Tag Archives: Old Friends

“Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to Derby” 2019 Concludes with Final Chapeau of the Season

Dagmar Galleithner-Steiner, Nicanor, Joe Steiner, and son Jonah model the newest “Hats Off to the Derby” chapeau (Photo: Barbara D. Livingston)

New Hat Honors Old Friends Retiree Nicanor

For the 10th consecutive year, Maggie Mae Designs® and Old Friends are teaming up for an unparalleled online shopping experience. “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” is a unique Derby-hat fundraiser featuring one-of-a-kind couture Derby hats created by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit Old Friends.

This new hat pays tribute to Nicanor, a stakes-placed runner who is better known as the full brother of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro. Nicanor now resides at Old Friends, and this lovely hat uses the blue, lime, and white racing-silk colors of former owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stables.

The Kentucky-bred Nicanor (Dynaformer – La Ville Rouge, Carson City) was trained by Michael Matz and ridden by several jockeys, including Barbaro rider Edgar Prado. In his 18 starts he captured 4 wins, including a 15 1/4 lengths victory at Delaware Park.

Nicanor entered stud in 2013 at Shamrock Farm in Woodbine, MD and retired to Old Friends in the spring of 2018.

For this lovely hat, Maggie Mae Designs® milliner Sally Faith Steinmann uses a foundation of white dupioni silk overlaid with three wavy layers of silk organza that is top stitched with chocolate thread. The hat is adorned with a large, two-tone, blue silk organza Marguerite fleur, highlighted by a chocolate rose curl at the center that is nestled in a medley of lime organza and taffeta leaves.

The hat is completed by a white brocade under brim that lends a soft, elegant effect around the wearer’s upturned face. And, as always, a physical remembrance — several strands of the horse’s tail hair — were woven into the trim, creating a truly unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau.

The “Nicanor” chapeau is up for bid from April 1st at 8 pm through April 11th at 8 pm. All proceeds from the sale go to Old Friends.

To Bid: CLICK HERE.

To read more about Nicanor, the horse, please CLICK HERE

For more information: (502) 863-1775; www.oldfriendsequine.org; michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Danthebluegrassman, Grade 3 Winner, Euthanized at 20

Danthebluegrassman at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – MARCH 20, 2019 – Danthebluegrassman, a 2002 Kentucky Derby contender, was euthanized Monday, March 19, at Park Equine Hospital in Woodford due to an irreparable small intestinal obstruction that was causing chronic colic.

The 20-year-old gelding had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement center in Georgetown, KY, since 2008.

A son of Pioneering, out of the Grey Dawn II mare Stay With Bruce, Danthebluegrassman — named after raconteur Dan Chandler, son of former Kentucky governor A.B. “Happy” Chandler — was campaigned by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and owner Michael E. Pegram.

As a 2-year-old, the flashy chestnut won the Gold Rush Stakes in wire-to-wire fashion. A year later, he punched his ticket to the Kentucky Derby trail with a win in the Grade 3 Golden Gate Derby and a close 2nd in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby.

A long shot nevertheless, on Derby day he was installed at 50-1 morning line odds, but then later scratched after he “tied up” following a routine gallop at Churchill Downs. In June of that year he went on to another victory in the Northern Dancer Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Claimed in in 2005, Dan eventually fell down the ranks and was retired to Old Friends in the spring of 2008 after a career boasting 47 Starts and 8 wins with earnings of $423,794.

“Dan was the man — tough but gentle,” said Old Friends President Michael Blowen. “We were fortunate to know him for more than a decade, and he will be missed by all of us. Special thanks to Dr. Bryan Waldrige and everyone at Park Equine for doing the best for Dan when he needed it most.”

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

Old Friends Welcomes Five-Time Grade 1 Winner Einstein

Einstein arrives at Old Friends (Photo: Carole Oates)

GEORGETOWN, KY – MARCH 11, 2019 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement farm based in Georgetown, KY, has welcomed new retiree Einstein. The Brazilian bred son of 1986 Horse of the Year and Kentucky Derby winner Spend a Buck has been pensioned by The Stonach Group’s Adena Springs to the non-profit organization.

Trained by Helen Pitts, Einstein (Spend a Buck–Gay Charm, by Ghadeer) captured the 2009 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) and four grade I stakes on turf, including back-to-back triumphs in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs.

