the Shetland Pony racing calendar, guaranteeing electrifying competition.

Spectators can also expect a week of top international action, including three FEI World Cup™ competitions in Dressage, Show Jumping and Carriage Driving and performances set to captivate, such as the Chilean Huasos, a display reflecting the historical skills of Chilean cowboys, or ‘Huasos’, and cattle horses. The Kennel Club Dog Agility and Christmas Finale, supported by Hilton, London Olympia, will also be adding to the arena action.

More information about Olympia, The London International Horse Show, and how to secure your place at one of the equestrian performances of the year can be found online here.

For more information, please contact:
Olympia, The London International Horse Show:
Gayle Telford, gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk 0203 176 0355

Old Friends Receives Donations from Owners of Forego Winner Drefong

Silver Charm (Photo: Rick Capone)

GEORGETOWN, KY – SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 – Champion sprinter Drefong crushed the competition in the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego Stakes at Saratoga on August 26.  His gate-to-wire score also did much for Thoroughbred aftercare.

Charles and Susan Chu of the Baoma Corporation, owner the 4-year-old son of Gio Ponti, donated $10,000 of Drefong’s winnings to Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY.

“The Chus are deeply committed to aftercare,” said Baoma representative Ed Nevins, “and they are also very impressed with the work being done by Old Friends. As the Chus benefit from racing, they want to continue to give back to the industry that has given them so much happiness.”

This latest donation is one of several Old Friends has received from Baoma following the success of Drefong, who is trained by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

“Susan has visited the farm and has been such a generous supporter,” said Old Friends President Michael Blowen. “We are indebted to them for their generosity and to their steadfast commitment to the horses.”

Old Friends in Georgetown, a non-profit organization, is home to more than 100 former race horses, among them such luminaries of the turf as Kentucky Derby winners Silver Charm and War Emblem and three-time Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude. The farm is open to the public for daily tours by appointment.

The Chu family, long-time pleasure riders and amateur show jumpers, got into horse racing in 2012 after years of involvement in Olympic show jumping. Aside from Drefong, they have campaigned other top racehorses such as graded stakes winners Chitu and Super Ninety Nine.

With his Forego win, Drefong earned an automatic return trip to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, to be held this November 4 at Del Mar.

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for 175 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

What Are the Main Betting Terms in Horse Racing You Need to Know?

Horse racing is an exhilarating sport to watch, with powerful animals and talented jockeys either sprinting on the Flat or risking life and limb over obstacles.

It is even better when you have money on a horse and so it is essential to know the main betting terms involved in racing.

There are many ways to place a wager, with bets to win or ‘on the nose’ popular but it is also possible to back a horse ‘each way’.

You will need to outlay double your stake as you are backing it to either win or be placed (usually the first three or four home in a race).

If the horse wins then you will be paid out for the win and the place (a quarter or fifth of the winning amount) while a placed horse will see you receive just the latter.

The favourite, or ‘jolly’, is the horse the bookies expect to win and will have the shortest odds while the ‘outsider’ will have long odds but it much less likely to land the spoils.

Watch out for a horse that is ‘on the drift’ with its odds lengthening, as there is little money being placed on it and the bookmakers feel confident it will not win.

When a market has just opened up on an upcoming race, it is common to see a ‘bar’ price, which refers to the odds of those runners not quoted with a price during early betting shows.

An ‘accumulator’ is a multiple bet when you place money on the outcome of two or more races, with two selections termed a ‘two-fold’, etc.

The winnings from the first race roll over to the next, and so on, meaning a successful accumulator can be very profitable, although it is tough to pick just one winner, let alone two or more.

Prior to race meetings there will be tips from the racing experts and a NAP of the day is the selection that racing correspondents feel is their strongest of the day.

Check out this NAP of the day if you fancy a flutter, while a horse termed a ‘banker’ is one that is expected to win.

