Tag Archives: Old Friends

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

Old Friends Auction Halters Open for Bid

GEORGETOWN, KY – MAY 2, 2017 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility is Georgetown, KY, will host its 13th Annual Homecoming Event on Sunday May 7th beginning at 1 pm.

The event features a live and silent auction of artwork, prints, and racing memorabilia, including several premiere collectible stallion halters.

On the block are halters worn by:

  • American Pharoah, who won the Belmont Stakes in 2015 to become history’s 12th Triple Crown Champion. By capturing the Breeders’ Cup Classic that same year, he became the first horse to win racing’s Grand Slam. He now stands at Ashford Stud.[*]
  • California Chrome, who won the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness stakes as well as the GR1 Pacific classic, the GR1 Awesome Again Stakes, and the Dubai World Cup. The two-time Horse of the Year now stands at Taylor Made Farm.
  • Curlin, the two-time Horse of the Year, now a leading industry sire at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm. His son, Irish War Cry, is a leading contender for this year’s Kentucky Derby.
  • Runhappy, winner of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the 2015 Eclipse Sprint Champion award, who now stands at Claiborne Farm.
  • Littleprincessemma, the dam of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. She was named Broodmare of the Year in 2015. She resides at Summer Wind Farm.

Interested buyers unable to attend on Sunday can now absentee bid on these items. To bid, email your name, address, and phone number along with your highest bid to: oldfriendshalters@gmail.com.

The deadline to receive bids is Saturday May 6th, at 9 pm (EST).

At the event, someone will be assigned to proxy bid for you starting low and bidding up to your highest number.

The Old Friends Homecoming event will be highlighted by live music, a barbecue buffet, and farm tours where guests can meet the farm’s two Kentucky Derby Champions, Silver Charm and War Emblem, among other memorable equine athletes. There will also be a special book signing by Eclipse Award winning photographer Barbara Livingston, who will autograph copies of her new book Old and New Friends (Daily Racing Form, $39.95).

Tickets are still available and can be reserved by calling (502) 863-1775 or booked online by visiting the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org. Tickets are $25; $15 for Old Friends members. Children under 12 are free.

Special thanks goes out to the farms that so generously donated these and other wonderful halters to Old Friends. For more information on the event, visit the website or call the farm at (502) 863-1775.

* This item lists with a reserve of $3,000.

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

Goodbye Duke Ora and Swan’s Way

Swan’s Way (Photo © Laura Battles)

From Michael:

Within just a few days of each other, we lost two tough old New England Campaigners: Duke Ora, 23, and Swan’s Way, 28. They each made 81 starts and died within a few days of each other — Dukie from a neurological disorder and Swannie from inoperable colic. And anyone who thinks Thoroughbreds are the equine version of hot-house orchids, they’re wrong. They were more like Jake LaMotta — a pair of raging bulls.

Dukie won his last race, a $10,000 claimer sprinting on the grass on Aug. 12, 2006. He was 13 and retired soon thereafter with 16 wins and earnings of $173, 626. For most of his career he was owned by Patricia Moseley. But on his luckiest day, he ended up in the barn of my former trainer Lorita Lindemann. When it was time for him to retire, she thought of Old Friends. Like Swannie, he was never ridden by a Hall of Famer or aimed for the Triple Crown but he was always game to fill a race and give it whatever he could. He was so tough he even outlasted the tracks where he primarily competed: Rockingham Park and Suffolk Downs.

While Swan’s Way fell short in the wins and earnings department with eight lifetime victories and $64, 715, this Paul Mellon-bred placed 16 times with 15 shows. All heart. And he raced until he was 15. He survived his first colic episode when we were still at Hurstland Farm 10 years ago. He might have never out-run his odds on the track but he certainly did at Old Friends.

We’re deeply thankful to all of the visitors who paid their respects to Swan’s Way every day during the tours. He enjoyed his premiere space near You and I, Touch Gold, Nobiz Like Shobiz, and Geri. Old Friends volunteer Tom Beatty, Swannie’s best friend, was with him when he passed. Swannie was his Silver Charm.

Horses with the tenacity of these two don’t show up very day. But they showed up at Old Friends. And for that, we are eternally grateful.

