July 25, 2018

Certain questions are often asked during tours. “How long does a Thoroughbred live?” “Do only male horses race?” and “What do your horses eat?” are frequent. One of my favorites is, “At age do Thoroughbreds start racing, and how long do they race?” That’s a great question because its answer depends on a horse’s sex and skill level, and on individual owners’ philosophies, and the differing answers reflect the complex and quirky mixture of sport and business that is racing.

Another of my favorite often-asked’s is, “Doesn’t Old Friends have a descendant of Secretariat?” Now comes the part I love. Anywhere on the farm, you can turn a slow circle and point out several horses whose ancestors include the great 1973 Triple Crown winner. People tend to be surprised at how many, and it’s wonderful watching how awareness of this connection brings Secretariat’s many fans closer to these horses as a new sense of history and continuity is gained.

So, I thought it might be fun to share here the identities of some of our most frequently visited Secretariat descendants, those on or near the main tour routes. If you’re into the nitty-gritty, below each horse are his or her lines (blue = stallion, pink = mare) tracing back to the great Secretariat.

20180726 Afternoon Deelites

Afternoon Deelites

Afternoon Deelites – great-grandson
Intimate Girl < Medaille d’Or < Secretariat

Danthebluegrassman – great-grandson
Pioneering < Terlingua < Secretariat

20180726 Danthebluegrassman


Eldaafer – great-grandson and great-great-great-grandson
A. P. Indy < Weekend Surprise < Secretariat
Habibti < Tabasco Cat < Storm Cat < Terlingua < Secretariat

Nobiz Like Shobiz – great-great-grandson
Nightstorm < Storm Cat < Terlingua < Secretariat

20180726 Popcorn Deelites

Popcorn Deelites

Popcorn Deelites – great-great-grandson
Afternoon Deelites < Intimate Girl < Medaille d’Or < Secretariat

Rapid Redux – great-great-grandson
Thiscatsforcaryl < Storm Cat < Terlingua < Secretariat

20180726 Rapid Redux

Rapid Redux

River Squall – great-grandson
Summer Squall < Weekend Surprise < Secretariat

Sun King – great-great-grandson –
Charismatic < Summer Squall < Weekend Surprise < Secretariat

20180726 Sun King

Sun King

On any regular tour you’re likely to see four or five of the above, though please note that horses may be moved to a different paddock at any time, and that any horse’s availability for visits on any given day depends many factors contributing to the horse’s care and welbeing. But if you request to see one of these horses, your tour guide will do her or his best.

We have more Secretariat descendants and they like to meet and greet their fans, too. Though it’s not logistically possible to take regular tours to the far parts of the farm, you Secretariat fans are still in luck. Call and ask us about booking a private tour to meet horses like:

20180726 Elusive Honey

Elusive Honey

Elusive Honey – great-great-granddaughter
Elusive Quality < Gone West < Secrettame < Secretariat

Johannesburg Smile – great-great-great-grandson
Johannesburg < Hennessy < Storm Cat < Terlingua < Secretariat

20180726 Johannesburg Smile

Johannesburg Smile

Lubash – great-great-grandson
Freud < Storm Cat < Terlingua < Secretariat

Smooth Air – great-great-great-grandson
Smooth Jazz < Storm Boot < Storm Cat < Terlingua < Secretariat

Sokitumi Samurai – great-great-great-grandson
First Samurai < Giant’s Causeway < Storm Cat < Terlingua < Secretariat

20180726 Sokitumi Samurai

Sokitumi Samurai

These horses aren’t all that far from the front of the farm, and still others live a bit farther off the usual visitors’ path, including Riva Way, son of Secretariat’s son Tinners Way, and A. P. Valentine, who has the same sire and relationship to Secretariat as Eldaafer. Your private tour guide will be delighted oblige if possible. And there are other wonderful horses – with and without fancy pedigrees – to meet along the way.

Photos by Laura



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5 responses to “July 25, 2018

  1. Marlaine Meeker

    Do you have any descendants of Man o’ War? Thanks.

    • oldfriendsblog

      My impulse is to say they’re all descended from Man o’ War. That’s probably not strictly true, but I’d have to search to find the few that aren’t. As you probably know, Secretariat didn’t descend from Man o’ War, and many others of his era didn’t, but he did descend from Display, another of Fair Play’s sons. Thoroughbred stock coming from a finite group of stallions (usually those with impressive race careers) and horse generations happening as quickly as they do, Man o’ War is by now one of the basic influences in the modern American Thoroughbred, and to some extent internationally. Interestingly, of his several foals to breed on into modern times, the most influential is probably War Admiral, as a broodmare sire. Man o’ War’s most important sire line influence is through War Relic, whose great-grandson In Reality sired Relaunch, the grandsire of Tiznow, who is himself an important sire of sires.

      • oldfriendsblog

        OK, just for fun I peeked into the deep pedigrees of a few of our horses. Silver Charm and War Emblem each have 5 lines from Man o’ War, but it’s not just the champions. Fighting City Hall, a hard-knocking earner, descends 6 times from Man o’ War. Even our two Australians, champion Bint Marscay and non-winner (but successful eventer) Interwin, descend via 3 and 2 lines respectively from Man o’ War.

  2. Gae

    Always fun studying the pedigrees. Interesting Secretariat is not directly descended from Man ‘O War — just a cousin(?) through Fair Play. And interesting reading of War Admiral’s and War Relic’s influences. I’ll be more aware when reviewing those old bloodlines in future. KY Horse Park is well worth a visit if anyone is interested in Man ‘O War. And Old Friends of course!

  3. Debra Carpenter

    Beth, thank you so much for this amazing summary. I loved seeing all the pedigrees. We visit every time we’re anywhere near Lexington. Your guide will help us do our homework for our next visit. We love your work!
    Debra Carpenter
    St. Louis, MO

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