December 29, 2019

Shadow Caster 1996-2019

I wish I didn’t have to follow last week’s sad post with another one just as sad, but last Friday we lost another friend who can never be replaced, Shadow Caster.

By Future Storm out of Just Dance by Duck Dance, Shadow Caster was foaled in Florida in 1996. In a modest way he was a youthful prodigy, winning two sprint stakes at two, the 1998 Anthony DeSpirito Stakes at Suffolk Downs and Morven Stakes at the Meadowlands. Racing fans anticipated what he might do as he matured. At three he took the Faneuil Hall Stakes at a mile at Suffolk Downs, but it was at four that he showed what he could really do in the 2000 Forego (G2) at Saratoga.

That Grade 2 win at one of the most prestigious tracks in the country put him forever among the elite of racing. I remember that win. Though a longshot, he was every inch the confident professional. He was much the best. He continued to race in stakes and allowance races through 2002, retiring with earnings of nearly half a million dollars.

For a few years he did stud duty in Texas. He sired some winners but none nearly good as he was. To put it bluntly, his stud career wasn’t successful. In 2009 Shadow Caster began his retirement with us. If you’ve visited our main farm you may have noticed the hill and cute barn just to our north. For awhile we rented those premises and that’s where Shadow Caster’s first paddock was.

Shadow Caster soon after arrival at Old Friends (the grey in the background is Benburb (1989-2012))

At first, what struck us was how much Shadow Caster looked like Futural. No wonder, since they had the same dad. As we got to know him, we realized Shadow Caster was even nicer than Futural, and that’s saying a lot. Over the years, Shadow Caster showed himself to be one of the sweetest, most peaceful, kindest horses we’ve ever had the privilege to know. He was exceptionally tuned into what the humans around him were feeling. When he sensed you were sad he’d hold still to be rubbed and he’d nuzzle you. He was just as good with his paddock mates, a horse that others in the herd liked to graze with and hang out with.

Life in a gelding herd is a lot like life in a fraternity house, and Shadow Caster was definitely a player in herd politics and frat parties. He and herd leader Maybesomaybenot were best buddies…Except when Bobby Sands was Maybesomaybenot’s best buddy…Except when Shadow Caster was.

Shadow Caster with his buddies, L to R: Maybesomaybenot, Bobby Sands, Areyoutalkintome, Shadow Caster. The fifth buddy, Count the Gold, isn’t in the frame.

Paddock doings: Areyoutalkintome, Maybe or Count?, Shadow Caster

On the other hand, Shadow Caster sort of liked to mess with Areyoutalkintome. One day a winter or three ago he decided he wanted to take Talkin’s blanket off.

“Gimme yer blanket!”

Velcro can be quite a puzzler if you’re a horse.

In the end, the attempt wasn’t successful. Shadow Caster gave up and munched on some hay instead.

Shadow Caster and Maybesomaybenot playing together at sunset

During his last few years Shadow Caster was given special care for back problems that caused us concern, and if you visited us during the last couple of months you may have fed him a carrot in the barn or the nearby round pen where he had his turn-out while being treated for a foot abscess. He was getting TLC for those reasons, but his colic last Friday was an unexpected shock. Honestly, his spinal issues didn’t look like he’d have had years and years, but losing him so suddenly is hard. Shadow Caster was loving, and he was much loved by all. Both the barn and Maybe’s herd look as if something is missing without Shadow Caster. And it is.

photos by Laura, the two arrival photos by Beth


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December 26, 2019

Geronimo (1999-2019)

Geronimo was fighting multiple issues. Despite our best efforts and his remarkable hardiness, he lost the battle and let us know it was time to say goodbye. Geronimo was euthanized yesterday morning.

Geronimo was foaled in Chile in 1999, a son of Gold Tribute out of Mrs. Lily by Mocito Guapo (Arg). At three he raced very successfully at Club Hipico de Santiago, and at four was imported to try his athleticism against US competition. He won at all three major West Coast tracks, including the Graded 3 Morvich Handicap (G3) at the Oak Tree meet and a win in the Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar. He earned nearly half a million dollars on the track.