Duke Ora (Lord Avie – Queen Ora, Majestic Light) Bred in Kentucky by Elmendorf Farm, Lifetime: 81-16-14-19, career earnings: $173, 626.

Swan’s Way (Smile – Bright Swan, Quack) Bred by Paul Mellon, Lifetime: 81-8-16-15, career earnings: $64,715.

Old Friends, Inc. 1841 Paynes Depot Rd., Georgetown, KY 40324
502-863-1775 www.oldfriendsequine.org   michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Old Friends at Cabin Creek   483 Sandhill Rd., Greenfield Center, NY 12833
518-698-2377   www.oldfriendsatcabincreek.com   cabincreek4@hotmail.com

Old Friends “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” Unveils “The Danthebluegrassman”

Jockey Chris and his wife Shelby Landeros. Photo © Equisport Photography.

The 8th Annual Maggie Mae Designs® Old Friends-sponsored online fashion auction, “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby”, has opened bidding on the final hat in the 2017 series.

The Derby-style chapeau currently up for bid honors one-time Derby contender Danthebluegrassman.

Bidding in this online auction will be available through April 11, 2017, 8:00 pm (EST). To bid, CLICK HERE.

This unique fundraiser features one-of-a-kind couture hats created by Maggie Mae Designs®, the sale of which benefits Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility based in Georgetown, KY.

To date, this annual online fashion auction has raised over $30,000 for Old Friends.

Kentucky-bred Danthebluegrassman captured the 2001 Gold Rush Stakes as a two-year-old and then the 2002 Golden Gate Derby, which made him a top contender for the 2002 Kentucky Derby. But injury kept him from starting on the First Saturday in May in the race that was won by his stablemate, War Emblem. Dan continued to race, but by 2008 had fallen down the claiming ranks. Thanks to several fans and supporters, the chestnut son of Pioneering was claimed and retired to Old Friends.

The custom-crafted chapeau honoring this athlete makes use of owner Mike Pegram’s bright racing silks of bold red and yellow. The hat features a champagne silk foundation highlighted by wispy layers of bright tulle. The centerpiece is a large red rose placed along the crown. The flower is framed with a medley of yellow organza leaves, each of which is delicately top stitched in red for added detailing.

As with all of the Maggie Mae Designs®, the “Danthebluegrassman” hat is stunning from every angle with no detail left untouched.

Special thanks to our models Krystal and Jon Court and their daughter, Aubrey, and Shelby and Chris Landeros. Thanks also to Lexington-based boutique Bella Rose for furnishing Krystal and Shelby’s lovely dresses!

To see more photos and read more about the hat’s design, CLICK HERE.

Old Friends, Inc. 1841 Paynes Depot Rd., Georgetown, KY 40324
502-863-1775 www.oldfriendsequine.org   michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Old Friends at Cabin Creek   483 Sandhill Rd., Greenfield Center, NY 12833
518-698-2377   www.oldfriendsatcabincreek.com   cabincreek4@hotmail.com

Old Friends Museum Membership Exchange

GEORGETOWN, KY – March 27, 2017 – On April 1, 2017, Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY, will enter into a membership share campaign with the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville, KY and The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, NY.

With this unique trade, paid members of both museums will earn free tour admission to Old Friends using their membership cards, and Old Friends members will earn free general admission to both museums.

For this campaign visitors to each venue must have their membership card available.  The promotion is for general museum admission only or one of the daily tours offered at Old Friends (reservations are required).  The promotion is valid until December 31, 2017.

Old Friends is a non-profit organization that cares for more than 170 retired Thoroughbreds. Visitors to the farm take a 90-minute, up-close-and-personal walking tour to meet such luminaries of the turf as Kentucky Derby winners Silver Charm and War Emblem, Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup, and Belmont Stakes winners Sarava and Touch Gold, among others.

Tours are offered three times daily and can be booked online at www.oldfriendsequine.org. Membership applications are also available via the Old Friends website, or by calling (502) 863-1775. Members receive a free gift, free Old Friends tour admission, and discounted tickets to the annual “Homecoming” event in May.

