Tag Archives: Old Friends

“Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” Online Auction Launches with the Awesome Gem

Proceeds from this fashion sale to benefit Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Facility

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 5, 2018 – The online fashion auction “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” kicked off this week with another beautiful handcrafted Derby chapeau going on the virtual block to raise money for Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY.

This is the ninth year that Old Friends has joined with acclaimed milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of the Massachusetts-based Maggie Mae Designs® to auction off exclusive Derby hats online, each inspired by one of the non-profit organization’s retired racehorses. The fashion fundraiser has raised over $32,000 to date.

This new hat was inspired by Old Friends retiree Awesome Gem. The now 15-year-old gelding, once campaigned by West Point Thoroughbreds, is a multiple graded-stakes winner and counts among his victories the 2010 GR 1 Hollywood Gold Cup.

For this launch, the beautiful chapeau was modeled by Krystal Court accompanied by her husband, leading jockey Jon Court, and their daughter, Aubrey.

Bidding on “The Awesome Gem” can be done between January 1st, 2018 and January 11, 2018 by visiting the Old Friends website at www.oldfriendsequine.org and following the link, or by CLICKING HERE and follow the “click to bid” button.

This new design showcases Awesome Gem’s chestnut coat along with his familiar West Point Thoroughbreds black-and-yellow racing silks.

The hat’s wide, 20-inch, flat-brim design was created out of deep yellow dupioni silk with a black lace overlay and a black taffeta edge. Adornments include a single yellow rose, fashioned out of swirling layers of deep yellow dupioni silk and soft lemon organza, which pays homage to the horse’s Gold Cup win, and a large shimmering button, made of chocolate, crystal, and platinum beads, which adds a final finishing touch.

As always, Steinmann included a physical remembrance of the horse, with strands of Awesome Gem’s tail hair woven into the trim.

Special thanks to EquiSport Photo for the images and video and to the Bella Rose Boutique of Lexington, KY for supplying the beautiful ensembles.

For additional information, contact the Old Friends office at (502) 863-1775.

Maggie Mae Designs® Custom Millinery offers magnificent hats for all occasions – from glamorous racing events such as the Kentucky Derby and the Royal Ascot to stunning bridal wear and handsome cocktail fashions. Every hat is carefully handcrafted by milliner Sally Faith Steinmann from her home base in South Harwich, MA. Salons of her fashions can been seen on her website at www.maggiemaedesigns.com.

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.

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints Lend Old Friends a Helping Hand

Photo: Retired race mare Misszoey Belle and equine surgeon Dr. Chris Johnson at Old Friends.

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 5, 2018 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY, owes a big debt to the NFL this week — specifically New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Thanks to the Big Ten record-holder — who will kick off against the Carolina Panthers in the first NFL Wild Card Round this Sunday — one of Old Friends’s retired mares was able to have a life-saving operation.

Old Friends is a non-profit sanctuary for more than 175 retired race horses, including two Kentucky Derby winners and numerous other champions. When one of its residents, Misszoey Belle, a now 13-year-old mare, showed sudden and severe signs of a gastrointestinal disorder in mid-December, it was quickly determined that surgery was her only chance for survival.

A hard-knocker on the track, Misszoey Belle had 74 starts and 7 wins, earning only $70,000 in her career and racing until she was eight. After he final start she was bought back by her breeder, John C. Oxley (whose Classic Empire won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 2016), and retired to Old Friends.

The mare was rushed to Lexington, KY’s Park Equine Clinic, which usually provides Old Friends with cost-free veterinary care. But an equine surgeon was not available. So the clinic called in Dr. Christopher Johnson, whose Equine Surgical Services is located in nearby Versailles, KY.

She underwent surgery to repair a very serious intestinal obstruction known as an epiploic foramen entrapment. Her life spared, Misszoey Belle returned to Old Friends a few days later and is now recovering well with an excellent prognosis.

Discovering that the mare was an Old Friends retiree, Dr. Johnson offered to waive his fee. But knowing that he was a huge Saints fan, Old Friends resident veterinarian Dr. Bryan Waldridge offered Johnson a concession: How about an autographed football?

“I went to high school in New Orleans, so I have been a Saints fan as long as I’ve been alive,” says Johnson.

Luckily, New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson is also a well-known racehorse owner, and one of his former runners, Saint Aloysius, was retired to Old Friends after suffering a career-ending injury last year.

Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen made a call to the Saints’ office and Brees was kind enough to help out.

“We always love helping Old Friends and Michael,” said Greg Bensel, who manages GMB Racing for the Bensons and is also the Sr. Vice President of Communications for the Saints. “After all, he was there for us when we needed a good home for Saint Aloysius.

