Tag Archives: Old Friends

Breeders’ Cup Event and Little DEVIL Charm

It’s all treats at Old Friends… even on Halloween. Recently, we’ve been treated to a great ride on Next Shares who flew to victory in the $250,000 Old Friends Stakes at Kentucky Downs. In the winner’s circle, trainer Richard Baltus explained that one reason he brought his five-year-old gelding from his home ground at Santa Anita and Del Mar to Franklin, Kentucky was because the winner was assured a lifetime retirement at Old Friends at the appropriate time. Baltus explained that being in the winner’s circle with Next Shares was one of the great thrills of his life. And the best was yet to come. Last Saturday, Next Shares was ignored by the betting public in the $1,000,000 G1 Shadwell Turf mile and roared home to victory, astonishing everyone, even Baltus. Since that was a win-and-you’re-in race, he’s now headed for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Classic. We’ll welcome him to Old Friends when the time comes but, in the meantime, we’ll be rooting him home. Old Friends Karma.

Breeders’ Cup Celebration at Old Friends
Sponsored by Red Brand Fence
Sunday, November 4, 12:00 – 4:00pm

Come the Celebrate Breeders’ Cup. Join us for a party at the farm and a tribute to the 20 year anniversary of Old Friends retiree Gulch’s victory in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Live & Silent auctions of racing memorabilia, equine art, collectible stallion halters, and more. Live music, Proud Mary BBQ, farms tours.

Admission is $30; 2018 Membership holders $15; kids under 12 free.

Special $10 discount to Equestricon convention attendees with proof of attendance. Please note Kentucky sales tax is now collected on our tickets and auction items due to a new law enacted in July.

Click here for tickets or call us at 502-863-1775.

Little DEVIL Charm Shirts

Grab ’em QUICK as time is running out. Tees, Long Sleeve Tees, and even Hoodies.  Click here to order.

For more information, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.

Old Friends Again Named Charity Beneficiary of Breeders’ Cup Champions for Charity

Old Friends is so proud to have been chosen, for the third consecutive year, as one of the charities to benefit from the Breeders’ Cup Champions for Charity program.

Maker’s Mark®, Kentucky’s original premium bourbon, and the Breeders’ Cup, Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious international event, have again joined forces to create a beautiful, limited-edition bottle honoring a legend of the annual championships.

This 2018 edition will pay tribute to trainer D. Wayne Lukas, the all-time leading trainer in Breeders’ Cup history with 20 victories during his career.

Old Friends will share in this campaign with the Kentucky Derby Museum, one of the premiere attractions in the Louisville region, and 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this commemorative bottle will go to the charities.

Bottles are available for a donation of $400, and fans can secure their collectible right now through the Champions for Charity website:  https://www.breederscup.com/champions-for-charity.

Donors can collect their bottles during a Champions for Charity event in Louisville, KY (details to be announced) prior to the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs, November 3rd and 4th.

Pick up will also be available at the Breeders’ Cup offices in Lexington, KY 10 days after the event, and information about additional retrieval options will be made available soon.

We are especially excited about honoring our friend and supporter D. Wayne Lukas, who trained Old Friends retirees Charismatic and Gulch, who won the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Also, don’t forget to also reserve your tickets to the Old Friends Breeders’ Cup Party at the Georgetown, KY farm on Sunday, November 4th and come celebrate the 30th anniversary of Gulch’s Breeders’ Cup win. Tickets are $30 ($15 for 2018 membership holders; kids under 12 are free) and can be ordered via our website (www.oldfriendsequine.org) or by calling the office at (502) 863-1775.

A P Valentine, Son of A. P. Indy, Euthanized at 20

A P Valentine © Laura Battles.

GEORGETOWN, KY – SEPTEMBER 3, 2018 – A P Valentine, a Gr. 1 winner, was euthanized due to complications from colic on September 1 at Park Equine Hospital in Woodford County. The 20-year-old son of A. P. Indy had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement farm in Georgetown, KY.