Geronimo came to Old Friends in Georgetown in January 2014. He and Areyoutalkintome, who’d spent the first years of their retirements at Tranquility Farm, a California nonprofit, made the trip to us during one of the hardest winters in recent memory. Both settled in quickly and comfortably, though having lived in a warmer climate they both spent the first cold months with us wearing blankets. Except for the day he arrived, Geronimo didn’t get to show off his impressive build and golden coat that much until spring. We did immediately fall in love with his one white eyebrow, though.


During the five years we were fortunate to know Geronimo, he proved himself a kind, socially poised citizen of two different herds and, especially, a good friend to Ready’s Rocket with whom he shared a paddock as a twosome until Ready passed last March.

With his best buddy, Ready’s Rocket (2003-2019)

Geronimo was easy-going most of the time, but he wasn’t quiet. He was one of the most vocally expressive horses we’ve ever had. He responded to meal delivery, to the approach of visitors, and to the recognition of friends with a deep, rumbling bass commentary. Sometimes he made a single remark, sometimes he had quite a lot to say. He sounded like a tough stallion. I think he wished to be thought of as one. Actually, he was a big, kind-natured guy, an even-tempered gelding who had his own opinions. He was a pleasure to be around and we were honored to play a part in his life and to contribute to the pleasure he took in his retirement. We will miss Geronimo’s big, steady presence. We already do, and always will.

photos by Laura

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December 24, 2019

All of us at Old Friends in Georgetown, Kentucky wish all of you the happiest of holidays.

No white Christmas this year in the Bluegrass. The highs each day of this holiday season are more like 62 degrees, and as Afternoon Deelites demonstrates, the horses couldn’t be more pleased. Hard to believe this guy is about to turn officially 28 years old, eh?



For one thing, if you’re a horse it’s a lot more fun to roll in sun-warmed mud than on a hard, frosty ground. If you’re a human taking care of horses you might have a different opinion, but it’s hard to find a happier sight than celebrating horses.

Game On Dude

For instance, enjoying the ultimate comfort food, hay. Laura took this photo of Game On Dude a few days ago when it wasn’t quite as warm. Blankets are off all over the farm now. As I write the sun is out, shining warm on bare backs. There’s hardly enough breeze to stir a mane.

Wake Forest (L) and Brilliant Decision have dinner.

Brilliant Decision is settling into his new home, and is showing kindness and grace in all he does. A few days ago he moved into a paddock with Wake Forest. So far, the two are getting along famously. Each horse has his or her own feed tub, and usually they don’t particularly want to share, except for Archie’s Echo and Dinard, who often finish off one tub then move together to the other tub. Whether Wake Forest is actually sharing or whether Brilliant Decision is accomplishing a subtle takeover in this photo I’m not sure. Some horses like to play musical feed tubs. But there’s always another tub and plenty for all.


Here’s the newest resident at the main farm, 6 year old Persie, a son of Street Sense. Persie was named 2018 Claiming Horse of the Year by the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) for winning 10 of his 17 starts last year. Here’s the HBPA’s release about him. Old Friends thanks Persie’s racing owners, Bush Racing Stable, for enabling his retirement to us. As we’re getting to know Persie we’re finding him self-possessed, alertly intelligent and friendly.


Summer Attraction, Slamming and Disturbingthepeace

Since pictures say so much more than words, I’ll step back and let the horses have the bandwidth as they all, youngish or old, stallion, gelding or mare, bay, grey, dark brown or chestnut, wish you the most joyous of holiday seasons.

Touch Gold makes his signature entrance.


You and I prefers a more easygoing approach.


Winning Dubai


Victor Cooley


Saudi Poetry


Right to Vote




Elusive Honey




And from all of us to all of you, heartfelt wishes for a new year of peace, reconciliation and good will.

photos by Laura


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November 24, 2019

A new Old Friend arrived two days ago. A warm welcome to Brilliant Decision!

Brilliant Decision

Brilliant Decision is a son of Wood Memorial winner Bellamy Road. His dam, Tiny Decision, was a stakes placed daughter of Ogygian. But Brilliant Decision didn’t inherit his parents’ competitive spirit.

