Tag Archives: Breeders’ Cup

Stormy Liberal, Two-time Breeders’ Cup Champion, Retired to Old Friends

GEORGETOWN, KY – FEBRUARY 11, 2020 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility based in Georgetown, KY, announced the arrival of multiple Graded Stakes winner and two-time Breeders’ Cup Champion Stormy Liberal.

Stormy Liberal will spend a few days undergoing a brief veterinary exam at Park Equine Hospital at Woodford before joining the retirees at Old Friends’ flagship farm in Georgetown.

The son of Stormy Atlantic, out of the Royal Academy mare Vassar, Stormy Liberal was taken from the claiming ranks in 2016 for $40,000 by trainer Peter Miller and owner Rockingham Ranch. He went on to capture multiple stakes for his new connections, including back-to-back scores in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in 2017 and 2018.

Closing the year with four consecutive victories, among them the Grade 3 Eddie D Stakes, Stormy Liberal earned the 2018 Eclipse Award for Champion Turf Male. With the win, he became the first sprinter to earn an Eclipse in the male turf horse division.

Current owner David Bernsen invested in Stormy Liberal in 2017, and in 2019 bought out Rockingham Ranch’s interest in the horse. This past December, following a thorough veterinary evaluation, Bernsen made the decision to retire the 8-year-old gelding from racing.

Stormy Liberal, who has been enjoying some down time in Florida under the care of trainer David Scanlon, retires with 12 wins from 37 starts and just over $2.2 million in purses.

“Stormy Liberal was a once-in-a-lifetime horse,” said owner Bernsen. “He literally took us around the world from Hong Kong to Dubai, and no matter where he lined up to run, he outran his odds, which was a testament of his will to win.

“After sending Stormy to David Scanlon last December for a two-stage medical examination, it was determined that Stormy had a pre-existing injury that would require 6-8 months rest,” said Bernsen. “After consulting with David, I immediately picked up the phone to call Old Friends’ Michael Blowen and let him know I had retired Stormy.

“I am acutely aware that the industry is under fire on a lot of fronts, specifically the safety and well-being of our athletes,” Bernsen continued. “I have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time and resources understanding some of the core factors, and, in my opinion, the predominant cause is not identifying pre-existing conditions. I would urge other owners, especially those who have been able to enjoy success at the highest level, to take a more active role in finding and supporting a solution.

“Gary Hartunian and I of Rockingham Ranch are immensely grateful to have been able to race such a magnificent horse,” said Bernsen, “and we hope his retirement to Old Friends will benefit all retired horses.”

“We’re so thrilled to have Stormy Liberal join Old Friends,” said Old Friends founder and President Blowen. “We’re grateful to everyone connected with this great athlete, especially David. They did everything to assure that he would have a dignified retirement.”

Blowen added that the farm will soon host a special ‘Welcome’ day for friends and fans of Stormy Liberal and another new Old Friends retiree, Patch, most likely in early April. Dates and times will be announced soon.

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Cajun Beat, 2003 Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion, Dies at 20

Cajun Beat at Old Friends in Georgetown (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 17, 2020 – Cajun Beat, the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion, has died.

The 20-year-old son of Grand Slam had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY, since 2016. Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen made the announcement of his passing this morning.

Details of Cajun Beat’s death are pending following a full necropsy.

Co-owned by Padua Stables and John and Joseph Iracane, Cajun Beat proved himself a consistent winner in his three seasons on the track. He broke his maiden at Calder in only his second start as a two-year-old, and captured his first stakes early in his three-year-old year, winning the Hallandale Beach Stakes at Gulfstream. He followed that with a win in the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Sprint at Turfway.

A month later Cajun Beat entered the starting gate for the 2003 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita at odds of nearly 23-1, but just over a minute later he put himself, trainer Steve Margolis, and jockey Cornelio Velasquez in the limelight by cruising to a 2¼ length victory.

His time of 1:07.95 was, at the time, the third fastest ever in the Sprint.

