Tag Archives: Old Friends

Noor Arrives in Kentucky

GEORGETOWN, KY — AUGUST 29, 2011 — Having traveled cross-country from the Loma Rica Ranch in Grass Valley, CA, the body of deceased Hall of Fame champion Noor will be re-interred in Kentucky at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, on Wednesday August 31.

Members of the press and fans are invited to attend the ceremony, which will be held at 10 am at Old Friends’s Dream Chase Farm, 1841 Paynes Depot Road in Georgetown.

In attendance will be Michael Blowen, president and founder of Old Friends, and Charlotte Farmer, the woman who led the effort to exhume Noor and bring his remains to Kentucky.

Noor died in Grass Valley in 1974 at age 29 and was buried in the infield of the old Loma Rica Ranch Racetrack, but the property is now in development for residential and commercial use. He will be re-interred in a new cemetery for Hall of Fame inductees near the entrance of Old Friends.

Noor, son of the superstar stallion Nasrullah, was campaigned by owner-breeder Charles S. Howard (also the owner of Seabiscuit) after the colt’s 3-year-old season in 1948.

Trained by Burley Parke and ridden by Johnny Longden, Noor was voted 1950 handicap champion after winning four out of five head-to-head sprints with Citation and defeating the then 7-year-old Assault. The victories made Noor the first horse to beat two Triple Crown winners.

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Multiple Stakes Winner Prized Arrives at Old Friends

GEORGETOWN, KY — AUGUST 4, 2011 — Old Friends, Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY, today welcomed Prized, the 1989 Breeders’ Cup Turf champion and sire of the great Brass Hat.

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

The 25-year-old Prized (Kris S -My Turbulent Miss by My Dad George) arrived at the Georgetown farm in excellent condition from Randy and John Funkhouser’s O’Sullivan Farms near Charles Town, W.VA.

Bred by Florida’s Meadowbrook Farm, which campaigned him along with Clover Racing Stables and trainer Neil Drysdale, Prized raced on both the dirt and the turf and had total career earnings of $2,262,555.

As a 3-year-old, Prized won the GR 1 Molson Million at Woodbine and the GR2 Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park where he famously upset Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Sunday Silence.

Later that year the dark bay stallion won the Breeders’ Cup Turf, which was his first start on grass.

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Awad, Winner of the 1995 Arlington Million, Dead at 21

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 23, 2011 – Millionaire and four-time GR 1 winner Awad has died.  The 21-year-old stallion was discovered early this morning in his paddock at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY, where he has been pensioned since 2006.

According to veterinarian Dr. Douglas Byars and Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen, the cause of death was a sudden heart attack, but a full necropsy is currently underway at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington.

The hard-knocking son of Caveat, Awad raced for seven seasons as a homebred for Maryland’s Ryehill Farm, capturing 14 of his 70 starts. His career earnings totaled $3,270,131.

Awad’s first GR1 win came in the 1993 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington International, which would prove to be a lucky course for the Maryland bred throughout his career. In 1995 he captured the GR1 Arlington Million in record time, 1:58.69, shaving one-fifth of a second off the course mark set by Perrault in 1982.

With the win he not only gave trainer David Donk and jockey Eddie Maple their first Million triumphs, he also became the first horse to ever win both of those GR1 turf events at Arlington.

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Old Friends to Hold Memorial Day Service for Departed Champions

GEORGETOWN, KY – MAY 25, 2011 – On Memorial Day Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility in Georgetown, KY, will have a commemorative service for the six retirees that passed away since last spring.

The public is invited to attend the event, which will begin at 2 p.m. on Monday May 30 at Old Friends’ Dream Chase Farm, 1841 Paynes Depot Road in Georgetown.  Refreshments will be served.

Honored will be:

–Academy Award (1986-2010), one of the few remaining sons of Secretariat, he was the sire of 10 stakes winners;
–The Wicked North (1989-2011), a California superstar, he was named Eclipse Champion Older Male in 1994;
–Polish Navy (1984-2011), a great son of Danzig and multiple GR1 winner;
–Bonnie’s Poker (1982-2010) one of Old Friends’ mares, she was the dam of 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Silver Charm;
–Glitterman, (1985-2011) a world-record-setting sprinter and sire of four millionaires, including Balto Star;
–Jade Hunter (1984-2011), a GR1 winner and sire of Horse of the Year, Azeri.

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Stakes Winner Afternoon Deelites Arrives at Old Friends

GEORGETOWN, KY — MAY 24, 2011 — On Sunday Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY, happily welcomed GR1-winner and top sire Afternoon Deelites.  The 19-year-old son of Private Terms will be permanently pensioned at the farm alongside one of his sons, 12-year-old Popcorn Deelites.

He was donated to the organization by Val Murrell’s Clear Creek Stud in Folsom, LA where he was retired from stallion duty earlier this year.