He did race once as a three year old and took eight more tries at age four. He achieved a win in a maiden claiming race at Belterra Park in Cincinnati for his owners, breeder Sally Thomas and trainer Lee Rossi. But he was short on the competitive spirit so important to a racehorse. Among horses, as among humans, those who don’t relish athletic competition don’t suceed at it. Brilliant Decision didn’t.

But he’s got qualities that will make him appreciated at Old Friends. He’s one of the sweetest horses ever to set foot on the farm. This morning was overcast and my snapshots don’t do him justice, but I hope you can make out that he’s also absolutely handsome.

This morning was his first turn-out. Here he is taking in all the new sights.

Brilliant Decision is doing the quarantine that’s routine for all new arrivals, so he’s not getting hand-fed or touched on the tours yet, but if you schedule a visit in the next three weeks you can take a look at him and say hi to him in the barn. Which gelding herd he’ll eventually join hasn’t been decided yet, but whether he’s on the main tour route or in an outlying paddock accessible for private tours, a horse as friendly and kind as he is will enjoy your visits and attention.  I think Brilliant Decision’s real talent is love.

“Hey wow, what’s this Old Friends place all about?”

Old Friends is grateful to Lee Rossi for enabling Brilliant Decision’s new lifestyle with us, and to breeder Sally Thomas who kindly kept us in the loop about him and his late mom, whose final surviving son he is.

And while I’m posting my not-so-great snapshots, here’s one of another relative newcomer who’s been with us a few months but whose photo I haven’t yet included in a post.

Right to Vote, another really sweet guy, had a highly successful race career, earning more than half a million dollars and winning stakes races at Chuchill Downs, Oaklawn Park and Prairie Meadows for B J D Thoroughbreds, trained by Ron Moquett. However it happened, three years after his racing days ended, Right to Vote became an unwanted horse. Old Friends is grateful to Mr. Moquett who came to the rescue of the long, tall gelding and enabled his retirement to Old Friends.

Right to Vote

Right to Vote is a son of Political Force out of What a Knight by Tough Knight. He also happens to be a great-grandson of our much-loved former resident Glitterman (1985-2011). He’s joined the gelding herd that also includes Joey P, Racketeer and Geronimo.

While I’m at it about new guys, the latest about Diversify and Slim Shadey is that they’re now sharing a paddock across from Right to Vote & gang and are getting along nicely. So are Hogy and Soi Phet…you’d think we’ve turned into a retirement home just for tall, dark sweetheart geldings, but Silver Charm, Ide, Saudi Poetry and Alphabet Soup assure me that’s not so. Though temperatures are dropping, they all look forward to a visit from you. Come see them on our winter schedule, tours daily at 11:00 am, or schedule a private tour at whatever time’s best for you.



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November 4, 2019

Excellent achievement by Storm the Court, who won the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He did his grandpa Gulch proud!

And wow, has Touch Gold ever been getting congratulations around here! Not only did his great-grandson Spun to Run win the Dirt Mile, his grandson Vino Rosso won this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Touch Gold, who at 25 looks as if he could have won the Classic himself.


Eye of the Tiger is family too, like Vino Rosso having been bred by the Gunthers.

Our warmest congratulations to all our supporters who have connections with this year’s Breeders’ Cup champions! And no less to all those whose competitors ran equally valiant races! We’re prouder than we can express to be associated with you.

Our utmost sympathies go to the connections of Mongolian Groom. Racing, like skiing, football, eventing, surfing, and so many sports, will never be without risks. That doesn’t ever make a loss any easier. Yet, if the alternative were a world without the courage and spirit of Thoroughbreds–and without racing what would become of the 9.2 million in America?–that would be a world too destitute of beauty to contemplate. Instead, let us all do our best to continue to improve safety where we can and to provide for the flourishing of these magnificent animals during and after their racing careers.

photos by Laura


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October 29, 2019

This weekend is the 2019 Breeders’ Cup! This year’s championship races will be run Friday Nov. 1 and Saturday, Nov. 2 at Santa Anita. Here’s the Breeders’ Cup’s official information on ways to watch this year’s races and related events.

For Old Friends, this time of year has some special meanings. It’s a time to celebrate our Breeders’ Cup winning residents’ achievements.

