January 10, 2018

Are you out of the starting gate on the right lead this year? Do you have the 2018 Old Friends Calendar yet? What about your 2018 Old Friends membership? An Old Friends membership doesn’t just give you free admission to tours of our farms, it also gets you free general admission to the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs in Louisville and the National Museum of Racing and the Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York. Call us for details.

Finally, have you voted yet for Old Friends in USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Award Contest? If you think we’re the most amazing travel destination in Kentucky, help us take those daily votes by storm.

20180109 Catlaunch


“Am I not the very most-est coolest cat-est in all Kentucky?”


Another thing we have in Kentucky is an apt saying. “If you don’t like the weather, stick around for a day or two.” Winter here is a season of quick temperature ups and downs, which is why we get snow but it usually doesn’t stay on the ground long. But so far this year, until two days ago, we had a l-o-n-n-g-g, c-c-c-o-l-d exception, a frigid spell that nobody at the farm, human or horse, liked. How wonderful yesterday when the temperature rose into an overcast 40s. Today we’ve had sunny 60s! Of course it’ll change again in a few more days, but for now the horses are loving it. To give you an idea of how tired the horses got of those 9 days of deep freeze, here are photos Laura took during that time.

20180109 Dinard

Dinard gives a big yawn.

“Cold weather is b-o-r-r-r-r-i-n-n-n-n-g-g-g!”

20180109 AD

It looks like sunshine, but… Afternoon Deelites

20180109 Ide

Ide. “When’s spring coming?”

20180109 LSC

Little Silver Charm. “Where are my adoring summer crowds?”

20180109 George

But George likes his winter togs.

Sooner or later every cold spell ends. Yesterday the milder weather so overjoyed Sun King that he galloped when he could have walked, raced anyone who came alongside his paddock, and when he could have galloped he kicked up his heels and bucked for sheer delight. In the ten months he’s been with us, Sun King has made himself a huge favorite on the farm. He’s kind of tough, but he’s full of enthusiasm and affection, too.

20180109 Sun King

Sun King. This pic’s from last summer, obviously, but no camera was around to catch his frolicking yesterday.

Personally, though I loved cheering Sun King on when he was racing, I love him ten times more now that I know him. It would have been great if his fertility hadn’t failed and he’d sired some special horse to carry on Charismatic’s sire line, but I trust that the daughters he sired, as well as his sire’s daughters, will keep Charismatic’s genes in the pool (all best luck to young sire Wicked Strong!). I admit, we’ve lucked out to have Sun King with us. We’re grateful to Tracy Farmer for donating him to Old Friends when his fertility declined. Mr. Farmer also enabled the retirement of Old Friends favorites Albert the Great and top racehorse and wonderful character, Commentator, who now holds court at our Bobby Frankel Division and Cabin Creek Farm, New York.

Yes, there’s still a lot of winter to go, but there’ll be warm spells along the way, so come on out and visit us. We’re like Venice (Oh really? How’s that?). No, seriously, we are. We’re great to visit in the winter because the tours are smaller and you get more chance for up close and personal visiting with the horses. Since there’s only one tour a day in the winters (11 am) the horses look forward enthusiastically to their winter visits with their fans and friends, old and new.

20180109 AS

“Come on out soon and give me a carrot.” Alphabet Soup


Photos by Laura


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