The following year Cajun Beat earned two more graded wins — including a victory on the grass in the Hollywood Turf Express at Hollywood Park for new trainer Bobby Frankel — before retiring in 2005 with Padua Stables.

He joined Old Friends in 2016 along with his closest friend, Padua’s Pride.

“He was a lovely horse, a real champion,” said Satish Sanan of Padua Stables. “With all of the horses we’ve had, he was one of our favorites — he was my wife’s favorite. He didn’t show much talent until we gelded him, and then he became a hell of a sprinter. He gave us a lot of thrills. We were very grateful to Old Friends for taking he and Padua.”

“Cajun Beat was as sweet as he was speedy,” said Old Friends’ Blowen. “Yesterday, after his unexpected death, his long-time pal, Padua’s Pride, stood over the body, nudging him, as if he was trying to get him up. All of this with the setting sun in the background. He earned every bit of it… to die with the dignity that the rest of us can only hope for.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Breeders’ Cup Santa Anita 2019

This year, California will be hosting the Breeders Cup at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia. Here is a guide that can take you through the key entries for Breeders Cup in this year’s edition. The 2019 Breeders’ Cup is held this year on November 1-2. Horse Racing betting is one of the only allowed online gambling options in California, so if you’re planning to get in on the action, check out this guide.

The Breeders’ Cup is held at different racetracks. In 2016, Santa Anita hosted the event for a record ninth time. Churchill Downs tied this record when hosting the 2018 renewal. Belmont Park hosted the series four times, and Gulfstream Park and Hollywood Park each hosted the meet three times. The 2019 race is being held again for the 10th time at Santa Anita Park.

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is an annual series of Grade I Thoroughbred horse races, operated by Breeders’ Cup Limited, a company formed in 1982. From its inception in 1984 through 2006, it was a single-day event; starting in 2007, it expanded to two days. All sites have been in the United States, except in 1996, when the races were at the Woodbine Racetrack in Canada.

Each Breeders’ Cup race presents four Breeders’ Cup trophies to the connections of the winner and a garland of flowers draped over the withers of the winning horse. Many Breeders’ Cup winners will go on to win the Eclipse Award in their respective division. For example, of the eleven flat racehorse categories, seven of the Eclipse winners in 2015 had also won a Breeders’ Cup race, while three others were in the money.

The event was created as a year-end championship for North American Thoroughbred racing, and also attracts top horses from other parts of the world, especially Europe. The idea for the Breeders’ Cup was proposed at the 1982 awards luncheon for the Kentucky Derby Festival by pet food heir John R. Gaines (1928–2005), a leading Thoroughbred owner and breeder who wanted to clean up the sport’s image. The Cup was initially faced with much skepticism in the racing community; however, with the vocal support of legendary trainer John Nerud and others, the Breeders’ Cup was carried out, and subsequently experienced tremendous popularity domestically and abroad.

From 2008 to 2014, the Breeders’ Cup was held at either Churchill Downs or Santa Anita Park, both major tracks with a demonstrated record of success in hosting the event. In 2015, however, Keeneland was selected as the host track for the first time, in large part because of Lexington’s position as the center of the North American thoroughbred breeding industry. Although concerns were raised over Keeneland’s limited amount of permanent seating, the 2015 event was considered a success, with record Friday attendance and a sell-out on Saturday.

2015 marked the first time a Triple Crown had been won since the inception of the Breeders’ Cup, and thus the first opportunity to win the so-called Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing, consisting of the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup Classic. American Pharoah completed the feat in a decisive wire to wire victory.

In 2016, Santa Anita had the record upon hosting the Breeders’ Cup for a record ninth time. The 2017 event was held at Del Mar for the first time. The 2018 event was held at Churchill Downs. For the 2018 event, the Friday card was known as “Future Stars Friday” and featured five races for two-year-olds, including the new Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. The Distaff moved back to the Saturday card. Additional Breeders’ Cup changes arrived with the Breeders’ Cup Future Wager, similar to the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, and the first time the Equestrian event which was intermingled with Breeders’ Cup and Churchill Downs activities.

