Monthly Archives: March 2017

March 28, 2017

We have a winning Old Friends Silks design!

All of us at Old Friends send a warm thank you to everyone who mailed in the 112 wonderful Silks Contest entries. I’ve never judged a contest where choosing a winner was so  hard. There were many, and I do mean many, designs that would have done us proud. Michael and we other judges covered a whole desktop with finalist entries. Deciding took quite a long time and much deliberation and  discussion because of all the love, thought and creativity that went into the entries. Wow! On behalf of all the judges, thanks to all of you so very, very much. It’s only one of the many ways so many of you find to give Old Friends’ residents the support and caring they deserve.

In the end, we had to choose one design from among several we loved. So here it is, our favorite of all the Old Friends silks.

170328 Official Silks of Old Friends

Our winning silks were designed by Sana Sulaiman. Thank you, Sana!

I created this graphic based on the paper entry form, and Bloodline Products will get both to work from. It takes time to hand-sew a set of racing silks, and might be that Bloodline Products has other orders in line ahead of us—you know, like for the Keeneland meet maybe?—but I can hardly wait to see our silks in all their satin glory.  I’ll post photos here as soon we’ve got them.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…  Our residents are basking in the warmer weather and nibbling their fresh green grass, which at this time of the year they love even more than treats.

170328 Alphabet Soup

Alphabet Soup enjoys the warm breeze in his mane.

170328 Geri

So does Geri.

You can almost hear them sigh with comfort as the breeze turns warm and the sun shines on their backs – no blankets! “Naked horses!” Laura announces with glee as she rushes out yet again with her camera.

170328 Silver Charm pauses for grass

Silver Charm stops for a bite of tender lawn on the way to his stall in the evening.

170328 Timmy

Timmy watches.

170328 War Emblem being War Emblem

While War Emblem just has a good old time being War Emblem.

170328 Hussonfirst

Do we need a caption here? Hussonfirst.

170328 Marshall Rooster

Marshall Rooster

170328 Tinner

Peek-a-boo! (No name needed in this caption either).

The Saturday before, Judge’s Case and Archie’s Echo were lucky to get an acupuncture session from Dr. Bernie Smith and Dr. Angela Infante. Did they ever enjoy the way these sessions relieve aches and pains! Old Friends extends grateful thanks to Drs. Smith and Infante, who donated their expertise and time to make these two old guys feel a relaxed “Ahhhhh!”

Judges Case gets acupuncture 1

Is Judge’s Case smiling? I think he might be.

Archie gets acupuncture

Ooo, that’s the spot! Archie’s Echo.

170328 Dinard and Early Pioneer share feed

Sharing a meal with a buddy is another recipe for feeling good. Dinard and Early Pioneer.

170328 Eldaafer

Eldaafer in the sunset (or, I know you’ve got carrots hidden in that camera bag, Laura).

170328 Area 51

Whee! Lion Hunter, Cherono, Saint Aloysius, Rail Trip. And gang. There’s a little politicking going on in this bunch lately. Rail Trip is #1, but will Cherono stay #2, or will Photon get the promotion he’s angling for?

170328 Area 51 cool shot

Cherono and Saint Aloysius. Or, Framed by Gossip. Photon and…?

Acupuncture photos by Tim
Outdoor photos by Laura

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

March 10, 2017

Old Friends Silks Contest Deadline Extended!

Silks question marks

With all that’s been happening, we figure that we, and maybe some of you, would like more time to enjoy the silks contest before entries close. So you now have through March 17, 2017 to get your entries in the mail to Old Friends.

And if you’ve already entered but have more great creative ideas in mind, go for it!

Contest information
and entry form HERE

Be the proud Old Friends supporter whose design adorns our official silks!

Go on! I dare you!


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

March 6, 2017


Isn’t Sun King handsome?

Old Friends and Sun King’s racing owner, Tracy Farmer, had been talking for months about retiring this best son of Charismatic to our Georgetown farm. After several years at stud, Sun King’s fertility declined. When treatment at Auburn University’s equine fertility clinic couldn’t return Sun King to stud, he came to live with us as arranged. Old Friends extends grateful thanks to Mr. Farmer for facilitating Sun King’s retirement.

In a way, it was hard hanging around the barn waiting Sun King to arrive, just as we’d done so short a time ago for his sire, and yes Sun King’s color is different, semi-sweet chocolate, but there’s a strong resemblance. But in another way the timing couldn’t have been better. Sun King arrived home already someone special, to people who already love him.


Sun King arrives. Tim leads him to his quarantine quarters – a stall and small paddock.


Sun King gets a first look at his new home.

Some of you knew him as a race horse. He was among the best of his time. But his debut actually came much earlier, when the colt yet to be named Sun King appeared in the Blood-Horse‘s “Foal Watch,” a photo gallery of Thoroughbred baby pix guarenteed to bring smiles. Then he was just “Charismatic – Clever But Costly” (his parents’ names). He sure was one good looking kid, but what are any foal’s chances of becoming a graded stakes winner and running in the Kentucky Derby?


If you’re an aspiring race horse, it helps a lot if you’re in Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito’s barn. Sun King had talent and Mr. Zito quickly helped him develop it. Sun King went from his maiden special weight win straight into the Champagne Stakes at Belmont, a confident move that proved justified when the colt scored a nice third. As a fan with an eye on him, I hoped he’d win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He came close (third). At three, he was hot on the Derby Trail with a Tampa Bay Derby win and a good race in the Blue Grass Stakes. But Derby day wasn’t his day. It was Giacomo’s. But hey, Sun King’s a Derby winner – the Tampa Bay Derby and the Pennsylvania Derby!

Some people remember Sun King as the horse who ran to more impressive second place finishes in top races than any of his generation – the Haskell, the Met Mile, the Whitney – this horse hardly ever finished worse than third in the best races in America. But I’ll always remember his Commonwealth Stakes. The race was 7 furlongs on the old Keeneland dirt track, and the competition was strong. Instead of rushing toward the front as he’d usually done, Sun King ran farther back in the field. Was it just that he’d gotten off to a slow start? I didn’t think so at the time, and I still don’t. I think some of that Zito genius was at work. I saw a horse who could work with what he was given, who trusted Corey Nakatani to get him there and when asked on the turn, roared to the front like a Damascus or an Awad, winning with beautiful confidence. And this was the old Keeneland dirt at a meet where nothing was moving up but speed. And Sun King.


I guess every racing fan’s got some two dozen races they’ll never forget, and Sun King’s Commonwealth is one of mine.

So, now that we’re getting to know him, what is he like? One thing’s obvious. This horse is smart. He’ll be in quarantine for a couple of weeks yet, a routine precaution for all newcomers to Old Friends, just to make sure they don’t introduce any viruses or bugs into our population, but even though visitors aren’t feeding him carrots yet, he’s got his eye on everything that happens, and it took him no time at all to figure out what was going on. If he’s in his paddock and sees a tour coming, he often calls us over. He knows what’s in that bucket. Now that he’s settling in, he’s showing us friendliness too, often coming over to the side of his paddock nearest where people are, showing us curiosity and good will. I think Sun King is already a great Old Friends resident. He’s got the knack. I hope you’ll come visit him soon!


photos by Laura, who took most of them yesterday and stayed
up last night editing and uploading them – she’s our hero!



Filed under Uncategorized