“This is an incredible opportunity for not just racing fans but all visitors to the Bluegrass,” said Old Friends President and founder, Michael Blowen. “We have always considered Old Friends to be a ‘living history’ museum, showcasing our champions and racehorse aftercare, so working with the Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Derby Museum was just such a natural partnership.”

The Kentucky Derby Museum is located at 704 Central Avenue in Louisville, KY, right next to Churchill Downs Racetrack. The museum is one of the premiere attractions in the region, celebrating the tradition and history of the Kentucky Derby. In addition to its two floors of family-friendly, interactive exhibits, the museum also offers 30-minute historic walking tours of Churchill Downs Racetrack, “The Great Race”, an 18-minute movie that puts you right into the heart of Derby day, as well as a gift shop, and Derby Café.

The Kentucky Derby Museum offers several options for membership, each of which aid the 501 (c) (3) non-profit to promote the museum’s mission. Member perks include complimentary guest passes, Churchill Downs seating options, discounts in the Derby Café and Gift Shop, invitations to exhibit openings as well as Membership Mornings — informative and entertaining presentations and events–and much more.

For more information on membership, contact Carla Grego, (502) 992-5905, cgrego@derbymuseum.org, or visit the website at DerbyMuseum.org.

“We are excited to be a part of this great partnership,” said Patrick Armstrong, Kentucky Derby Museum President and CEO. “Members will receive three unique experiences, all celebrating the history and impact of the Thoroughbred racing industry. We look forward to welcoming the members of Old Friends and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame to take in all we offer at the Kentucky Derby Museum.”

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is located at 191 Union Ave. in Saratoga Springs, NY, right across from the historic Saratoga Race Course. The museum fosters education and understanding of Thoroughbred racing by providing public access to equine art, artifacts, memorabilia, film, video, books, and historical archives. In addition, the museum is the Official National Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame honoring horses, trainers, jockeys, and Pillars of the Turf.

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame also offers numerous membership options, from Individuals to Benefactor. Members actively play a part in preserving the history and legends of racing while receiving access to special members-only events, quarterly newsletters, and tour and gift-shop discounts.

For more information on membership, call (518) 584-0400, ext. 109, email nmrmembers@racingmuseum.net, or visit the website at www.racingmuseum.org.

“The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is pleased to work with Old Friends and the Kentucky Derby Museum on this reciprocal membership program,” said Brien Bouyea, Director of Communications for the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. “It will be wonderful for museum members to have the opportunity to visit all venues as part of their membership perks. This is a win-win for everyone when great organizations work together like this.”

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, (502) 863-1775, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Brien Bouyea, (518) 584-0400, ext.133, nmrmedia@racingmuseum.net; or Carla Grego, (502) 992-5905, cgrego@derbymuseum.org

Old Friends: Spring Happenings

The Old Friends Vacation Cottage (Photo © Laura Battles)

Big News: The Old Friends Vacation Cottage Opens March 25

This tastefully decorated colonial is the perfect home base for exploring Lexington and surrounding area attractions, from shopping and dining to a day at Keeneland or a visit to the Kentucky Horse Park.  It’s also a perfect respite for quiet relaxation.

The two-story house sits on five private acres on the perimeter of Old Friends farm. While your evenings can be spent in the cozy Silver Charm suite — a room celebrating just one of our retired Kentucky Derby winners — your day can include a tour around the farm to meet pensioned racing champions, and your staff will help benefit the horses.

Amenities include four bedrooms, three full baths, a fully equipped kitchen, plus a spacious living room and dining area.  It is suitable for up to eight people.

For photos, rates, and additional information, CLICK HERE. Call about our special rates for the Keeneland meet and Derby week: (502) 863-1775.

Summer Tour Schedule Is Back

Beginning March 15, Old Friends returns to its summer schedule of three (3) tours daily: 10 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. Come visit all of our horses this season, including Derby winners Silver Charm and War Emblem, and new retirees Sun King and Ide.

To book your 90-minute guided walking tour, CLICK HERE and use the BOOK A TOUR button.  Adults: $10; children 6-12 years old: $5; and children under 5 years old are free (please note rate change).