“Drew is so kind and giving with his time that when we need a signed ball he’s always available,” Bensel continued. “And to be honest, he loves the horse-racing industry and he loves that the horses at Old Friends get great care. So while he is busy planning for the Panthers game, I know he feels great about this.”

“It’s really great to see professional athletes such as Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints helping our professional athletes like Misszoey Belle when they need us most,” said Blowen. “We can’t thank the team and Dr. Johnson enough.”

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

Racing Warrior Midnight Secret Euthanized

Midnight Secret at Cabin Creek (Photo: Connie Bush)

GREENFIELD CENTER, N.Y. – NOVEMBER 17, 2016 – Racing warrior Midnight Secret was euthanized November 16 due to injuries sustained in a paddock accident.

The 20-year-old gelding was pensioned at Old Friends at Cabin Creek, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm based in Greenfield Center, NY, an official satellite to the Old Friends Farm in Georgetown, KY.

Bred in New York by Flying Z Stables, Midnight Secret (Key Contender – Flannel Sheets, Triocala) raced almost exclusively at Finger Lakes and earned $212,749.  In 111 starts the game gelding had 14 wins and hit the boards and additional 51 times.

Debuting as a 2-year-old under trainer David Donk, Midnight Secret moved to Gregory Martin, then as a 4-year-old entered the barn of Oscar S. Barrera, Jr., who trained him for the rest of his career. Barrera transferred him to Finger Lakes, which was to remain his home track. There, he had a rivalry with fellow Old Friends at Cabin Creek resident Karakorum Patriot – from several square-offs, they scored about even. But few can beat Midnight Secret’s hardihood.

Barrera retired the horse at Cabin Creek in 2009.

As Barrera once noted: “You never read stories about horses like this, but they’ve got something special in their heart. For a 12-year-old, he was like a 2-year-old. I walked him every day and he’d be prancing.”

“He may not have been a stakes winner, but he was a champ to us,” said Cabin Creek farm manager Joann Pepper.  “He will be deeply missed.”

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; Joann Pepper, (518) 698-2377, cabincreek4@hotmail.com

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

Old Friends Receives Donations from Owners of Forego Winner Drefong

Silver Charm (Photo: Rick Capone)

GEORGETOWN, KY – SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 – Champion sprinter Drefong crushed the competition in the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego Stakes at Saratoga on August 26.  His gate-to-wire score also did much for Thoroughbred aftercare.

Charles and Susan Chu of the Baoma Corporation, owner the 4-year-old son of Gio Ponti, donated $10,000 of Drefong’s winnings to Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY.

“The Chus are deeply committed to aftercare,” said Baoma representative Ed Nevins, “and they are also very impressed with the work being done by Old Friends. As the Chus benefit from racing, they want to continue to give back to the industry that has given them so much happiness.”

This latest donation is one of several Old Friends has received from Baoma following the success of Drefong, who is trained by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

“Susan has visited the farm and has been such a generous supporter,” said Old Friends President Michael Blowen. “We are indebted to them for their generosity and to their steadfast commitment to the horses.”

Old Friends in Georgetown, a non-profit organization, is home to more than 100 former race horses, among them such luminaries of the turf as Kentucky Derby winners Silver Charm and War Emblem and three-time Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude. The farm is open to the public for daily tours by appointment.

The Chu family, long-time pleasure riders and amateur show jumpers, got into horse racing in 2012 after years of involvement in Olympic show jumping. Aside from Drefong, they have campaigned other top racehorses such as graded stakes winners Chitu and Super Ninety Nine.

With his Forego win, Drefong earned an automatic return trip to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, to be held this November 4 at Del Mar.

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

The Eclipse at Kentucky Downs

Raise Money for Old Friends

GEORGETOWN, KY – AUGUST 16, 2017 – On Monday August 21, Kentucky Downs Racecourse in Franklin, KY will welcome followers of the Great American Total Solar Eclipse to come and raise money for Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement.

As the track is in the eclipse’s path of totality, Kentucky Downs will offer visitors a prime parking and viewing option with funds benefiting the non-profit organization that cares for over 175 retired race horses.

On August 21, Kentucky Downs will open its parking lot to eclipse visitors beginning at 7:30 am.  The charge for parking will be a $10 donation per car, with all proceeds benefiting Old Friends.

The parking lot will be clearly marked, concessions will be available in the track’s pavilion area, and restroom facilities will be also be available.

Due to customer request, the track is selling parking passes presently at its Players Club, again, for the $10 donation. The Players Club, located inside the front lobby of the pavilion, will be open until 4 am on Aug 20-21 for convenient pre-purchasing.