Other wins include the 2008 Clark Handicap (gr. II), also at Churchill, and the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds.

In all, Einstein made 30 starts, winning 11 races. He won or placed in 13 stakes, all of which were graded, and his career earnings totaled $2,703,324.

Einstein retired from racing in 2010 to stand at Adena Springs near Paris, KY. He later stood at Adena Springs North in Ontario, Canada and at Magali Farms near Santa Ynez, CA. His top runners include grade III winner Rankhasprivileges and multiple-stakes-placed E Equalsmcsquared.

In 2015, Adena Springs also donated Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup and Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold to Old Friends.

“We’re extremely grateful to The Stronach Group for allowing us to care for Einstein, and for supporting him with a significant annual contribution,” said Old Friends President and founder Michael Blowen. “Einstein has a lot of fans and I’m sure they’ll be flocking to visit him.

“The great son of Spend a Buck didn’t peak until his six and seven-year-old campaigns,” Blowen continued, “and, as fate would have it, he defeated many of our other Old Friends retirees, including Arson Squad, Commentator, Rail Trip, and Cosmonaut.”

“Einstein was one of the most honest and consistent race horses of modern times,” said Donald Wells, Farm Manager at Adena Springs. “He came very close to being the first horse to win grade 1 races on the turf (Woodford Reserve), synthetic (Santa Anita Handicap), and dirt when he was a troubled third in the Stephen Foster in 2009.

“It has been a privilege to care for such a tough and honest horse,” Wells added. “We know he will be well taken care of at Old Friends, and we look forward to his fan base getting to know and love him the way we have.”

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

Dual-Classic Winner Silver Charm Celebrates 25th Birthday at Old Friends

Silver Charm at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles ©)

GEORGETOWN, KY – FEBRUARY 14, 2019 – Dual-classic winner and racing Hall of Famer Silver Charm will turn 25 on Friday February 22nd at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility in Georgetown, KY.

The farm is inviting fans to help celebrate this milestone with a birthday-card contest and an open-house Birthday Bash.

Fans are invited to submit an original greeting card, created on paper or in a digital format, wishing Silver Charm a happy 25th. Deadline for card entries is Thursday Feb. 21.

The best design — judged by a panel of Old Friends staff — will receive a matted and autographed color photo of Silver Charm by Eclipse Award-winning photographer Barbara Livingston.

Card entries will be displayed and the winner announced at Silver Charm’s birthday party at Old Friends’ Georgetown farm, located at 1841 Paynes Depot Rd, on Friday February 22nd from 1 pm – 4 pm.

Guests will receive gift bags (while supplies last), fun giveaways, and enjoy a “soup-of-the-day” lunch, with piping hot selections from several local eateries, including:

Local Feed, the seasonal kitchen and craft bar located in Georgetown. Local Feed is known for its farm-to-table concept, great bourbon list, and craft cocktails.

Josie’s, a comfortable, inviting neighborhood cafe in Georgetown from the owners of the Merrick Inn. Josie’s offers “the best breakfast in town,” as well as an extensive lunch and dinner menu of tasty southern fare.

Galvin’s, the family owned sports bar and bistro in downtown Georgetown, offers a vast menu of favorites as well as 40 taps featuring Kentucky’s local brews.

Wallace Station, the homey pit stop in Versailles from renowned chef Ouita Michels. Wallace Station features an irresistible menu of homemade soups, sandwiches, salads, and bakery items.

Silver Charm won the 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and the 1998 Dubai World Cup. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2007, and stood stud at Three Chimney’s farm before relocating to Japan.

Silver Charm was repatriated to the United States and pensioned at Old Friends in 2014.

The Silver Charm Birthday party is free and open to the public.

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

Enter Silver Charm’s Silver Anniversary Card Challenge

Photo by Rick Capone.

It’s Silver Charm’s Silver Jubilee

On February 22nd dual-classic winner Silver Charm will turn 25, and we’d like you to help Old Friends celebrate this special milestone.

Silver Charm doesn’t care much for traditional gifts – shiny bling or etched keepsakes. But what better way to say Happy Birthday to a Hall of Famer than with a personalized greeting card?

Because we know all of his fans out there care enough to send the very best, we’re launching the Silver Charm Birthday Card Challenge!