Alphabet Soup, 1996 Classic


Amazombie, 2011 Sprint


Cajun Beat, 2003 Sprint

Eldaafer, 2010 Marathon


Little Mike, 2012 Turf

And it’s a time to honor the champion retirees of the past.

Black Tie Affair, 1991 Classic


Fraise, 1992 Turf


Gulch, 1988 Sprint


Precisionist, 1985 Sprint


Prized, 1989 Turf

To all of their connections who have entrusted us with their retirement, our heartfelt thanks. And to our wonderful supporters who have contenders this year, all of our very best hopes for safe trips, human and horse, and for lasting glory in the winner’s circle. We are enormously proud to have your confidence and support. To Breeders’ Cup, Limited, Old Friends extends our gratitude for your many kindnesses, past and present.

Alphabet Soup in the paddock preparing for the Breeders’ Cup Classic 1996. Photo by Laura Battles.


So, wondering who to back in this year’s races? Here’s one way to look at it. Forget the odds. Forget the works. Consider using the Old Friends Angle. It may or may not make you rich, but it’s fun, and it’s simple. Just cheer for Old Friends residents’ direct descendants.  Who are they this weekend? By race, time (ET), and post position, here are this weekend’s Old Friends Angle picks.


Juvenile Turf Sprint (4:12 p.m.)

4 Dream Shot – Gulch
(out of Miss Buckshot by Tamayuz by Nayef by Gulch)

7 Kimari – Ogygian
(out of Cozze Up Lady out of The White Lady by Johannesburg out of Myth by Ogygian)

1988 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner and ancestor of current contenders, Gulch (1984-2016). Photo by Laura Battles.


Juvenile Turf (4:52 p.m.)

5 Vitalogy – Ogygian
(by No Nay Never by Scat Daddy by Johannesburg out of Myth by Ogygian)

10 War Beast – Gulch
(out of Special One by Point Given by Thunder Gulch by Gulch)

12 Arizona – Ogygian
(also by No Nay Never by Scat Daddy by Johannesburg out of Myth by Ogygian)

Ogygian (1983-2015). Photo by Beth Shannon.


Juvenile Fillies (5:32 p.m.)

8 K P Dreamin – Gulch
(out of Litigating by Point Given by Thunder Gulch by Gulch)


Juvenile Fillies Turf (6:12 p.m.)

3 Shadn – Ogygian
(by No Nay Never by Scat Daddy by Johannesburg out of Myth by Ogygian)

8 Tango – Ogygian
(by No Nay Never by Scat Daddy by Johannesburg out of Myth by Ogygian)

10 Fair Maiden – Ogygian
(by Street Boss out of Blushing Ogygian by Ogygian)

Ogygian deserves another picture at this point, wouldn’t you say? Photo by Laura Battles.


Juvenile (7:03 p.m.)

4 Storm the Court – Gulch
(by Court Vision by Gulch)

So does Gulch. Photo by Laura Battles.



Filly & Mare Sprint (2:55 p.m.)

5 Lady Ninja – Black Tie Affair
(out of Dressed to Kill by Formal Gold by Black Tie Affair)

8 Dawn the Destroyer – Marquetry
(out of Dashing Debby out of Marquet Rent by Marquetry)

Marquetry (1987-2013)


Turf Sprint (3:33 p.m.)

1 Totally Boss – Ogygian
(by Street Boss out of Blushing Ogygian by Ogygian)

2 Pure Sensation – Gulch
(out of Thunder Sexy by Thunder Gulch by Gulch)

8 Legends of War – Ogygian
(by Scat Daddy by Johannesburg out of Myth by Ogygian)


Dirt Mile (4:10 p.m.)

3 Spun to Run – Touch Gold
(out of Yakey Way out of Is Kylie Good by Touch Gold)

Touch Gold (a 1998 Breeders’ Cup Classic competitor himself) is now 25 years old. Photo by Laura Battles.


Filly & Mare Turf (4:54 p.m.)

7 Vasilika – Marquetry
(out of La Belle Marquet by Marquetry)


Sprint (5:36 p.m.)