Horses from around the globe will be qualifying for the 36th Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on November 1-2. This year’s Championships consists of 14 races, 13 of which are Grade 1 events, with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, now in its 13th year, will be held at many of the world’s premier racetracks in 11 countries: U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, France, Ireland, Japan, Peru, and South Africa.

As part of the enhanced benefits to horsemen competing in the series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees and guarantee a starting position in a corresponding Championships race for winners of all Challenge races. The Challenge winner must already be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program or it must be nominated by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of October 21 to receive the rewards.

In addition, Breeders’ Cup will provide a $40,000 travel stipend to the connections of all Championship starters from outside of North America and a $10,000 travel allowance for starters within North America that are stabled outside of California.

2018 British Champions Series and the Breeders’ Cup

The 2018 British Champions Series is a series of 35 of the UK’s top flat races. It began with the 2,000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket on May 5th, and culminates with British Champions Day at Ascot on October 20th, where thousands of punters at courses across the country will be primed to take a bet on this horse race.

British Champions Day is a thoroughbred horse race which has been held at Ascot Racecourse in October annually since 2011, acting as the end of season show piece of British flat racing. The culmination of the British Champions Series, it features the finals of the five divisions of the series, together with a valuable one-mile handicap race. The richest day in British racing; more than £4 million in prize money was earned across the six races in 2016.

Beginning in 2007, the Breeders’ Cup, this year to be held in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, developed the Breeders’ Cup Challenge, a series of races in each division that allotted automatic qualifying bids to winners of defined races. Each of the 13 divisions has between two and 12 of these “Win and You’re In” qualifying races. In the Breeders’ Cup Turf Division, runners are limited to 14 with up to 11 automatic berths.

Starting in 2011, the Breeders’ Cup also pays the entry fee and provides a travel allowance for the connections of the challenge race winners. For 2018, NBC Sports Group will both broadcast and live stream 11 shows, from June to October, covering many of the “Win and You’re In” challenge races.

Fall Happenings at Old Friends – Breeders’ Cup and More

1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup (Photo © Laura Battles)

The Breeders’ Cup always brings back great memories, whether it’s Black Tie Affair and Alphabet Soup winning the Classic or our four Sprint winners: Precisionist, Gulch, Amazombie, and Cajun Beat. The greatest day in American racing brings the best to run against the best every year. Now, I always look at the entries for both handicapping information and, more importantly, speculating on who might be a future Old Friends resident once their racing and breeding careers are complete.

Special thanks to Hall of Famers — trainer Bill Mott and jockey Jerry Bailey — for signing the limited-edition, commemorative Maker’s Mark/Breeders’ Cup Champions for Charity “Cigar” bottle.

A few are still available and information about ordering can be found HERE.

All the money will be shared by Old Friends and The Edwin J. Gregson Foundation. For those who have already purchased one, we thank you for your support!

(PS: You don’t have to be at Breeders’ Cup to collect your bottle — other options are available.)

Keeneland’s 5th Annual Sporting Auction will be held Sunday November 19th at 2 pm at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion, and an item in the catalog will benefit Old Friends. “Sheep in a Meadow,” a 36″ x 57″ oil on board by German artist August Friedrich Albrecht Schenk, has been consigned by our friend Jim Smith, and proceeds from the sale will help the horses. You can see the catalog and register to bid online by CLICKING HERE.

For more information on any of our Fall happenings, call us at the office: (502) 863-1775.

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

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.

Saratoga!

Photo © Laura Battles.

If you’re in Saratoga this week, be sure to drop by Anne’s Washington Inn on Thursday evening (August 11) for our annual cocktail party get-together.

The fun starts at 6 pm and we’ll be giving this year’s Frankel Award to Eclipse-Award-winning photographer Barbara Livingston.  (Thanks again to Innkeeper Joe Bokan, one of our dearest and most generous supporters. We could never spend as much time having fun and raising money at the Spa without Joe letting us stay for free.)

