GEORGETOWN, KY – APRIL 25, 2011 – Old Friends retiree Danthebluegrassman, a 2002 Kentucky Derby contender, will be a special guest of Gov. Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear at the 2011 Governor’s Derby Celebration, held Saturday May 7 in the state capital city of Frankfort, KY.
The 12-year-old horse has been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY, since 2008. Many devoted fans and tourist visit him there annually.
Dan will be at the Capital City Museum at 325 Ann Street from 8am to noon, where he will meet and greet fans and be available for photos. Michael Blown, founder and president of Old Friends, will also be on hand.
Bred in Kentucky by Dan Mallory, Danthebluegrassman was campaigned by trainer Bob Baffert and owner Mike Pegram, who named the colt after his friend Dan Chandler, son of the former Kentucky governor and the bon vivant uncle of U.S. Representative Ben Chandler.
A son of Pioneering, Dan had his first stakes win when he went wire-to-wire in the Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Park. He captured a second stakes win in his 3-year-old debut in the Golden Gate Derby, which helped him earn entry to the 128th run for the roses.
Unfortunately, Dan was scratched the day of the Derby after suffering muscle problems following a morning jog. He continued to race until he was 9 years old before being retired at Old Friends in March 2008.
“We’re especially excited about bringing Danthebluegrassman downtown for the event,” said Nicky Hughes, curator of historic sites for the city of Frankfort. “Not everyone has the privilege of meeting a champion Thoroughbred and we’re so pleased to offer that unique opportunity to visitors this year.”
“Only two Thoroughbreds will have the honor of having their picture taken with Governor Beshear on the first Saturday in May, Dan and the winner of the 137th Kentucky Derby,” said Old Friends founder, Michael Blowen. “We’re honored to bring Dan to Frankfort as the Old Friends Ambassador for all retired racehorses. Dan reminds us that without these great athletes Derby Day wouldn’t exist.”
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Governor’s annual Derby gala. It is also the first time the event will be held in downtown Frankfort, showcasing the city’s historic district.
The celebration will include by many new and traditional activities, including Kentucky-based food vendors, arts and crafts, live music, tours of the Governor’s mansion, and scheduled boat trips on the Nancy Wilkinson Kentucky River tour boat. (Tours begin at 9 a.m. and are free. For reservations or more information call (502) 696-0607).
For more information about Old Friends, visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.
About Old Friends
Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 100 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, reservations at the Old Friends B&B, or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.