A horse that goes off at ‘even money’ means that you will get back the value of your stake plus of course the stake should your selection win, while one that is ‘odds-on’ is fancied to do well and the pay-out will be less that the initial outlay, plus your stake.

You might sometimes hear a favourite referred to as a ‘Bismarck’ and this is a horse that bookmakers expect to lose or be ‘sunk’ and they are happy to accept bets for.

It is important to check out the ‘form’ of a horse before deciding which one to bet on, while the ‘going’ – the condition of the racing surface – should also play a part in your selection as some horses favour quick, dry ground and others enjoy the mud.

Finally, if you are lucky enough to land a winner, you will be keen to learn the SP (starting price) as this is the one that will determine how big your return will be.

Grade 1 Winner Bonapaw Euthanized

Bonapaw at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 7, 2017 – Bonapaw, the Grade 1-winning sprinter, was euthanized July 7 at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, due to complications caused by the neurological disease EPM. He was 21.

Bonapaw (Sabona – Pawlova, Nijinsky II) was nothing short of a Cinderella horse for his owners, Louisiana-based twin brothers James and Dennis Richard, who purchased the bay gelding as a yearling for $6,500. Bonapaw went on to take his owners far and wide, capturing 18 of 49 starts and earning over $1.1 million.

The horse broke his maiden as a two-year-old at Fair Grounds, and over the years became the pride of the track winning five stakes over the oval.

Bonapaw got stronger with age. His first graded stakes came in 2001 at Oaklawn Park when he won the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap. In 2002, at the age of six, he journeyed to the United Arab Emirates for a chance at the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (he placed 6th) then captured the Grade 3 Hanshin Cup Handicap at Arlington, and his first Grade 1 victory, the Vosburgh Stakes, at Belmont Park.

His Vosburgh win encouraged the Richard brothers to invest $90,000 supplemental fee to enter Bonapaw in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Arlington, but he finished 10th in a field that included Kona Gold, Xtra Heat, and winner Orientate.

Retired from racing in 2005, he was donated to Old Friends in 2009 by James Richard, Jr.

“We are so grateful to have had these years with Bonapaw,” said Old Friends president Michael Blowen. “He was a great race horse, and he meant so much to his owners as well as all of his many fans. Jamie even donated Bonapaw’s Vosburgh Trophy to us, and we will cherish it always.”

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 175 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

Tinners Way, Multiple Grade 1 Winner and Son of Secretariat, Dead at 27

Photo: Laura Battles.

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 6, 2017 – Tinners Way, multiple grade-one winner and the last colt born of the great Secretariat, has died. The 27-year-old stallion was euthanized July 5th at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, where he had been pensioned since 2010.

Michael Blowen, founder and President of Old Friends, made the announcement of his passing this morning. Old Friends resident veterinarian Dr. Bryan Waldridge attributed the cause of death to acute onset of severe neurologic disease. “Tinner had been treated in the past for EPM,” added Waldridge, “and he did have some lingering neurologic effects from a previous infection.”

Bred and owned by Juddmonte Farms, Tinners Way (Secretariat – Devon Diva, The Minstrel) began his career in Europe, where he won three of his seven starts in England and France, including the City of York Stakes and the Milcars Temple Fortune Stakes on the turf as a 3-year-old.

In the U.S. as a 4-year-old, Tinner joined California-based trainer Bobby Frankel’s barn, and under the Hall of Famer’s watchful eye the striking chestnut won the grade one $1 million Pacific Classic in 1995, beating future Hall-of-Famer Best Pal and posting a record-equaling mile and a quarter of 1:59 2/5, a time reminiscent of his sire’s Kentucky Derby run.

Tinners Way had a repeat victory in the ’95 Pacific Classic, where he defeated 1994’s Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Concern, and he earned yet another grade-one win the following year in The Californian.

Throughout his career Tinners Way faced off against numerous Old Friends pensioners, including Awad, Kiri’s Clown, and Alphabet Soup.