Kentucky Downs is home to “Old Friends at Kentucky Downs,” a satellite division of the Old Friends farm based in Georgetown, KY. Old Friends at Kentucky Downs features nine pensioned Thoroughbreds, including Kentucky Turf Cup winner Rumor Has It and Kentucky Turf Dash winner Good Lord. Tours to meet the equine athletes are offered daily through the Simpson County Tourism Office (for schedules and information call: 270- 586-3040).

The Total Solar Eclipse will darken skies from Oregon to South Carolina along a stretch of land about 70 miles wide. The shadow of the moon will also pass through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina. Anyone within the path of totality will witness one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights.

The duration of this rare celestial event varies by location, but in Franklin, KY, it is expected to begin at approximately 11:58 am with totality reached approximately 1:28 pm.

Please note: Approved eclipse glasses (those that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard) will NOT be available at the track. Sky watchers should NEVER look at a partial solar eclipse without proper eye protection. Looking directly at the sun, even when it is partially covered by the moon, can cause serious eye damage or blindness. For a complete guide on how to view the eclipse safely, visit nasa.gov.

Located at 5565 Nashville Road in Franklin, KY, Kentucky Downs conducts its live turf racing meet each September on the only “European-style” race course in North America. (In 2017 live racing will take place September 2, 7, 9, 10 and 14.) The meet is staged in an informal festival setting and features the annual running of the Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup race. Additionally, Kentucky Downs is home to over 600 Vegas-style gaming machines, live music and entertainment, year-round simulcasting, and charity bingo events.

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, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen, (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Grade 1 Winner Bonapaw Euthanized

Bonapaw at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 7, 2017 – Bonapaw, the Grade 1-winning sprinter, was euthanized July 7 at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, due to complications caused by the neurological disease EPM. He was 21.

Bonapaw (Sabona – Pawlova, Nijinsky II) was nothing short of a Cinderella horse for his owners, Louisiana-based twin brothers James and Dennis Richard, who purchased the bay gelding as a yearling for $6,500. Bonapaw went on to take his owners far and wide, capturing 18 of 49 starts and earning over $1.1 million.

The horse broke his maiden as a two-year-old at Fair Grounds, and over the years became the pride of the track winning five stakes over the oval.

Bonapaw got stronger with age. His first graded stakes came in 2001 at Oaklawn Park when he won the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap. In 2002, at the age of six, he journeyed to the United Arab Emirates for a chance at the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (he placed 6th) then captured the Grade 3 Hanshin Cup Handicap at Arlington, and his first Grade 1 victory, the Vosburgh Stakes, at Belmont Park.

His Vosburgh win encouraged the Richard brothers to invest $90,000 supplemental fee to enter Bonapaw in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Arlington, but he finished 10th in a field that included Kona Gold, Xtra Heat, and winner Orientate.

Retired from racing in 2005, he was donated to Old Friends in 2009 by James Richard, Jr.

“We are so grateful to have had these years with Bonapaw,” said Old Friends president Michael Blowen. “He was a great race horse, and he meant so much to his owners as well as all of his many fans. Jamie even donated Bonapaw’s Vosburgh Trophy to us, and we will cherish it always.”

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, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen, (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Tinners Way, Multiple Grade 1 Winner and Son of Secretariat, Dead at 27

Photo: Laura Battles.

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 6, 2017 – Tinners Way, multiple grade-one winner and the last colt born of the great Secretariat, has died. The 27-year-old stallion was euthanized July 5th at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, where he had been pensioned since 2010.

Michael Blowen, founder and President of Old Friends, made the announcement of his passing this morning. Old Friends resident veterinarian Dr. Bryan Waldridge attributed the cause of death to acute onset of severe neurologic disease. “Tinner had been treated in the past for EPM,” added Waldridge, “and he did have some lingering neurologic effects from a previous infection.”

Bred and owned by Juddmonte Farms, Tinners Way (Secretariat – Devon Diva, The Minstrel) began his career in Europe, where he won three of his seven starts in England and France, including the City of York Stakes and the Milcars Temple Fortune Stakes on the turf as a 3-year-old.

In the U.S. as a 4-year-old, Tinner joined California-based trainer Bobby Frankel’s barn, and under the Hall of Famer’s watchful eye the striking chestnut won the grade one $1 million Pacific Classic in 1995, beating future Hall-of-Famer Best Pal and posting a record-equaling mile and a quarter of 1:59 2/5, a time reminiscent of his sire’s Kentucky Derby run.

