Stakes Winner Polish Navy Euthanized at Old Friends

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 6, 2011 – Polish Navy, the Ogden Phipps homebred and GR1 winner, was humanely euthanized this morning at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement facility in Georgetown, KY.  He was suffering from complications from a hip injury.

Michael Blowen, Old Friends President and Founder, made the announcement this afternoon.

“Polish Navy injured his hip several weeks ago and was taken to Hagyard’s where he received excellent diagnostic care,” said Blowen. “Unfortunately, he just never recovered. Dr. Doug Byars visited with this great old horse several times and, in consultation with Old Friends, advised us that Polish Navy’s time had come.”

The 27-year-old stallion had been pensioned at Old Friends since 2009.

Polish Navy (Danzig – Navsup, by Tatan) started 12 times in his career and earned seven wins, including the GR1 Champagne Stakes, the GR1 Cowdin Stakes, and the GRll Jim Dandy at Saratoga. His career earnings totaled $1,118,076.

Campaigned by owner Phipps and trainer Shug McGaughey, Polish Navy made his debut at Belmont Park in 1986 with jockey Randy Romero in the irons.  He won by five lengths. The promising 2-year-old went on to beat Java Gold in the Cowdin and edged both Demons Begone and Bet Twice to capture the Champagne.

Knee surgery kept the bay son of Danzig off the 1987 Triple Crown Trail, but he returned to top form by fall to mow down the competition – including another Old Friends resident, Gulch–in the GR1 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park.

Despite his brilliance, Polish Navy’s feats were sometimes overshadowed in McGaughey’s barn by another Phipps homebred and Romero mount, the filly Personal Ensign, whose three-year-old season in 1987 launched what would become one of racing’s most exciting campaigns.

With the news of his death Romero remembered Polish Navy with affection. “I absolutely loved riding him,” the hall-of-fame jockey said by phone from his home in Louisiana. “It was an honor to be associated with such a wonderful horse.”

Polish Navy spent much of his stud career at Wayfare Farm in Kentucky. As a sire, he is best remembered for 1993’s Kentucky Derby and Travers winner Sea Hero.

Nathan Fox at Midway’s Richland Hills Farm donated Polish Navy to Old Friends, along with Glitterman.

A memorial service is planned for the spring at Old Friends.

For more information about Old Friends see their website at or call the main office at (502) 863-1775.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322,, or Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775,

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