On Tuesday, August 16, the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame is celebrating Old Friends Day. JoAnn Pepper, who manages Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, and I will be there for the Guests in the Gallery program, which begins at 11 a.m. The program is free to attend with a paid Museum admission. We’re expecting some very special guests, including H. James Bond (who trained Behrens, Will’s Way), Richard Schlosberg (Affirmed Success), Jack Knowlton (Saratoga Episode), and Tracy and Carol Farmer (Commentator).

At both events, you will also have an opportunity to reserve one of the limited-edition Breeders’ Cup Maker’s Mark commemorative Zenyatta bottles. Old Friends is the 2016 beneficiary of their “Champions for Charity” campaign and Breeder’s Cup and Maker’s Mark have created a gorgeous collectible that will be signed by Jerry and Ann, John Shirreffs and Mike Smith. We are pleased to say that 100% of the proceeds from this campaign will come to Old Friends.

If you’re not in Saratoga and you’d still like to reserve one of these commemorative bottles, visit the website – https://www.breederscup.com/champions-for-charity?force-web.

Donors will be collecting their bottles at Arcadia Night: Salute to Zenyatta, which will take place on Wednesday, November 2 at the Gold Line Plaza, in Arcadia, CA and also at the Breeders’ Cup offices in Lexington on November 16, from 11 p.m. – 7 p.m. Proxies will be accepted at both locations.

But wherever you are, Breeders’ Cup has vowed to get your collectible to you. Breeders’ Cup will correspond with donors in October to determine their pick-up preferences and other possible options.

Thanks, once again, for all of your support. Come visit the horses when you can. We look forward to seeing you.

Old Friends, Inc. 1841 Paynes Depot Rd., Georgetown, KY 40324
502-863-1775 www.oldfriendsequine.org   michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Old Friends at Cabin Creek   483 Sandhill Rd., Greenfield Center, NY 12833
518-698-2377   www.oldfriendsatcabincreek.com   cabincreek4@hotmail.com

Upcoming Horse Racing Highlights for 2016

After all of the excitement of the Kentucky Derby, it’s time to look ahead to see which top horse racing events are going to provide the best bet for equine entertainment over the coming months.

From traditional race meetings in the racing heartlands of the UK, to some of America’s most dazzling races, here’s a selection of events to keep an eye on, along with some horse racing tips to guarantee a perfect day’s entertainment.

California State Fair

One of the best tips for enjoying a truly glamorous day at the races is to head to the California State Fair in July. Held at the prestigious Sacramento Miller Lite Racetrack, this epic event features three successive weekends of racing action including thoroughbreds, quarter horses and mules all providing quality entertainment for the thousands of racing fans who pack the grandstands.

In 2016 the event kicks off on July 8, but it’s July 23 when the most highly-anticipated races occur with the Governor’s Cup always providing some lucrative betting options. Last year was one of the best California State Fairs yet with the recently introduced Sacramento Golden Bear Sprint offering a fresh challenge for three-year-olds.

Glorious Goodwood

However, for some truly traditional racing entertainment, then it’s best to take a look over to the UK where the Glorious Goodwood event delivers one of the best examples of flat racing in this horse racing-crazy nation.

Beginning on July 26 in the heartlands of West Sussex, the event offers all of the extravagance that you’d expect from UK racing. And with the Sussex Stakes and Nassau Stakes forming the main Group 1 contests, there’s many interesting betting options to be had as several key players are coming on leaps and bounds for what will surely be a hotly contested affair.

Breeder’s Cup

However, for all American racing fans, it’s always the Breeder’s Cup that truly delivers what racing is all about. Returning to the legendary Santa Anita Park in California, this promises to be yet another fantastic racing spectacle that should repeat the excitement felt in 2015 when American Pharoah turned in a commanding victory to claim racing immortality.

This year the $5 million Breeder’s Cup will be broadcast live on NBC, but for a true taste of the excitement of top level horse racing with the chance to take advantage of the best tips, it’s best to get to California and enjoy the most intense horse racing of 2016!

