“Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to The Derby” – An Online Auction of Kentucky Derby Hats Continues with a Chapeau Inspired by Florida Favorite Fortunate Prospect

Proceeds to Benefit Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 31, 2012 – The 3rd Annual “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby,” an online auction of exclusive handcrafted Kentucky Derby Hats, continues February 1st with a hat inspired by the great sire Fortunate Prospect.

This is the fourth hat in a series of six magnificent chapeaus to be auctioned by Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY.  Each hat has been custom crafted by milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of Maggie Mae Designs and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit Old Friends, the 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that is dedicated to the dignified retirement of former racehorses.

Each of Steinmann’s magnificent designs is inspired by one of the champions retired at Old Friends, and one will be auctioned every month leading up to this year’s Kentucky Derby, to be held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY on May 5.

This month’s hat is “The Fortunate Prospect,” a sultry design of rich black tones and orange hues. To view the hat and to read more about Maggie Mae Designs go to www.maggiemaedesigns.com.

Bidding opens on February 1st at 8pm. To bid on go to www.oldfriendsequine.org and follow the link.  Bidding is open until February 11.

Fortunate Prospect, now 31, is the oldest retiree at Old Friends, and has been pensioned at the farm since 2005. Gramps, as he is fondly known, had a respectable track record (about a dozen stakes wins, including the San Vicente at Santa Anita and the Equus Handicap at Garden State) but it’s his family tree that has grown with distinction.

Considered one of the truly great stallions in Florida breeding history, Mr. P has sired numerous stakes victors.  Of his 779 foals, 663 started and 573 were winners of 2,700 races worth over $43 million.

The stallion also gained recognition over the years as a top broodmare sire: His daughter Successful Dancer is the dam of multiple stakes winner Successful Appeal while Fortuesque is the dam to 2009 Kentucky Derby contender Musket Man.

This Derby hat is especially elegant.  Moved by the deep coat of the near-black stallion, Steinmann used lush black dupioni silk as the foundation for the hat then covered the chapeau’s dramatic 23-inch brim with swirling layers of ebony and espresso tulle.

The centerpiece, a stunning rose curl, was created using goldenrod shantung, soft coral organza, and deep tangerine satin. The colors represent Fortunate Prospect’s one-time racing silk colors.

As she has done in other recent designs, Steinmann has also woven a physical remembrance of Fortunate Prospect into the hat. Several strands of the great stallion’s tail hairs have been braided into the trim.

Similar designs by Steinmann have sold for upwards of $1,000.

Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby began on November 1 2011 with “The Noor.” “The Prized” hat followed in December and “The Benburb” rang in the New Year last month.  The next hat will go on the block March 1, 2012.

The online auction has raised over $10,000 for Old Friends since its inception in the fall of 2009

For additional information contact Cynthia Grisolia at cagrisolia@yahoo.com (347-423-7322) or Maggie Mae Designs at info@maggiemae.com (508-430-1626)).

For more information about Old Friends see the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org or call (502) 863-1775.

Maggie Mae Designs Custom Millinery offers magnificent hats for all occasions – from glamorous racing events such as the Kentucky Derby and the Royal Ascot to stunning and unique bridal wear and handsome cocktail fashions. Owner Sally Faith Steinmann personally handcrafts every design.  Salons of her fashions can be viewed at www.maggiemaedesigns.com.

About Old Friends
Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 115 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, cagrisolia@yahoo.com, or Maggie Mae Designs (508-430-1626), sally@maggiemae.com

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