2 Hog Creek Hustle – Fortunate Prospect
(out of Candy Fortune out of Ready for Fortune out of Fortunate Card by Fortunate Prospect)

7 Whitmore – Ogygian
(out of Melody’s Spirit by Scat Daddy by Johannesburg out of Myth by Ogygian)

Fortunate Prospect (1981-2012), our original “Grandpa.”


Mile (6:20 p.m.)

6 Got Stormy – Kiri’s Clown
(by Get Stormy out of Foolish Gal by Kiri’s Clown)

Kiri’s Clown (1989-2014)


Distaff (7 p.m.)
(No direct descendants)


Turf (7:40 p.m.)
(No direct descendants)


Classic (8:44 p.m.)

10 Vino Rosso – Touch Gold
(out of Mythical Bride out of Flaming Heart by Touch Gold)

Touch Gold, photo by Laura Battles.

All of these Breeders’ Cup contender kids sure are doing their old grandpas proud!



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September 23, 2019

We’ve had a request for more photos of Slim Shadey. As it happens, Laura just took some this weekend, so…

Slim Shadey enjoys turn-out time

He’s still in the quarantine phase that all new arrivals go through, but new guys and girls in quarantine get to go out and play too, of course. He’s let us know he especially loves his turn-out time.

Slim Shadey

So, he’s obviously thinking, I see the people who come to visit feeding carrots to some other horses. How come when they admire me, talk and admiration is all I get?

But if he tries to tell you that his new life doesn’t include any treats, don’t believe it for a moment. Safety dictates careful procedures for a little while longer, but it doesn’t mean no love from the staff! Slim also lets us know he’s fond of the supplements snack he gets daily in addition to his regular feedings. Soon he’s expected to fully participate the tours, carrots from his admirers included.

Speaking of Laura’s photos from this weekend, while I’m at it, she caught Green Mask having a fantastic play session. He’s a lucky horse, and we’re lucky to get to share the joy he takes in life and in being able to impersonate the wind.

Green Mask

Our heartfelt thanks to Brad Cox, Mr. Almaddah, Dr. Richardson and all the rest of the staff at the New Bolton Center, and Dell Ridge Farm for saving his life and making such joy possible.


To see more wonderful photos of Greenie’s play session, go to the Old Friends Facebook page.

And one more follow-up. Einstein, who wasn’t sure at first that in his new paddock he’d still be spoiled as rotten as he demands to be and deserves to be, has decided he loves having all kinds of new space to run, graze and roll. He’s discovered he can dictate what goes on in the neighborhood of the barn, just as he’s done since he got here. He’s one happy, handsome horse.

Einstein makes sure everyone behaves themselves (does what he wants them to do).

photos by Laura

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September 12, 2019

This week has been moving week. We have one new guy on the block. Several longtime residents have changed paddocks.

First, a big welcome to Slim Shadey, who moved into Old Friends two days ago. This grand old gelding (now 11 years old) from England ran in Great Britain, then came to America at the age of four. On the West Coast he won three graded stakes, the 2012 San Marcos Stakes (G2), the John Henry Turf Championship (G2) and he repeated his San Marcos Stakes (G2) victory in 2013. In 2014 he won the Elkwood Stakes at Monmouth Park. He acquitted himself well in other graded stakes during those years, finishing second to future Old Friends retiree Little Mike in the 2012 Woodford Reserve and competing again with Little Mike in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Turf. Slim Shadey continued to race and earn until last month, for a career total of more than a million dollars. Now, owner Michael M. Hui and trainer Michael Maker have enabled his new life at Old Friends.

Though Slim Shadey is an Englishman by birth, his pedigree features many well-known American favorites:  Alysheba, Secretariat, Halo, Kiri’s Clown’s sire Foolish Pleasure, and Chief’s Crown.

By his first evening on the farm Slim Shadey had settled comfortably in. He’s curious about us, self-possessed, and every bit the old pro.

Slim Shadey says hello on his first evening at the farm. (Apologies for the blur. These my attempts at snapshots, so don’t blame Laura.)

Does he think this is another race track stall, I wonder? Just wait till he’s out of quarantine and discovers he’s in the land of blue grass and carrots! The routine quarantine for all new arrivals generally lasts 21 days, so if you’re in Lexington for next month’s Keeneland meet, come to Old Friends and feed Slim Shadey a carrot!