Oldest Living Breeders’ Cup Champion Gulch Dead at 32

Gulch in retirement at Old Friends (Photo by EquiSport)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 17, 2016 – It is with a heavy heart that Michael Blowen, founder and President of Old Friends, announces today the passing of Gulch. The 1988 Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion and Eclipse Award winner was euthanized this morning due to complications from cancer.

At 32, Gulch was the oldest living Breeders’ Cup Champion.

A son of Mr. Prospector out of the Rambunctious mare Jameela, Gulch has been a resident of the Thoroughbred Retirement Center based in Georgetown, KY since 2009 and was one of the farm’s flagship stallions, attracting visitors and fans from all around the country.

As both a runner and a sire, Gulch blazed an unforgettable trail. Bred by Peter Brant in Kentucky, Gulch became a Grade 1 winner as a two-year-old when he captured the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga. At three he won the GR 1 Wood Memorial and the first of his two consecutive wins in the GR1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park.

As a four-year-old, Gulch captured the GR3 Potrero Grande Handicap and the GR1 Carter Handicap en route to his final start and greatest victory in the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Sprint for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. For his efforts Gulch was named 1988 Eclipse Champion Sprinter.

The stallion retired with 13 wins from 32 starts and earnings of $3,095,521.

Gulch continued his career success as a sire at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, KY.

His most notable offspring is 1995 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Thunder Gulch. Other Grade 1 winners include Court Vision, Great Navigator, The Cliff’s Edge, and Wallenda, who is also a retiree at Old Friends.

In all, Gulch is represented by 71 stakes winners, 30 of which are grade or group winners, 72 stakes-placed runners and the earners of $80 million.

Due to declining fertility, Gulch was pensioned from the breeding shed in 2009 and was later graciously donated to Old Friends by Lane’s End.

At the time, Lane’s End principal Bill Farish noted that the stallion’s popularity with fans influenced the farm’s decision to send him to Old Friends, which is open to tourists daily.

“He was a horse that was well known to the public having been through the Triple Crown trail and having been a top two-year-old and a champion sprinter,” said Farish in a 2009 release. “He was a horse that people always wanted to see. Plus, he’s kind of a ham, and he will enjoy the attention immensely.”

“As Leroy Jolley, who was Gulch’s first trainer, once said, ‘Gulch must be the toughest horse who ever lived,’ and he was,” noted Old Friends’ Blowen. “He was confident, self-possessed and regal. He didn’t demand respect – he earned it. He is irreplaceable.”

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 155 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

Breeders’ Cup Champion Alphabet Soup to Old Friends

Alphabet Soup (Photo by Barbara Fossum)

GEORGETOWN, KY – OCTOBER 26, 2015 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY, is happy to announce that Breeders’ Cup Champion Alphabet Soup has been pensioned at the farm.

The gray son of Cozzene out of the Arts and Letters mare Illiterate, Alphabet Soup was a late bloomer for owner Georgia B Ridder, winning his first stakes at age 4 when he captured the 1995 Grade 3 Native Diver and the Grade 2 Del Mar Breeders’ Cup Handicap.

In 1996 he was the victor in the San Antonia Handicap (GR2), the Pat O’Brian Handicap (GR3) and the San Pasqual Handicap (GR2) en route to his greatest triumph, the 1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic (GR1), where he defeated the “invincible” Cigar as well as that year’s Preakness Stakes winner Louis Quatorze-all while setting a new track record at Woodbine.

Retired in 1998 to Adena Springs having captured 10 of 24 starts and earnings of over $2.9 million, Alphabet Soup has since sired 48 stakes winners, among them Grade 1 winners Egg Drop and Alphabet Kisses, champions Our New Recruit, Phantom Light and Sovereign Award winner Alpha Bettor.

“He arrived safely today and looks terrific,” said Old Friends President and founder Michael Blowen. “We are so grateful to Frank Stronach and everyone at Adena Springs for entrusting us with this fabulous champion,” he added. “We’re really looking forward to meeting his fans.”

For additional information about Alphabet Soup or any of the retirees at Old Friends, please call the farm at (502) 863-1775.

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 110 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