Tag Archives: Old Friends

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.

Grade 1 Winner Wake Forest and New York Champ Kharafa Retire to Old Friends

Wake Forest checks out his new digs (Old Friends Farm Photos)

GEORGETOWN, KY – DECEMBER 3, 2018 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility in Georgetown, KY, announced the arrival of two new notable retirees: Grade 1 winner Wake Forest and stakes winner Kharafa.

Wake Forest was a Group 3 winner in Germany before relocating to trainer Chad Brown’s barn in 2015 for owners Michael Dubb, Sol Kumin and his Sheep Pond Partners, and Bethlehem Stables. In his third North American start, Wake Forest captured the Grade 1 Man o’ War Stakes and went on to win the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes in 2017.

This past July, the bay son of Sir Percy (GB) went on the block at Fasig-Tipton where he sold for $90,000. Under new ownership he began dropping down the claiming ranks. On November 24th at Gulfstream Park West he ran for a tag of $8,000 and finished ninth of 11 starters.

It was to be his final start, as former owner Dubb stepped up to claim the 8-year-old horse for retirement.  After 28 starts and eight wins, Wake Forest completed his career with earnings of $951,745.

Trained by Timothy Hill for owners Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch, New York-bred warrior Kharafa finished out his career after 52 starts in eight seasons.  A star of the NYRA circuit, Kharafa captured multiple runnings of the Ashley T. Cole Stakes and the Kingston Stakes at Belmont Park, as well as Aqueduct’s Three Coins Up Stakes.

This August, the 9-year-old was the unexpected star of Saratoga’s New York Showcase Day after capturing the $150,000 West Point Stakes to the delight of his fans.  The win brought Kharafa’s career earnings to $1,238. 622.

Since 2013, Kharafa had become a huge fan favorite thanks to a sensational rivalry with fellow state-bred turfers Lubash and King Kreesa. As fate would have it, all three are now retired at Old Friends in Georgetown.

“It’s a banner day here,” said Old Friends founder Michael Blowen. “Wake Forest is the sweetest most beautiful horse, and it’s such a thrill to reunite Kharafa with his famous rivals. We hope all their fans will come to visit them,” Blowen added. “We are so thankful to their respective connections for trusting us with these two beloved champs.”

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

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.