Get out your construction paper, colored markers, Crayolas, finger paints, Black & Decker, or whatever artistic medium suits you best and create a birthday card befitting a Kentucky Derby Champion.

We will accept physical cards or those created in a digital format. A panel of Old Friends judges will award the best card in each category with an autographed picture of Silver Charm by Eclipse Award-winning photographer Barbara Livingston.

Entries will be displayed and winners named at a special celebratory event at Old Friends Farm in Georgetown on Friday February 22nd from 1-4 pm.

The public is welcome to come and celebrate this very Silver Anniversary with us. Food and beverages will be served.

For more information: (502) 863-1775; www.oldfriendsequine.org

Hats Off to the Horses: Bint Marscay

Honoring the life of our sweet BINT MARSCAY. Another gorgeous couture creation from Sally at MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®. All proceeds benefit Old Friends. Special thanks to jockey Chris Landeros, his wife Shelby, and son Beckham for modeling. As always, thanks to chief photographer for Daily Racing Form and 6-time Eclipse Award winner, Barbara D. Livingston, for her stunning images. Auction ends Feb 11 at 8pm EST. These hats have raised over $35k for Old Friends!  Click to bid.

Click for more about this hat.

Click to learn about Bint Marscay.

Click to learn about the annual hat program.

For more information: (502) 863-1775; www.oldfriendsequine.org

Australian Champion Bint Marscay Euthanized

Bint Marscay at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 29, 2019 – 1993 Golden Slipper winner Bint Marscay has died. The 28-year-old mare, who resided at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, was euthanized Monday evening due to complications of chronic arthritis.

Bred and campaigned in Australia, the daughter of Marscay (AUS) out of the Sir Tristram mare Eau D’etoile (NZ), had 10 starts Down Under, winning four of them.

A champion 2-year-old, the outstanding filly won the Kindergarten Stakes at Warwick Farm and the Magic Night Stakes (GR2) at Rosehill before capping her champion status with a win in the Tooheys Golden Slipper Stakes (GR1).

Bint Marscay retired from racing in 1994 with career earnings of $1,034,821.

As a broodmare Bint Marscay foaled three stakes winners, including Bollinger, who won the Coolmore Classic (GR1) and later foaled Kentucky Derby contender Friesan Fire.

Relocated to the U.S. at Vinery, Kentucky, Bint Marscay was plagued by reproductive issues and did not produce a foal after 1999. She was retired to Old Friends in 2013.

“I am saddened to hear of the passing of Bint Marscay,” said longtime trainer Richard Freedman via email. “She was one of the greatest 2-year-olds to race in Australia, and she remains a yardstick by which Australian 2-year-olds are still measured today. She gave me, my family, and her racing connections so much joy.

“I thank Old Friends for taking such loving care of her in her retirement; she deserved no less,” Freedman added. “Her final years were happy, and her passing was peaceful. RIP old girl; you will be remembered.”

“She was a wonderful race mare, a wonderful broodmare, and a wonderful retiree,” said Old Friends’ Michael Blowen. “We’re so thankful to Vinery for donating her to Old Friends and allowing us to care for her in her final years.

“She was deeply loved by everyone here,” Blowen continued, “but especially by our dear friend and resident photographer Laura Battles. She was Binty’s ‘special person,’ who doted on her every single day. They had a very special relationship.”

“Bint Marscay just stole my heart three years ago,” said Battles, “and she took a big chunk of it with her when she left us yesterday.”

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

Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to Derby 2019 Begins

“Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to Derby” 2019 kicks off with a new chapeau honoring an Old Friends retiree.

For the 10th consecutive year, Maggie Mae Designs® and Old Friends are teaming up for an unparalleled online shopping experience. “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” is a unique Derby-hat fundraiser featuring one-of-a-kind couture Derby hats created by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit Old Friends.

This new hat pays tribute to King Congie, a stakes winner who resides at Old Friends at Cabin Creek in Greenfield Center, N.Y., and it uses the yellow and black racing-silk colors of former owners West Point Thoroughbreds.

King Congie’s career ended following an injury in 2012. In 2016 he was rescued from a livestock auction by the Rosemary Farm Sanctuary, and with the help of West Point Thoroughbreds was retired to Old Friends at Cabin Creek.