Amazombie (foreground) and Rapid Redux in their new paddock

The other moves are just from one paddock to another. The roster of horses you’re likely to see if you come for a tour hasn’t changed much, but you may be interested that Soi Phet and Hogy now live opposite Game On Dude and Little Mike.

Hogy (L) and Soi Phet now share the paddock where Amazombie and Rapid Redux used to be.

Both are friendly horses who have accomplished admirable feats on the track, and they’ll enjoy the extra love they’ll get in this key spot as much as their visitors will enjoy them. Amazombie and Rapid Redux have moved a few paddocks back and can still be visited on tours. If you want to see them be sure to mention them to your guide to make sure she or he takes that route.

Einstein in his new digs

Einstein is now in a great big paddock we hope he’ll love, next to the barn and across from Green Mask by day and Alphabet Soup and Gorgeous George by night. For those of you who are familiar with the farm, it’s the paddock where Danthebluegrassman and Flick lived for many years.

Into his first evening there, Einstein was still scoping it out after dinner on Tuesday.

Einstein: “Ok, it’s got a waterer, a feed tub, a run-in shed, all my favorite amenities…”

So where did Diversify settle in after his newcomer’s quarantine? Right up front, across from Ide. That is, the lakeside spot next to Sun King.

Whitney Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Diversify

The geese who like to visit Sun King in the evenings have already made themselves at home with Diversify, as well. That’s fine with him.

Other moves that have been made, or soon will be, don’t affect the tours. I’ll post a blog about those shortly. But for today I’ll finish by celebrating one of the most successful, happiest, most wonderful moves made in recent months. This was when Bourbonize moved in with Johannesburg Smile. Frankly, we were a little worried whether Johannesburg Smile, gelded at age 10, would ever accept a paddock mate. Several horses were tried without success. He wasn’t nice to any of them. But look at him now!

Johannesburg Smile (L) and Bourbonize, who have now been bonding for two months

I think Bourbonize also feels he’s finally found the perfect buddy.


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July 31, 2019

We’re having a great summer here at Old Friends in Kentucky. Some short heat waves have come through, but much of June and July has been pleasantly sunny and breezy, like today. It’s a perfect time to relax with a visit to admire some of the greatest former athletes in the world.

Game On Dude and Little Mike

Like Game On Dude and Little Mike. These two deservedly popular stars, now twelve years old apiece, hold court in their big paddock near the front of the farm where they greet all who come and go. Literally. From their position on both the entry and exit routes for each tour, they often come over to spend time with their fans at the beginning of the tour, then just happen to be on the other side of their paddock as those same folks head back down at the end of the tour.

“Hi, we’re Dude and Mike, have we met before?

Silver Charm, War Emblem, Alphabet Soup & Gorgeous George, Einstein, Afternoon Deelites and his son Popcorn Deelites (alias “Seabiscuit”), Little Silver Charm, and all the gang are having a great time meeting, greeting, making new friends and renewing their ties with longtime friends. We also have some new stars who, at least at the moment, are all on the main tour route. (I say “at the moment” because we’re doing some shifting of horses into different paddocks. Any visit to the farm may introduce you to an unexpected horse or reunite you with an old buddy you haven’t seen for awhile.)

New stars just settling into retirement and the role of meeters and greeters, include:


A youngster by our standards, six year old Diversify earned nearly $2 million in 16 starts, including the Saginaw Stakes at Belmont Park, the Evan Shipman Stakes at Saratoga, the prestigious Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Suburban, and the Whitney. Pretty amazing list of honors. And by the way, he also won the Commentator Stakes (wonder who that race was named for?). Diversify is a big darkish bay gelding with a profile that suggests strong character. His retirement at Old Friends was enabled by his racing owners, Lauren Evans and her father Ralph M. Evans.


Another of our wonderful new guys goes by the unassuming name of Hogy.