Tinners Way had a repeat victory in the ’95 Pacific Classic, where he defeated 1994’s Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Concern, and he earned yet another grade-one win the following year in The Californian.

Throughout his career Tinners Way faced off against numerous Old Friends pensioners, including Awad, Kiri’s Clown, and Alphabet Soup.

Sent to stud in 1997 after 27 starts, seven wins, and career earnings of $1,849,452, Tinners Way stood at Vinery in Kentucky, Harris Farms in California, and finally at Key Ranch in Texas, where he retired in 2010 as the richest racehorse in Texas. He was donated to Old Friends by owners Phil Leckinger and Jerry Hardin.

“Twenty-seven is not a bad number,” said Leckinger by phone from Texas. “I can’t thank Old Friends enough for the care and support he was given. Tinners Way certainly did wonders for us, he did wonders for Juddmonte on the track, and I hope he did wonders for his friends and fans in retirement.”

“We are so saddened by the loss of Tinners Way,” said Old Friends’s Blowen, “but its times like these that you really see how much we can do for these old horses. Tinner, like Wallenda, was a warrior to the end, and when he told us his battle was over, we listened.  He had so many friends from all over the country that visited him often,” added Blowen. “He leaves behind a great legacy and a host of adoring fans.”

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 170 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

Diamond Stripes Passes Away at Old Friends

Diamond Stripes at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – MAY 30, 2017 – Multiple-graded-stakes winner Diamond Stripes was euthanized May 29 at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY.

According to Old Friends veterinarian Dr. Byran Waldridge, the cause of death for the 10-year-old gelding was complications of treatment for progressive ethmoidal hematoma, a benign but highly locally invasive sinus cancer.

Bred in Florida by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Rogers, Jr. for their Four Roses Thoroughbreds, Diamond Stripes won six of his 16 starts, including three black-type victories. His earnings total $1,478,014.

Diamond Stripes (Notebook – Romantic Sunner, On to Glory) broke his maiden in 2006 at Belmont Park in his first start. His subsequent four-race win streak included his first stakes win, which came in the GR3 Pegasus Stakes at the Meadowlands. The following year he captured the GR2 Meadowlands Cup Handicap.

His greatest victory, however, came in 2008 in Dubai where he triumphed in the $1 million Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) under jockey Edgar Prado.

But by 2010 the gray gelding had begun a drop down the ranks, eventually starting in claiming races at New Mexico’s Sunland Park. Old Friends President Michael Blowen then contacted trainer Chris Hartman about retiring the horse.

“We were so happy to have been able to provide Diamond Stripes with a worthy retirement these last years,” said Blowen. “He was a kind horse with a strong spirit and he will be missed by many of his friends and fans.”

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 170 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

Multiple Stakes Placed Judge’s Case Dies

Judge’s Case in 2013 at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – MAY 16, 2017 – Multiple stakes-placed Judge’s Case passed away May 15 at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm based in Georgetown, KY.  The 20-year-old gelding was euthanized due to chronic orthopedic disease.

Bred in Florida by J. C. and Phyllis Dudley, Judge’s Case (Montbrook – Extra Case, by Upper Case) earned $707,618 in his racing career, and he earned it the hard way.  In 104 starts the game gelding hit the board 62 times, 16 of them were wins.  His claim to fame came at the age of six when he came third to Horse of the Year Mineshaft in the 2003 Pimlico Special (GR1).  He also placed in the Fort Marcy Handicap (GR3) at Aqueduct.  Judge raced until he was 11, retiring in May of 2008.

He made an attempt at a second career as a show jumper, and showed great promise, but a torn suspensory ligament ended his re-training.

While he had many trainers and several owners throughout his career, he was most recently owned by partners Daniel Zamborsky, Jason Phillips, and owner-trainers Tom and Lisa Schell, who visited him often at Old Friends and helped to provide for him over the years.

“While saddened by the news, my heart is full of joy with the memories of the last 10 years,” said co-owner Zamborsky. “I can never thank Old Friends and [Old Friends founder] Michael Blowen enough for everything they did for Judge. While he was lucky to have found Old Friends, I feel we were the fortunate ones.  Making the trips to visit him, going to the track, and taking evening rides around the farm with Michael are memories I will always treasure.

“Judge may be gone, but his spirit will always live on,” Zamborsky added. “I look forward to many more years visiting Old Friends and making new memories with all the horses that are so fortunate.”

“He was a true warrior,” said Old Friends’s Blowen. “He always kept his game face on no matter what, and was such a fan favorite and a favorite around the barn. We were honored to have him with us all these years, and we will certainly miss him.”

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 170 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