This week has been moving week. We have one new guy on the block. Several longtime residents have changed paddocks.
First, a big welcome to Slim Shadey, who moved into Old Friends two days ago. This grand old gelding (now 11 years old) from England ran in Great Britain, then came to America at the age of four. On the West Coast he won three graded stakes, the 2012 San Marcos Stakes (G2), the John Henry Turf Championship (G2) and he repeated his San Marcos Stakes (G2) victory in 2013. In 2014 he won the Elkwood Stakes at Monmouth Park. He acquitted himself well in other graded stakes during those years, finishing second to future Old Friends retiree Little Mike in the 2012 Woodford Reserve and competing again with Little Mike in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Turf. Slim Shadey continued to race and earn until last month, for a career total of more than a million dollars. Now, owner Michael M. Hui and trainer Michael Maker have enabled his new life at Old Friends.
Though Slim Shadey is an Englishman by birth, his pedigree features many well-known American favorites: Alysheba, Secretariat, Halo, Kiri’s Clown’s sire Foolish Pleasure, and Chief’s Crown.
By his first evening on the farm Slim Shadey had settled comfortably in. He’s curious about us, self-possessed, and every bit the old pro.
Slim Shadey says hello on his first evening at the farm. (Apologies for the blur. These my attempts at snapshots, so don’t blame Laura.)
Does he think this is another race track stall, I wonder? Just wait till he’s out of quarantine and discovers he’s in the land of blue grass and carrots! The routine quarantine for all new arrivals generally lasts 21 days, so if you’re in Lexington for next month’s Keeneland meet, come to Old Friends and feed Slim Shadey a carrot!
Amazombie (foreground) and Rapid Redux in their new paddock
The other moves are just from one paddock to another. The roster of horses you’re likely to see if you come for a tour hasn’t changed much, but you may be interested that Soi Phet and Hogy now live opposite Game On Dude and Little Mike.
Hogy (L) and Soi Phet now share the paddock where Amazombie and Rapid Redux used to be.
Both are friendly horses who have accomplished admirable feats on the track, and they’ll enjoy the extra love they’ll get in this key spot as much as their visitors will enjoy them. Amazombie and Rapid Redux have moved a few paddocks back and can still be visited on tours. If you want to see them be sure to mention them to your guide to make sure she or he takes that route.
Einstein in his new digs
Einstein is now in a great big paddock we hope he’ll love, next to the barn and across from Green Mask by day and Alphabet Soup and Gorgeous George by night. For those of you who are familiar with the farm, it’s the paddock where Danthebluegrassman and Flick lived for many years.
Into his first evening there, Einstein was still scoping it out after dinner on Tuesday.
Einstein: “Ok, it’s got a waterer, a feed tub, a run-in shed, all my favorite amenities…”
So where did Diversify settle in after his newcomer’s quarantine? Right up front, across from Ide. That is, the lakeside spot next to Sun King.
Whitney Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Diversify
The geese who like to visit Sun King in the evenings have already made themselves at home with Diversify, as well. That’s fine with him.
Other moves that have been made, or soon will be, don’t affect the tours. I’ll post a blog about those shortly. But for today I’ll finish by celebrating one of the most successful, happiest, most wonderful moves made in recent months. This was when Bourbonize moved in with Johannesburg Smile. Frankly, we were a little worried whether Johannesburg Smile, gelded at age 10, would ever accept a paddock mate. Several horses were tried without success. He wasn’t nice to any of them. But look at him now!
Johannesburg Smile (L) and Bourbonize, who have now been bonding for two months
I think Bourbonize also feels he’s finally found the perfect buddy.