This lovely hat was created out of black dupioni silk with layers and layers of organza. It’s highlighted by a bold yellow under brim, which adds a vibrant, colorful effect when the wearer’s face is upturned, and it is adorned with a delicate rose sculpted out of alternating layers of yellow silk and chocolate organza.

The “King Congie” chapeau is up for bid from January 2nd through January 12th. All proceeds from the sale go to Old Friends.

To Bid: CLICK HERE.

Special thanks to the Stronach Group’s Acacia Courtney for graciously modeling this month’s selection, and to Connie Bush of Tiger Eye Photography for her stunning images of Acacia and King Congie.

To read more about King Congie, the horse, please CLICK HERE.

For more information: (502) 863-1775; www.oldfriendsequine.org; michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Graded Stakes Winner Silver Ray Dies at 30

Silver Ray at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 2, 2019 – Silver Ray, a graded-stakes winner who was rescued from potential slaughter in 2013, was euthanized due to chronic orthopedic disease at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY. The stallion was 30 years old.

Bred in Kentucky, Silver Ray (Silver Hawk – Danceland, by Little Current) won six of his 26 starts for owners Jerry and Ann Moss, including the GR3 Hoist the Flag Stakes at Hollywood Park. His career earnings totaled $268,532.

As a stallion, Silver Ray sired 47 foals in 13 lifetime crops with 11 winners. He was eventually sold to a dressage trainer and had some success as a sire of sport horses.

But in the summer of 2013 the stallion was discovered at a livestock auction in Mira Loma, CA by April Smith, who bought him for a mere $30.

After uncovering his identity, Smith contacted Catherine Trope, founder of the Glendale, CA-based Polo Pony Rescue, and Trope helped nurse the ailing ex-racer back to health.

When the Glendale News-Press ran a feature about Silver Ray’s rescue and recovery, it came to the attention of the Mosses, who are best known for campaigning the champion mare Zenyatta.

Longtime supporters of Old Friends, the Mosses worked with founder and President Michael Blowen to secure Silver Ray a spot at the Georgetown, KY farm.

“It has been such an honor to have Silver Ray with us these years,” said Blowen. “He has been an unbelievable fan favorite. He had an incredibly gentle soul, he was wonderful with children, and he just loved getting treats and attention from all of our visitors,” Blowen added.

“Great teamwork brought this wonderful stallion to Old Friends,” said Blowen. “We’re grateful to the people who rescued him and the Mosses for sponsoring his journey home.”

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

Michael Blowen Clarifies Recent Release Announcing “Old Friends West”

GEORGETOWN, KY – DECEMBER 14, 2018 – Michael Blowen, founder and President of Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility based in Georgetown, KY, wishes to clarify an unauthorized press release announcing the affiliate “Old Friends West”.

According to Blowen, no official agreement has been made with Elizabeth Neil or Doug Freeland to open a West Coast-based Thoroughbred retirement facility.

Mr. Blowen has exchanged emails with Ms Neil and Mr. Freeland, and was interested in further discussion of the idea; however, no formal proposal has been made and no steps taken to complete the venture as soon as March 2019.

“I believe an affiliate on the West Coast is an excellent idea. California is a huge racing hub, and Thoroughbreds bred and campaigned there deserve a dignified retirement in their home state where their fans are,” said Blowen. “However, while we have been in very preliminary discussions, no final agreement has been met, and this press release is premature,” he added. “At Old Friends we don’t like to put the cart before the horse — in fact, we don’t like to put anything before the horse!

“I have offered to consult on the formation of a West Coast farm, but I also explained to Mr. Freeland that many steps that would need to be taken before earning an affiliation with Old Friends,” Blowen continued. “We would only get involved with an existing 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, a visual inspection of the new facility and interviews with their planned farm personnel are mandatory, and, most importantly, a formal presentation would need to be made to the Old Friends Board of Directors and approval achieved. At this time, we have not moved forward with any of these phases.

“We also would have to consider our Accreditation with the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance,” Blowen noted, “and any new facility would need to be approved.

Blowen did say the Mr. Freeland is scheduled to visit Old Friends in Georgetown next week.

“This is not something that happens overnight,” Blowen said. “We have painstakingly built our brand over the years, and we guard it fiercely. It has taken more than 15 years for Old Friends to reach its existing place in the aftercare community and we’re very proud of our position.”

For additional information, please call Old Friends at (502) 863-1775 or visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.