Save the dates in 2013:
Old Friends Along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® February 23rd, 2013
Historic Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville, KY
Old Friends Annual Homecoming
May 5th, 2013
at Old Friends Kentucky
Old Friends Belmont Ball
June 5th, 2013
more details to come... email
Little Silver Charm's click here
The drama! The laughs! Follow the Old Friends spokeshorse
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New Book Offer!
Randy Spicer is kindly donating some of the proceeds of his book sales to Old Friends. Click here to learn more about Randy and his books: One For the Roses and Irish Blood Horse |
Party at Old Friends...
Old Friends Celebrates the Thoroughbred Times Party
October 7th Noon to 4PM
Lunch, Silent Auction, Book Signings
Old Friends will host a party to fete the staff of the recently-shuttered racing publication Thoroughbred Times. The day will feature book signings by three authors - James Nicholson will sign copies of his The Kentucky Derby; Susan Nusser will sign copies of Kentucky Derby Dreams: The Making of Thoroughbred Champions; and Milt Toby will sign his Noor: A Champion Thoroughbred's Unlikely Journey. Toby is a former winner of the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, presented by Thoroughbred Times and Castleton Lyons. Noor is interred at Old Friends. Also on October 7, RFD-TV will visit Old Friends to shoot footage for an episode of its new series, "Small Town Big Deal."
$25 per person / $15 for members or shareholders. Complimentary admission for our Thoroughbred Times friends. Call Old Friends at 502-863-1775 for reservations.
Belmont winner Sarava retires to Old Friends
Rick Capone photo
The latest new friend at Old Friends holds a special distinction as the first winner of a Triple Crown event to call the Georgetown, Ky. facility home.
Sarava, who denied War Emblem's Triple Crown bid in the 2002 Belmont Stakes, arrived at Old Friends the morning of Saturday, Sept. 29. Co-owners Gary Drake of Louisville, Ky. and Paul and Susan Roy of Great Britain donated the Wild Again stallion, who had been standing at Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, Fla. "Sarava is the first classic winner to retire at Old Friends," Old Friends founder Michael Blowen said. "We are thrilled that Gary and the Roys would trust us with his great stallion and grateful for the generous endowment. I also want to thank Midway mayor and bloodstock agent Tom Bozarth for his assistance. I know Sarava's fans will love to visit him. To me, it's like having Michael Jordan in my yard."
Although bred in Kentucky, Sarava began his racing career in England before coming to the U.S. under the care of Ken McPeek. He proceeded to finish first or second in six consecutive races, capped by a pair of major stakes wins. He began by winning the Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on the Preakness Stakes undercard. A few hours later, Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem won the second leg of the Triple Crown, giving him a chance to become the first to complete the sweep since Affirmed in 1978.
The two colts crossed paths again in the Belmont Stakes three weeks later. War Emblem stumbled at the start and finished eighth in his bid for history. Meanwhile, Sarava, sent off at odds of 70-1, outdueled Medaglia d'Oro to capture the oldest Triple Crown event before what was then a record crowd.
"I was at Belmont Park that day - of course, cheering for War Emblem," Blowen said. "And now, I'm really glad Sarava won."
Sarava retired following the 2004 racing season with three wins from 17 starts and earnings of $773,832.
Blowen said that having the winner of a Triple Crown event at Old Friends is special for the farm - particularly one whose major win came in the past decade and was witnessed by younger racing fans.
"A lot of the horses (we have) are from when I started following racing - Precisionist, Black Tie Affair, the mid 80's to early 90's," Blowen said. "With a Belmont winner from 2002, it's a whole new generation of racing fans - sort of like when we got Rapid Redux. It's calling younger visitors."
Sarava will be honored at the Old Friends Belmont Ball at Oheka Castle in Huntington, New York on June 5th, 2013. The event is an annual Old Friends fundraiser during Belmont Stakes Week.
Next stop for Wallace Station
Old Friends retiree Wallace Station will help highlight second careers for Thoroughbreds when he competes in the crossrail division of the Thoroughbred Horse Show Association's fall show Oct. 6-7 at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The ten-year-old son of Capote, who won nine of 29 starts during his racing career, has been working toward his show ring debut under the tutelage of farm manager Janet Beyersdorfer, with Kent Ralstin set to ride in the competition. Janet, who rides hunters herself, says the gelding has several physical and mental attributes that made her believe he could excel at a new challenge.