Campaigned by Rick Pitino’s Ol’ Memorial Stable (formerly Celtic Pride Stables) and trainer Nick Zito, A P Valentine (out of the Alydar mare Twenty Eight Carat) was a leading 2-year-old of 2000 having captured that year’s Gr. 1 Champagne Stakes.

The following year the colt broke the 1/16 miles track record at an optional claiming race for 3-year-olds and upwards at Hialeah Park before embarking on the Triple Crown trail, where he placed second to Point Given in the 2001 Preakness Stakes.

A P Valentine was retired from racing in 2001 to Ashford/Coolmore Stud but was soon pensioned due to unresolvable fertility problems.

In 2004, A P Valentine was pensioned with veterinarian Dr. William C. Day, a stallion reproductive specialist based in in Brenham, TX.  While preparing to sell his farm, Dr. Day retired the horse to Old Friends earlier this year.

“I loved that horse. He was very kind, very gentle,” said Dr. Day. “I have about 30 stallions on the farm, and he was by far the most affectionate. He didn’t have an evil bone in his body.”

“I first noticed A P Valentine before his Preakness Stakes because his silks were white with a green shamrock and he raced for Rick Pitino’s Celtic Pride Stable,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “As a longtime Celtics fan, I rooted for him as if he was Larry Bird. When he came here to Old Friends, it was love at first sight for virtually all of our volunteers and employees.”

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 August Newsletter

Green Mask (Photo: Laura Battles)

News from Michael Blowen:

Our visit to Saratoga Springs in New York was really great. The support for Old Friends, in general, and Old Friends at Cabin Creek, specifically, has never been better.

Joanne’s party at the Saratoga National Golf Club and Joe Bokan’s soiree at Anne’s Washington Inn were both enthusiastically attended and raised a lot of awareness and funds. Many owners and trainers who retired Thoroughbreds with us inquired about their horses, and others asked about eventually sending their horses to Old Friends.

The reception from fans was over the top, and it was great spending time with Lorita and Anthony and Jack Knowlton, in particular. It’s helped us re-double efforts to expand our facilities to meet the demand for all these amazing athletes.

The demand for Dagmar’s beautiful book, The Art of Old Friends, has been justifiably frenetic. The office has been working hard to get them packaged and sent to all that have placed orders, so if you have not received yours already, know that they are on their way soon. And if you have not ordered a copy yet, call the office today. They will also be on sale in our gift shop.

Green Mask is doing great. The efforts spearheaded by Dr. Bryan Waldridge and Park Equine Hospital in Woodford County has led to a marvelous recovery by this flashy turf sprinter. Special thanks to all who helped, especially Kirsten Johnson at KESMARC, Sallee Vans, the New Bolton Center Veterinary Hospital at Penn, and Dr. Dean Richardson, who performed Green Mask’s surgery.

We expect a huge crowd for our post-Breeders’ Cup Party on Sunday November 4th at the farm. Look for information about tickets on our Facebook page, Twitter feed, and on our website. Tickets are on sale now ($30; $15 for 2018 membership holders).

The Breeders’ Cup / Maker’s Mark Champions for Charity is excited to have once again been named the charity beneficiary for the new bottle honoring trainer D. Wayne Lukas. They are available now via the Breeders’ Cup Champions for Charity website. CLICK HERE

Once again, thanks to all of you for making Old Friends home to so many deserving athletes.

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

Genuine Reward, Son of Genuine Risk, Euthanized at 25

Genuine Reward © Laura Battles.

GEORGETOWN, KY – AUGUST 16, 2018 – Genuine Reward, one of the only living offspring of Kentucky Derby winning-filly Genuine Risk, was euthanized at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility in Georgetown, KY, where he had been pensioned since 2015.   The stallion was 25.

Genuine Reward never raced due to numerous health issues, but began a stud career at Meadowville Farm in The Plains, VA and later at Eagle Point Farm in Ashland, VA before eventually heading west to Sheridan, WY, where he stood as a polo stallion with the American Polo Horse Association run by owner Perk Connell.

The chestnut son of Rahy was retired and discovered for sale by acclaimed author Laura Hillenbrand (Seabiscuit, Unbroken), who promptly sponsored his placement at Old Friends.

