American Pharoah – Photo by Ronnie Betor.
Breaking News! Triple Crown winner American Pharoah’s authenticated halter will be up for auction at our cocktail party fundraiser tonight, Aug. 3, from 6-10 PM at Siro’s. Tickets available at the door!
All the horses are doing great.
The past few months have been great for Old Friends. From American Pharoah winning the Triple Crown and his trainer Bob Baffert donating $50,000 to Old Friends and three other worthy charities (the TAA, CARMA and the PDJF) to acquiring Genuine Risk’s son, Genuine Reward, it’s been quite a time. All the extra visitors coming to see Silver Charm and Game On Dude and, of course, Little Silver Charm, are putting a wonderful burden on our volunteers. And they’ve all stepped it up big time. Hall of Fame baseball player/manager, Joe Torre, came by to see Game On Dude and most of our other retirees.
But the future is where it’s at. We’ve got to work harder to get more room for more deserving retirees. With that in mind, we’ve signed leases with an option to buy on two additional, adjacent properties and an adjoining home. The properties increase our available acreage to more than 100. The home would allow us to re-open the bed and breakfast at Old Friends so people could stay at the farm.
Of course the big news is that the Yoshida family and everyone at Shadai Stallion in Japan have agreed to send War Emblem to Old Friends where the 2002 Derby-Preakness winner can be re-united with Sarava, who beat him in the Belmont. Like all the other great athletes we’ve brought back so they could be adored by all their fans, we need to raise the money for transportation, etc. In War Emblem’s case, and because they are so concerned with his health and safety, it would also involve transportation for his veterinarian and groom. And personally, I think this is a great idea. Instead of going after a mega-sponsor, we’d like this to be a grass roots effort. Here’s the deal: we are asking 300 supporters to donate $202. As a memento, each donor would receive a numbered certificate, signed by trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Victor Espinosa, designating them as a member of War Emblem’s inner circle. He or she would also receive a special invitation to join us at Old Friends for a special welcome home party. Let me know what you think.
There are some great activities planned in August for Old Friends. Tonight at Siro’s, there’s a great celebration for Old Friends at Cabin Creek led by jockey and Old Friends Board member, Rosie Napravnik. Tickets available at the door and are $100. On Aug. 7, at the resplendent Anne’s Washington Inn, we will present the annual Frankel Award at a cocktail party from 6pm to 8pm. Each year, this get-together attracts great old friends from Thoroughbred racing, including Todd Pletcher and his family, Javier Castellano, Angel Cordero, Jr., Cot Campbell, Sonny Taylor and many others. Special thanks to Kendall-Jackson wines, Mama Mia’s and, of course, Anne’s Washington Inn proprietor, Joe Bokan, for their generosity.
Make your plans to have a lot of fun at Old Friends Day at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 16. KD President Corey Johnson has designated the 1st Running of The Old Friends Stakes ($150,000) as the feature and all the other races will be named for other Old Friends past and present. We already have five retirees at Kentucky Downs, which is the first track in the nation to make room for retirees, all of whom are being cared for by the caring and capable, Lisa Salmon.
We’re working on more exciting news during the Keeneland meet and the highly anticipated Breeders’ Cup. Don’t forget our big celebration on Nov. 1 at the farm. We’re hoping that War Emblem and several other famous stallions will be ready to greet you.
New horses Genuine Reward and Archie’s Echo have settled in very nicely. Both are still in quarantine, but I hope you can visit in a few weeks when they are ready to receive visitors and have as much fun as we do every day. Personally, I want to thank everyone for allowing me to live a life that’s better than my dreams.
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