May 11, 2018

Living with horses means living with extreme highs and lows. Even as we celebrate the bright young stars in a remarkably strong group of three-year-olds now racing, we’re saddened by the loss of our retirees, Catlaunch at our Georgetown Farm, and Tour of the Cat at our Kentucky Downs location.

20180511 Tour of the Cat - BTS

Tour of the Cat (1998-2018), photo by Beth

Tour of the Cat, a son of Tour d’Or out of Tune in to the Cat (by Tunerup), was foaled May 3, 1998 in Florida and did much of his best racing there. Through his grandsire, Medaille d’Or, he was a great-grandson of Secretariat. He participated in the early stages of the 2001 Kentucky Derby trail with a second place finish in the Flamingo Stakes (G3) at Hialeah. His 10 stakes wins include the Miami Beach Handicap (G3) and Spend A Buck Handicap (G3) at Calder. When he needed to step down at age 11, Maggie Moss claimed him for retirement at Old Friends in 2009.

During his retirement, Tour of the Cat lived at our Georgetown farm, and most recently at Old Friends at Kentucky Downs, where he was a favorite with farm manager Jennifer Jones and his many visitors.

I’ll always remember Tour of the Cat as a proud guy with a mind of his own. He could be a bit fiery. These qualities carried him through his hard-knocking athletic career, but as he settled into retirement and maturity, he showed us how much kindness he also had. At all stages of his life, Tour of the Cat had heart. Up here in Georgetown and down in Franklin he will be missed by many.

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20180511 Catlaunch - LB

Catlaunch (2001-2018), photo by Laura

How to say goodbye to Catlaunch? Frankly, I think all of us at the main farm, as well as his connections and friends, haven’t quite managed that yet. Because he lived for so long in the front paddock with Game On Dude, then during his battle with his neurological condition spent so much time in the barn area, where he continued to meet and greet his visitors with unfailing loving gentleness, he was a constant in our lives, a mainstay, an especially close family member. I’ve asked a few staff and volunteers who were special to Catlaunch to contribute a few words about him, which I hope to post next week.

Both of these horses are very much in our hearts.

Beth

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “May 11, 2018

  1. Debbie Bernhard

    I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of these special horses. I’m always saddened to hear of a Friend passing. I was lucky to visit Old Friends for my 50th birthday. I went to see Tinners Way but fell in love with every horse I met. Old Friends is my special place. I am lucky enough to own a locket with Catlaunch hair. RIP Special Friends. You will never be forgotten.

  2. Pattie Benedix

    I too, love visiting Old Friends every year, when I come to Kentucky. My favorite memory of Catlaunch was watching Michael place a carrot in his mouth & Catlaunch would gently take the carrot & eat it. He was such a Handsome & Loving horse & will be dearly missed. May God Bless the Staff and Horses of Old Friends, and I appreciate everything ya’ll do !!

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