Sent to stud in 1997 after 27 starts, seven wins, and career earnings of $1,849,452, Tinners Way stood at Vinery in Kentucky, Harris Farms in California, and finally at Key Ranch in Texas, where he retired in 2010 as the richest racehorse in Texas. He was donated to Old Friends by owners Phil Leckinger and Jerry Hardin.

“Twenty-seven is not a bad number,” said Leckinger by phone from Texas. “I can’t thank Old Friends enough for the care and support he was given. Tinners Way certainly did wonders for us, he did wonders for Juddmonte on the track, and I hope he did wonders for his friends and fans in retirement.”

“We are so saddened by the loss of Tinners Way,” said Old Friends’s Blowen, “but its times like these that you really see how much we can do for these old horses. Tinner, like Wallenda, was a warrior to the end, and when he told us his battle was over, we listened.  He had so many friends from all over the country that visited him often,” added Blowen. “He leaves behind a great legacy and a host of adoring fans.”

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 170 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

The Village Idiot to Host Man o’ War Mural Unveiling Party June 29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 26, 2017) – An unveiling party to celebrate a commemorative mural of the legendary racehorse Man o’ War will take place at the local pub The Village Idiot on Thursday, June 29 at 4 p.m.

Commissioned by LexArts and sponsored by Mt. Brilliant Farm, the 30′ x 30′ mural was painted by Mexico City native and longtime Lexington resident Agustin Zarate. It is part of the Kentucky Horse Park’s Man o’ War Celebration, presented by Windstream, which includes a series of events highlighting the life of the great racehorse.

The unveiling party will kick off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and comments from Zarate and officials at LexArts, Mt. Brilliant Farm and the Kentucky Horse Park. The Village Idiot will offer half-priced appetizers from 4-7 p.m., and the Kentucky Horse Park will provide complimentary park tickets as raffle prizes at the event.

“LexArts is proud to have facilitated this new addition to Lexington’s arts landscape,” said Ellen A. “Nan” Plummer, LexArts president and CEO. “It’s a striking mural in the perfect location to enchant residents and visitors alike with our rich equine history.”

The Man o’ War mural spans the entire side of the two-story Village Idiot building and commemorates the horse’s victory in the 1920 Belmont Stakes. Based on a historic photograph during his racing years, it portrays Man o’ War parading in front of the Belmont crowd following his historic feat.

“Man o’ War was truly a remarkable horse, and many people don’t realize that he’s actually buried here at the Kentucky Horse Park,” said Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director Laura Prewitt. “We hope this mural will become a downtown fixture that raises awareness of his life and legacy, and will also drive traffic to the Kentucky Horse Park to visit his gravesite and the ‘Mostest Horse That Ever Was Exhibit.'”

A commemorative beer crafted by Alltech to enhance the Man o’ War Celebration will also have its release at the mural unveiling party. Called the “Mostest Wheat Ale” after Man o’ War’s nickname, the celebratory beer will be offered for a special price and served in Kentucky Horse Park Man o’ War Celebration souvenir cups. It will be available on tap at various locations throughout Lexington this summer.

“We are happy to honor one of the most famous race horses of all time with a beer brewed for the celebration of Man o’ War,” said Pete Weiss, marketing manager of Alltech. “Mostest Wheat Ale tells the story of Man o’ War, and that he was the ‘mostest’ horse to ever run.”

The Kentucky Horse Park’s goal in its season-long Man o’ War Celebration is to celebrate the life of the legendary horse, as well as encourage people to visit the premier tourist destination, which is currently hosting a special exhibit entitled “Man o’ War: The Mostest Horse That Ever Was.”

To learn about other events scheduled for the season-long Man o’ War Celebration, visit the Kentucky Horse Park’s website at www.kyhorsepark.com.

Contact: Lisa Jackson
(859) 259-4224
Lisa.Jackson@ky.gov