But a name doesn’t always say it all. Ten year old Hogy won more than $1 million in his eight year race career. Starting his stakes wins with the Brian Barenscheer Juvenile Stakes at Canterbury Park, he moved on to take the Hansel at Turfway, the Hanshin at Arlington, the Troy and Presque Isle in New York, the Colonel Power at the Fair Grounds in Louisiana, the Kentucky Downs Sprint, Frontier Utilities Turf Sprint at Sam Houston, and Canadian Turf Stakes at Gulfstream. Besides all that, he’s a sweet guy with a beautiful face who we’ve fallen in love with from his first day with us.



The newest kid on the block is Soi Phet.

Soi Phet

Pronounced “soy fet,” his name is no new one to his big fan base in southern California, or to lots of race fans all over the country, come to that. Soi Phet, eleven year old son of Tiznow’s full brother Tizbud, isn’t a big guy like his uncle. He’s a deceptively elegant, refined looking guy. “Deceptively” because he was one sturdy warrior on the track. He just about owned the Los Alamitos racecourse. He won two runnings of the Bertrando Stakes there, the Los Alamitos Mile, two consecutive E.B. Johnston Stakes, as well as the McCann’s Mojave Handicap and Crystal Water Stakes at Santa Anita, and the Harry F. Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar. If you’re wondering if he’s also a millionaire, the answer is a resounding yes. Beloved of fans, of his race owners the Benowitz family, Mathilde Powell and Paul Viskovich, and trainer Leonard Powell, Soi Phet is settling into his Kentucky retirement with beautiful grace and poise.


So if you can, run to Old Friends to meet our wonderful new stars, all of whom can currently be seen on the regular tours.

Touch Gold running to greet his visitors

Or, if you’d rather, schedule a private tour and visit our delightfully sweet new ladies, Saudi Poetry and Silver Charm’s daughter, Classy Charm. Their paddock is too far to get to during the time allotted for regular tours, but they love visitors too.

Saudi Poetry
Classy Charm

photos by Laura


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July 15, 2019

We’ve had a sizzlin’, jumpin’ five day weekend at Old Friends.  This year’s Breyerfest at the Kentucky Horse Park concluded yesterday. It’s always a huge gathering of horse lovers from just about everywhere, and we’re fortunate to be a favorite side trip for many attendees. Others learn about us for the first time at our booth at Breyerfest, which this year in the 90 degree weather was staffed by Ken and Joyce (and maybe other steadfast souls of whom I’m not aware). This Breyerfest we were delighted to have many guests at the farm who said it was their first visit with us. Tour guides pitched in for double shifts, and the horses did their bit with their usual kindness and grace.

Nicanor sees visitors coming!


The horses are in laid-back summer mode. Nicanor is more into those group back scratches than ever. Touch Gold is ambling over at a lazy canter instead of a full charge, and our comedian team Popcorn Deelites and Special Ring are sauntering over at their leisure rather than waiting already in position, though once they arrive they’re doing their schtick with the usual flourishes. They know it inspires extra carrots, which go down nicely on a summer day.

Little Mike quite agrees.


So does Comma to the Top.

The geese have pretty much raised their crop of goslings, who are now old enough to party. Unlike Touch Gold (click the sidebar for last April 11’s blog), Sun King and Old Friends Stakes winner Kalamos both happily play host to family expeditions away from the pond.

Kalamos and friends

Nobiz Like Shobiz does not. But he sure knows how to look gorgeous.

Nobiz Like Shobiz

And sometimes Cherono looks so much like his grandpa Ogygian it brings a lump to my throat.


By the way, Cherono is the reigning leader of his herd, and one of the kindest herd leaders on the farm. Here you see him with his good friends (L to R) Lion Hunter, W. C. Jones and the very distinguished Rail Trip.

One paddock beyond theirs, new resident Hogy is seeing if he bonds well with Cost Affective, Rathor and Bunker’s Edge. If not, a new living arrangement will be tried. Tim and Carole are careful to make sure that paddock companions make a compatible fit. I apologize for not having a photo of Hogy. He’s a good looking guy with a strong resemblance to his close relative, Sarava. (Hogy’s taller though).

Cost Affective and Bunker’s Edge


We love it when everybody gets along (Game On Dude & Little Mike. Sarava in the background)

Summer is a good time for dust baths.

He Loves Me Not has a dustbath.

…and a shake-off.

So come on over to Old Friends this summer and hang out with us!


photos by Laura


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