Genuine Risk, campaigned by Bert and Diana Firestone, was only the second filly in history to win the Kentucky Derby. She finished second in a controversial edition of the Preakness Stakes behind Codex and was also second in the Belmont Stakes.

Retired in 1982, Genuine Risk had difficulty carrying a foal. After numerous attempts, she finally, in 1993, delivered Genuine Reward to great fanfare. But the colt’s anticipated racing career was never to be. He underwent colic surgery as a foal, had breathing problems as a yearling, and bucked his shins multiple times.

“He was such a sweet horse, and a tremendous fan favorite, as you might imagine,” said Old Friends president Michael Blowen. “We were so honored to add him to our roster. Our thanks go out to Laura Hillenbrand and Perk Connell for letting Genuine Reward spend his last years with us.”

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

New York Champion Say Florida Sandy Dies at 24

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 13, 2018 – Say Florida Sandy, a multiple graded stakes winner and one of the greatest New York-breds of all time, has died.

The 24-year-old stallion, who was retired with Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, passed from an apparent heart attack on July 11, but a full necropsy is pending.

Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends, made the announcement.

Bred by Sanford Bacon, the son of Personal Flag out of the Sweet Candy mare Lolli Lucka Lolli was a star of the New York racing circuit for much of his seven-year career. He won several New York-bred championships, including three New York Champion Sprinter titles and New York Horse of the Year honors for 2001.

Raced by Bacon before being lost for $70,000 in a claiming race in 1997, Sandy had several owners and conditioners, but won the lion’s share of his races for trainer Juan Serey and owner John Rotella.

In all, the dark bay stallion won 17 stakes during his 98-race career, including the Grade 2 True North at Belmont Park, the Grade 3 Gravesend at Aqueduct in 1998 and 2000, and the Grade 3 Philadelphia Breeders’ Cup Handicap. He retired from racing in 2003 with a record of 33 wins and earnings of $2,085,408.

Say Florida Sandy entered stud in 2004 at Buckridge Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. where he stood for 10 years. As a sire he is best represented by stakes winner Say Toba Sandy, who won the Finger Lakes Juvenile Fillies Stakes in 2007.

Say Florida Sandy was pensioned by his syndicate and retired to Old Friends in 2014.

“It’s been a privilege to retire one of the top New York-breds of all time,” said Old Friends’s Blowen. “Sandy was a very sensitive stallion, so he was placed at Hurstland Farm in Midway, KY under the watchful eye of owner Alfred Nuckols, who took the greatest care of him,” Blowen added.

“We are grateful to breeder Sanford Bacon and to Walter Downey, who managed Sandy’s syndicate, for allowing us to care for their champion.”

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

Multiple Graded-Stakes Winner Eye of the Tiger to Old Friends

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 5, 2018 – Grade 2 winner Eye of the Tiger has been pensioned to Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY.

Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends, made the announcement.

Fifth in the 2003 Kentucky Derby behind winner Funny Cide, and winner of both the Affirmed and Washington Park Handicaps, Eye of the Tiger was retired from racing in 2006 with five wins from 19 starts and earnings of $535,679 for breeder/owner John D. Gunther.

He has stood at Gunther’s Glennwood Farm near Versailles, KY — which also bred newly minted Triple Crown winner Justify — since then, but was pensioned from stud duty in 2016. The now 18-year-old stallion arrived at Old Friends on June 27.

“Eye of the Tiger he has been a long-time member of our horse family,” said Glennwood’s Tanya Gunther. “He deserves the serenity that this home will provide him, which was a challenge to do at our small farm with the constant hustle and bustle of mares, foals, and yearlings.

“To know he will join the company of Classic horses such as War Emblem, Silver Charm, and Touch Gold makes me very pleased,” Gunther added. “Imagine the stories they will share. A big thank you to Old Friends, and we look forward to visiting him very soon.”

“We’re so very thrilled to welcome Eye of the Tiger,” said Old Friends’s Blowen. “We can’t thank the Gunthers enough for trusting us with his care. This is a beautiful stallion with a great story to tell, and I’m sure he will be a big fan favorite.”