Old Friends, Inc. 1841 Paynes Depot Rd., Georgetown, KY 40324
502-863-1775 www.oldfriendsequine.org   michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Old Friends at Cabin Creek   483 Sandhill Rd., Greenfield Center, NY 12833
518-698-2377   www.oldfriendsatcabincreek.com   cabincreek4@hotmail.com

Charismatic Obituary

Charismatic at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

From Michael:

Sometimes the gods are just plain cruel. After more than a decade of working with the Japanese Bloodstock Breeders Association planning for the day when Charismatic could return to his fans in America, the dream finally came true. Last October, when Kaori Matsuda emailed me that Charismatic could retire to Old Friends, it was one of the greatest moments of my life. Then, when he arrived in December, he was as kind and beautiful and majestic as you could ever imagine. When D. Wayne Lukas arrived the next morning, he concurred. Life just never gets better than those infrequent moments when fantasies become reality.

And then, it all ended with a pre-dawn knock on the door and Tammy screaming, “Charismatic’s dead.” It ended as quickly as the snap of Charismatic’s pelvis. We are left, of course, with memories that only he could have so generously left us. His proud brown eyes. His flashy chestnut coat and four white socks, and a self-assurance that only comes with winning the biggest races on the biggest stages. As Lukas has often said, “You’d better dwell on the positives or the negatives will eat you alive.” I’m sure he gave the same advice to Charismatic.

Kentucky Derby Winner Charismatic Dies from Pelvic Fracture

GEORGETOWN, KY – FEBRUARY 21, 2017- Charismatic, 1999 dual classic winner and Horse of the Year, died suddenly at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement in Georgetown, KY on February 19, 2017.

“A necropsy performed at the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory revealed that Charismatic suffered a severe catastrophic fracture of his pelvis that resulted in fatal bleeding. Pelvic fractures will in some cases also lacerate the large arteries of the pelvis and cause severe internal bleeding. Fatal pelvic fractures are uncommon and usually unforeseeable. It is not possible to know exactly how the injury happened or any factors that may have led to its occurrence.”

–Bryan M. Waldridge, DVM, MS
Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Equine Practice)
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Large Animal)

–Rhodes P. Bell, DVM, MS
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons (Large Animal)

Staff members and volunteers at Old Friends are extremely grateful for the heartfelt condolences and kind words we have received.  Charismatic’s beauty and gentle spirit will remain in our hearts forever.

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 165 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

Horse of the Year Charismatic Dead at 20

Photo: Shigeki Yusa.

Dual Classic Winner Charismatic Dies Suddenly

GEORGETOWN, KY – FEBRUARY 19, 2017 – Dual classic winner and 1999 Horse of the Year Charismatic has died.

The 20-year-old stallion, who returned to the United States from the JBBA Shizunai Stallion Station in Japan on December 4, 2016, was pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY.

The announcement of his sudden passing was made this afternoon by Old Friends president Michael Blowen.

The stallion was discovered early this morning. Attending veterinarian Dr. Bryan Waldridge was immediately called to the scene, but the cause of death is unknown. The results of a full necropsy are pending.

“Right now, everyone is pretty much inconsolable,” said Blowen. “Last night, at 6:30, he was fine. He was a really tough horse and he deserved a much longer retirement. But none of us, unfortunately, has a magic wand. Everyone at Old Friends takes solace from the few great months that this great Champion gave us.”

Bred by Kentucky by Parrish Hill Farm and William Farish, and trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, Charismatic (Summer Squall-Bali Babe, by Drone) won, at long odds, the 1999 Kentucky Derby after vying in claiming races just a few months earlier. He went on to capture the Preakness Stakes and found himself an unlikely Triple Crown contender.

But in the Belmont Stakes the chestnut colt suffered multiple fractures in his left front leg just a few strides before the wire. It was only through the heroic efforts of jockey Chris Antley — who quickly dismounted and held up Charismatic’s injured left front leg off the ground — that the injuries were career ending and not life ending.

Charismatic earned that year’s Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old colt, as well as Horse of the Year honors, and retired with five wins from 17 starts and earnings of $2,038,064. He entered stud at Lane’s End in 2000 and stood there for three seasons before relocating to Japan in 2002.

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 165 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