Bred and raced by Burt Bacharach’s Blue Seas Music, Afternoon Deelites hit the ground running as a 2-year-old, capturing his first three starts, including the GR1 Hollywood Futurity and the GR3 Hollywood Preview Breeders’ Cup Stakes. The following season the handsome bay won the GR2 San Felipe Stakes and the GR1 Malibu before coming second by a head in the Santa Anita Derby.

He capped off his four-year-old season with a win in the GR1 Metropolitan Handicap before being retired to Airdie Stud in Midway, KY with seven wins in 12 starts and earnings of $1,061,193.

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The Annual Old Friends Homecoming – Sunday May 8, 2011

GEORGETOWN, KY – APRIL 26, 2011 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY, will hold its annual Homecoming fundraising event, Sunday May 8, 2011 beginning at 4 pm.

The festivities will take place at Old Friends’ Dream Chase Farm, located at 1841 Paynes Depot Road in Georgetown, KY.

Tickets are $25; Old Friends members and shareholders and students with IDs are $15. Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by calling (502) 863-1775.

Highlights of the event include:

Live music by Lexington favorite Roger BonDurant;
Guided farm tours;
Live and silent auctions of racing memorabilia, collectible stallion halters, jewelry, photographs, fine art, and more;
Sumptuous BBQ fare by Tommy Walters’ Furlongs Catering Company. The menu features pulled pork ribs, potato salad, baked beans, buttered rolls, and dessert;
A live demonstration on the making of Raku/horse hair pottery by the artists of Pottery Rowe in Louisville.
Parking on site

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Old Friends Retiree Danthebluegrassman to Make Special Appearance at the Governor’s Annual Derby Celebration

GEORGETOWN, KY – APRIL 25, 2011 – Old Friends retiree Danthebluegrassman, a 2002 Kentucky Derby contender, will be a special guest of Gov. Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear at the 2011 Governor’s Derby Celebration, held Saturday May 7 in the state capital city of Frankfort, KY.

The 12-year-old horse has been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY, since 2008. Many devoted fans and tourist visit him there annually.

Dan will be at the Capital City Museum at 325 Ann Street from 8am to noon, where he will meet and greet fans and be available for photos. Michael Blown, founder and president of Old Friends, will also be on hand.

Bred in Kentucky by Dan Mallory, Danthebluegrassman was campaigned by trainer Bob Baffert and owner Mike Pegram, who named the colt after his friend Dan Chandler, son of the former Kentucky governor and the bon vivant uncle of U.S. Representative Ben Chandler.

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Jade Hunter, Sire of Azeri, Euthanized

Jade Hunter at Old Friends. Photo by Rick Capone

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 24, 2011 – Jade Hunter, multiple GR1 winner and sire of Horse of the Year Azeri, was humanely euthanized Sunday afternoon (January 23) at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute due to complications from colic.

The 27-year-old stallion had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY, since 2009.

“Jade Hunter was a very proud and confident stallion with an intelligence that matched his beauty,” said Old Friends president and founder Michael Blowen. “It’s very hard on all his caretakers to lose him and Polish Navy [who died Jan. 6] so close together.”

Bred in Kentucky, Jade Hunter (Mr. Prospector-Jadana (IRE), by Pharly) was bought for $700,000 by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stud at the 1985 Keeneland yearling sale and raced in both Europe and North America.

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Old Friends along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Louisville’s Historic Seelbach Hotel to Host 3rd Annual Old Friends Benefit Saturday, February 19, 2011

LOUISVILLE, KY – JANUARY 18, 2011 – The Historic Seelbach Hilton today announced that it will host the third annual “Old Friends along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail,” a progressive dinner and Bourbon-tasting that will benefit Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement facility in Central Kentucky.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 19, at the hotel, 500 South Fourth Street in downtown Louisville. Tickets are $100 per person, and the hotel is offering Bourbon Trail guests a special reduced room rate of $95 per night.

The benefit will be highlighted by live and silent auctions of exclusive equine artwork, autographed Bourbon items, racing memorabilia, fine jewelry, and more.

Old Friends, which has locations in Georgetown, KY and in Greenfield Center, NY, is devoted to providing a dignified retirement to horses whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end. The farm is home to such retired champions as Eclipse winner The Wicked North, Breeders’ Cup victor Gulch, and Travers stars Will’s Way and Thunder Rumble, along with many non-black type ex-racers.

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Stakes Winner Polish Navy Euthanized at Old Friends

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 6, 2011 – Polish Navy, the Ogden Phipps homebred and GR1 winner, was humanely euthanized this morning at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement facility in Georgetown, KY.  He was suffering from complications from a hip injury.

Michael Blowen, Old Friends President and Founder, made the announcement this afternoon.

“Polish Navy injured his hip several weeks ago and was taken to Hagyard’s where he received excellent diagnostic care,” said Blowen. “Unfortunately, he just never recovered. Dr. Doug Byars visited with this great old horse several times and, in consultation with Old Friends, advised us that Polish Navy’s time had come.”

The 27-year-old stallion had been pensioned at Old Friends since 2009.

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