Old Friends offers guided walking tours of the farm daily at 10 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. Fans can visit with Eye of the Tiger and other well-known champions of the turf, including Kentucky Derby/Preakness winners Silver Charm and War Emblem.

For information and reservations, 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

Winston, Kentucky Derby Museum Ambassador and Old Friends Retiree, Dies at 24

Photo: Mary Greene.

GEORGETOWN, KY – MAY 2, 2018 – Winston, the miniature horse that long resided at the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville, has died.

In February of 2018, Winston announced his retirement from the museum and promptly joined Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY., where he would continue to greet visitors and fans.

Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends, made the sad announcement of Winston’s unexpected passing.

According to Dr. Bryan Waldridge of Park Equine Hospital in Woodford County, where the mini horse was sent after exhibiting symptoms, Winston’s sudden death was caused by an infection in his abdominal cavity.

Winston would have turned 25 on May 4.

Winston took up residence at the Kentucky Derby Museum, located at Louisville’s Churchill Downs racecourse, as a two-year-old in the fall of 1995. He was donated to the Museum by Norma Aubrey of Posh Petites, Paints & Appaloosa Miniature Horses in Shelbyville, and he spent his tenure at the museum as a companion to more than 30 visiting Thoroughbreds, including Derby contenders Perfect Drift, Phantom on Tour, and Twinspired, as well as Kentucky Derby winner, Mine That Bird.

As part of his Derby Museum ambassadorship, Winston had thrown out the first pitch at a Louisville Bats game, helped Churchill Downs pick the Derby winner ahead of the race, supported many charitable organizations around town, and performed more than 10 marriage proposals with his “Will You Marry Me?” blanket.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of Winston’s sudden passing,” said Patrick Armstrong, President and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Museum. “He was such a wonderful ambassador for the Museum, bringing happiness to thousands of visitors for 22 years. He will always be a part of the Museum’s story, and he will always have a special place in our hearts.”

“This has been so devastating to everyone at the farm,” said Old Friends’s Blowen. “We were so proud when the Museum chose Old Friends for Winston when his career there ended, and we were so looking forward to spending many more years with him. He was a joy to be around.

“We’d like to thank Dr. Claire Latimer for her expertise with his Winston’s ongoing eye problems and Dr. Scott Fleming for his podiatry work that helped make the little horse more comfortable in recent weeks,” Blowen added. “And of course Dr. Waldrige and the vets at Park Equine who cared for him in his final days.”

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

FTBOA Silver Charm Florida Sire Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs

Silver Charm in retirement at Old Friends (Photo: Rick Capone)

GEORGETOWN, KY – APRIL 26, 2018 – On Saturday May 5, the Florida Thoroughbred Owners’ and Breeders’ Association will present the inaugural “$100,000 FTOBA Silver Charm Florida Sire Stakes” at Tampa Bay Downs.

The race will celebrate the 1997 Kentucky Derby/Preakness champion and Hall of Fame inductee (2007).

Silver Charm, 24, was returned to the United States from stud duty in Japan in 2014 and is now pensioned at Old Friends, the non-profit Thoroughbred Retirement facility base in Georgetown, KY.

The $100,000 FTBOA Silver Charm Stakes, for three-year-old colts and geldings, will be run on the main track at a distance of a mile and 40 yards. The race is a “Win & You’re In” opportunity, with the victor earning retirement at Old Friends when his racing career is over.

The Silver Charm Stakes is the third of a four-part “Florida Sire Stakes” series offered by Tampa Bay Downs and the FTBOA that launched in December 2017. The events will offer $450,000 in purse money to FTBOA-registered Florida-bred horses sired by FTBOA-registered stallions that are Florida Sire Stakes-eligible.

“Silver Charm is a legendary Florida-bred, and naming a prestigious race in his honor was important to do,” said Lonny Powell, FTBOA CEO. “Silver Charm represents one of the 52 Florida-breds who have been honored as national champions. The well-traveled horse has a dedicated fan base worldwide that continues to grow as the next generation is introduced to him,” added Powell. “FTBOA thanks Old Friends for being a part of this special historic day.”

