Sunday March 15, 2009

Kentucky is getting greener by the minute it seems, and the horses are pretty happy with it.  It was a pretty quiet day overall:  gray, damp and about 55 degrees.  Not cold, but cool and misty.  At various times today I saw Mighty Mecke, Williamstown, Dan and Will’s Way all running around.   Mecke had his tail up in the air and his neck arched.  Williamstown was racing (or running away from) the tractor as Kent ran the spreader in his paddock.   Dan, though, was just in a hurry to get over to the treat bucket.

Creator, Bull and Fortunate Prospect all took nice long naps this afternoon, as did Swannie, Dan, Wallenda and The Wicked North.  Dan was probably tired after another day of training Flick.  Janet said Flick was running along his fenceline over and over, getting himself all worked up.  Dan just walked over and stood in Flick’s way to stop him.  I know I keep going on about Dan, but he is just the smartest horse and I love to share that. 

I had one tour this afternoon—two women and two little girls.  The older girl, Skyler, was a horse fan and had a great time feeding carrots and mints. I tried to get her to kiss Mecke, but once again no luck.  Of course, by the time I suggested it she had already been slobbered on by Fortunate Prospect, so I guess she figured she’d gotten close enough.  Plus, all the horses were covered with mud and dirt.  Not real kissable, I suppose.   I did pull a clump of winter hair off Gramps and gave it to her.  She carried it all through the tour and once back in the gift shop found an envelope to take her souvenir hair home.

We do have a new horse this week, and another one coming on Tuesday.  The newest boy is a horse named Wallace Station.  He is a son of Capote and a grandson of Seattle Slew.  Wallace Station is a tall, nearly black horse whose owners retired him to Old Friends after his racing career.  He is very friendly with a beautiful, kind face, and he settled in easily.  We have followed this horse’s racing career for awhile, since he is named after the fabulous Wallace Station restaurant that we all love.  I met Wally for the first time with the afternoon tour and he came over to the fence and ate carrots and mints like a pro. 

The new horse arriving this coming week is a rather famous one.  Bonapaw is a millionaire sprinter who took his owners on a journey from Louisiana, all over the United States and to Dubai for the World Cup.  It’s a cool story; we’ll share more of it over the coming weeks.  But suffice it to say we’re more than a little excited about his impending arrival.  Bonapaw won the Taylor’s Special Handicap, which is named after one of our stallions who is buried at Old Friends.  We love those kinds of connections!

By now everyone has probably heard that Lava Man is undergoing a series of stem cell treatments in California, aimed at repairing the racing damage to cartilage in his ankles.  Thus, his arrival and the Lava Man Luau have been postponed until June.   Our annual homecoming is still on schedule for May 3, and we have a party at O’Neill’s Irish Pub in the planning stages for the evening prior to Keeneland’s opening day.   If you are going to be in Kentucky in early April or early May, we’d love to have you join us at one of the events.  More information is available on the website.  In the meantime, as the weather gets nicer, our regular tours are on schedule every day. We hope to see you soon, but in the meantime thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.




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7 responses to “Sunday March 15, 2009

  1. Susan Allen

    Hi Val. Just wondering if you saw the tampa bay derby? If I heard correctly the winner Musket Man is a grandson of.Fortunate Prospect!! He is a good looking colt! I’m going to keep tabs on him. Also, should we be worried about Lava? I probably will anyway, but I’m hoping u will have a feeling good or bad? I know his connections are doing him well. He sure deserves a long happy retirement! Thanks for sharing. Icant wait to see you all again!

    • oldfriendsblog

      yes, Gramps is mighty proud today. Well, not really. Actually, he was mostly interested in carrots and a nap….he says he has so many grandchildren he can’t keep track of all the little rugrats!
      No worries about Lava Man. His people are determined that he have every opportunity to heal and be completely sound for the rest of his life, even as a pasture ornament. I think its cool that stem cell treatment is advanced enough that it could accomplish that goal. He’ll eventually get to Kentucky and we’ll be thrilled to have him when that day comes.

  2. MRO

    As I’m sure you’ve guessed, I’m thrilled to hear another Seattle Slew relation has been added to the Old Friends gang. It’s certainly no surprise that he is nearly black like his beautiful dad & grandad. I can’t wait to see him when (when not if) I finally make it down to see everybody.

    Also, welcome to Bonapaw. He ran against Chindi, one of my all-time favorites, at the Fair Grounds & Arlington Park not that many years ago. I believe Chindi is still working as a stable pony for his former trainer Steve Hobby. Wouldn’t it be nice if they both ended up at Old Friends?

    Reading this column has also become something I look forward to on a weekly basis.


  3. Tom


    Chindi certainly is still out at Arlington Park as one of Steve’s stable ponies. During the racing season, he’s out almost every morning. He stares up into the grandstand to see who might have mints for him on a given morning. That said, he’d probably love a move to Old Friends one day! 🙂

    • oldfriendsblog

      Just goes to prove– personality shines through it no matter where they are or what they are doing! Thanks for the info, Tom.

  4. Stelladean

    Hello from Boston!

    I am so excited to have found out about Old Friends. Thank you for your blog. I sit at my desk all day wishing I was feeding carrots to all the beauties.
    Some day. Hoping to plan a visit. Thank you so much for what you give the horses. Love and home goes so far.


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