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.