As part of the celebration, the FTBOA Museum and Gallery, located at 801 SW 60th Avenue in Ocala, FL, will honor Silver Charm with an art exhibition that opens Friday, May 4 at 2:30 p.m. The exhibit will run through the end of May.

In addition, Old Friends will feature race handicapping from Silver Charm himself along all of their social media platforms on Friday May 4 and Saturday May 5, and on race day, a representative from the farm will present the owners of all of the entries with a special gift bag.

Bred in Florida by Mary Lou Wootton, Silver Charm (Silver Buck – Bonnie’s Poker, by Poker), is considered one of the best horses of his generation. Campaigned by Robert and Beverly Lewis and trained by Bob Baffert, Silver Charm broke his maiden as a 2-year-old and captured his first stakes a few weeks later in the GR2 Del Mar Futurity.

Silver Charm captured the 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and was poised to become the sport’s 12th Triple Crown winner, but he was beat at the wire by Touch Gold in the Belmont Stakes.

As a 4-year-old Silver Charm added the GR2 San Fernando Breeders’ Cup Stakes and the GR2 Strub Stakes to his resume before winning the 1998 Dubai World Cup. The stallion retired from racing in 1999 after 24 lifetime starts and12 wins, with career earnings of over $6.9 million.

Silver Charm was sold to Japan in 2004, but was returned to the U.S. by his owners, the Lewis Family, and Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky.

Old Friends is a non-profit organization that cares for more than 175 horses whose racing and/or breeding careers came to an end. The farm is open to the public daily, offering guided tours to meet such stars of the turf as Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner War Emblem, Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup, and three-time Santa Anita Handicap star Game On Dude.

As one of the most famous retirees at Old Friends, Silver Charm, has become a significant ambassador for horse racing, meeting and greeting fans daily who are thrilled to re-live his exciting Triple Crown campaign.

“No horse deserves to be honored with an eponymous stakes more than Silver Charm,” said Old Friends President and founder Michael Blowen. “There is no doubt he has brought great credence and great pride to the Florida breeding program, and there is no question that he’s an exceptional champion that has given so much to the sport — even in retirement,” he added. “We are very grateful to the FTBOA and Tampa Bay Downs for this tribute.”

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 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, (502) 863-1775, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; or Barbara Fossum, (502) 863-1775, barbara@oldfriendsequine.org

Old Friends 14th Annual Homecoming, May 6, 2018

GR1 winner Special Ring (Photo by Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – APRIL 24, 2018 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, will host its 14th Annual Homecoming event, sponsored by NTRA Advantage, Daily Racing Form, Hagyard Pharmacy, and Red Brand Fence, on Sunday May 6, 2018 from 1 pm to 5 pm.

Tickets are $30 for the general public and $15 for Old Friends “Clubhouse” members (children 12 and under are free).

Reservations can be made online by visiting the Old Friends website at www.oldfriendsequine.org and following the “News” link. Reservations can also be made by phone by calling (502) 863-1775.

The day will include a barbecue buffet by Proud Mary, farm tours, live music by the Stormin’ Norman Band, and live and silent auctions of racing memorabilia, prime collectible stallion halters, equine photography and artwork, jewelry, books, and more.

Painter Robert Clark will once again be creating an on-site portrait of this year’s newly minted Derby winner. The canvas will be live auctioned at the end of day.

Also on hand this year will be Old Friends artist-in-residence Dagmar Galleithner-Steiner, who will be accepting pre-orders for her new book, The Art of Old Friends, and author Rick Capone, who will be signing copies of his books The History of Old Friends and Celebrating Old Friends.

Old Friends, a non-profit organization, is home to such retired luminaries of the turf as Kentucky Derby – Preakness champions Silver Charm and War Emblem, Belmont Stakes winners Touch Gold and Sarava, 1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup, and three-time Santa Anita Handicap star Game On Dude.

Look also for the hot pink Spotz Gelato truck. The dessert vendors will be selling homemade, small-batch gelato in custom flavors.

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