He's an attractive horse, and he's tall, and he has a very good mind," Janet said. "He's got a kind spirit. He's not so high-strung. So we got on him and we worked with him, and he's a really good mover. So he had all the God-given talents. And usually, an athlete is an athlete - and if they're athletic at the racetrack, then they're athletic to go on and have a second career, and he's young enough to do it."
The Thoroughbred Horse Show Association was created to develop horse shows exclusively for Thoroughbreds registered with the Jockey Club, showcasing the second career potential for racehorses. The Association's inaugural event, in April 2012, drew more than 100 entries.
"It's a good way to showcase the Thoroughbred - to show that there is something you can do with them after the racetrack," Janet said. "Because unfortunately, (organizations like) Old Friends can't take them all."
with horses through alternative program
On Friday, Sept. 28, Michael Blowen visited the Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center (KESMARC) to speak with area students as part of Martin Luther King Academy's alternative school program.
The program's non-traditional curriculum teaches students about aspects of the local Thoroughbred industry - and, in recent years, has led them to interactions with Old Friends retirees.
"A lot of the kids are city kids, and some of them haven't been around a horse or anything," said Blowen, adding that the curriculum also includes meetings with a veterinarian and with a farrier. "Usually at first, they see these horses and they're pretty intimidated, which is very normal ... But then everyone warms up. It's amazing."
Wigginton shares memories of Gold Spring
Retired trainer Jesse Wigginton, who trained the late Old Friends resident Gold Spring (Arg), paid a visit to the farm on Thursday, Sept. 28, stopping by his former charge's grave and sharing some of his memories.
Gold Spring won 12 stakes races during his career, beginning in his native Argentina before coming to the U.S. in all, he won 14 of 23 career starts for earnings of $394,830. The Gold Trojan horse was briefly retired at Old Friends before his death in 2009.
Wigginton, who won nearly 500 races during his career and trained several stakes winners, said that Gold Spring's affable personality was "like a big dog." He added that Old Friends is "a great service" to the racing industry.
Old Friends connections
in graded stakes races last weekend
Belmont Park and Santa Anita Park hosted several major graded stakes races last weekend as the Breeders' Cup World Championships on Nov. 2-3 approach.
Trickmeister (Proud Citizen - Afternoon Trick, by Afternoon Deelites) finished third in the Kelso Handicap (G2) Sept. 29 at Belmont. Grandsire Afternoon Deelites is an Old Friends retiree.
Ron the Greek (Full Mandate - Flambe, by Fortunate Prospect) finished sixth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) Sept. 29 at Belmont. He is a grandson of late Old Friends retiree Fortunate Prospect. Ron the Greek is still a leading
contender for the Breeders' Cup Classic, where a win could secure Horse of the Year honors.
November 3 is Old Friends Day at Beulah Park
Honoring Appygolucky's legacy. Come out to Beulah for Breeders Cup Saturday, November 3 from 12-5 and enjoy great racing while supporting Old Friends.
Visit our booth and bid on silent auction items! Tshirts and caps and other items will be available for a donation. Old Friends - Appygolucky race to be featured on the local race card.
Old Friends is proud to be the permanent retirement home of former Beulah Park campaigners Mikethespike, I'm Charismatic and the late Appygolucky, affectionately known as the King of the Claimers, Appy still holds the BEU trace record at a mile. Old Friends Days at Beulah Park and River Downs are now held in his honor to raise funds to help other hard working horses as tribute to this local champion.
The always amazing Fred Stone....
Order Fred Stone's new release of Zenyatta and her foal directly from Old Friends! Fred is very kindly donating proceeds for each print we sell. $60.00 plus shipping. Call us at 502-863-1775 to order yours! Please click this link to see this print in a giclee and other items Fred is helping us out with. Thank you Fred Stone! (and Zenyatta and baby!)
Old Friends Scene Collectible Magazine
An amazing tribute to our retirees! Featuring Barbara D. Livingston's evocative photographs, supplemented by works by Matt Wooley and Rick Capone. 80 color pages, lifetime pps, Jay Hovdey's column, and the dedication of the entire Daily Racing Form staff make this magazine very, very special. Thanks DRF and special thanks to Barbara Livingston, Mandy Minger, Barbara Fossum and all the wonderful people who made this happen.