They say blogs are for contemplation, not news. Whoever “they” are, they’re probably right about that. All the same, I can’t help mentioning two news items. First, tickets for Old Friends’ Annual Homecoming are now available! Our 2018 Annual Homecoming is Sunday, May 6 – the day after the Derby – at the main farm. It’s always a fun party and a great way to meet other Old Friends supporters, so I hope very much to see you there! To find out more, call us at 502-863-1775.
Second, you probably already know that Green Mask has arrived. But did you know he’s a really sweet guy?
Green Mask is by Mizzen Mast out of the Forestry mare Bonzai Beauty. He specialized in sprints on the turf. He won the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3) at Churchill Downs and Highlander Stakes (G2) at Woodbine, and a race close to our hearts, the Bonapaw Stakes at the Fair Grounds in Louisiana. He also got third in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland.
He’s currently doing the routine quarantine for all new arrivals, and is also recuperating from the fractured sesamoid that ended a beautiful race career, so he’s receiving special care in the barn with restricted, supervised turn-out, as Arson Squad and Jimbo Fallon did on their arrivals. When Green Mask is ready for tours I think he’ll love them. He already knows that people and treats are some of his favorite things. And if he’s one of your favorite horses, you don’t have to wait to get a share in him. You can phone us for one now.
Old Friends thanks Green Mask’s racing owner, Sheikh Abdullah Saeed Almaddah, his trainer, Brad Cox, everyone at the New Bolton Center and Dell Ridge Farm who took care of Green Mask and enabled his retirement with us.
If you asked the horses, they’d probably tell you there’s another news item. Mud! Oodles and oodles of it. Carole says she’d rather deal with snow than slurp through the mud catching horses who’d rather not take medicine.
But the milder weather seems to have a relaxing effect on the horses. Everybody’s laid back, just being nice and lazy.
When’s dinner gonna come, when’s dinner gonna come? Clockwise, from left top: I’m Charismatic & Arson Squad. Right top: Ready’s Rocket, Geronimo & Cost Affective (Rathor seems to be outside the frame). Right foreground: Sokitumi Samurai (out of frame are his friends Fabulous Strike, Awesome Gem & Marshall Rooster). Left foreground: Got to be either Tuneintobow or Prized Poach. Whoever he is, he actually does have a head, I promise.
Milder weather is for hanging out with their favorite paddock buddies.
Dinard and Archie’s Echo have a new paddock mate, Beau Cashin’ In, who was formerly with Tuneintobow. Making friends with an already-established herd or twosome is usually a gradual process for horses. Sometimes it only takes hours, but more often, weeks until the new guy or girl is fully accepted, as Archie and Dinard are signalling here. Beau’s being wisely patient about it. That’s just how it is when you’re a horse.
Lady Grizzley can tell you all about that. Last summer she was the new girl on the block. Now she’s tight with boss-mare Santona.
Hey, these aren’t horses…
In the barn the socializing happens from a safe distance. Safe, because Alphabet Soup is a stallion and stallions won’t share space with another male horse, even a gelding like Game On Dude. Looks to me like Alphabet Soup may be sizing up the Dude, thinking he looks like a formidable champion (he’s right about that), and wondering if he could beat him on the track. We’ll never know, which is probably just as well for 27 year old Alphabet Soup since Game On Dude is a mere 11 and still very speedy. If they were both 5? Who knows. I think I’ll put equal money on both of them.
Photos by Laura