Michael Blowen

Albert the Great Euthanized

GISW Albert the Great (Go For Gin) was euthanized Friday at Old Friends in Georgetown, Kentucky, where he has been pensioned since 2017. According to attending veterinarian Dr. Bryan Waldridge, the 23-year-old stallion was euthanized due to chronic sinus infection. Campaigned by owner Tracy Farmer and trainer Nick Zito, he earned his first graded stakes while capturing the 2000 GII Dwyer S. and, later that year, he added the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup. At Saratoga that summer, he was a close-up second in the GI Travers S. At four,...

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Rocketry Arrives at Old Friends

MGSW Rocketry (Hard Spun) retired from racing in August and, after spending a month at Centennial Farms in Virginia, became the newest resident of Old Friends Friday. The 7-year-old 'TDN Rising Star' retired after five seasons on the track with six wins from 29 starts and lifetime earnings of $811,577. "Who doesn't love Rocketry?" said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. "We're very fortunate that Centennial Farms trusts us to care for their great marathoner. Thanks to Don Little, Jr. and Jimmy Jerkens for allowing us to showcase him...

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Old Friends Welcomes Next Shares and Bordonaro

Grade I winners Next Shares (Archarcharch--Two Dot Slew, by Evansville Slew) and Bordonaro (Memo {Chi}--Miss Excitement, by Rajab) are the latest retirees to take up residence at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement home near Georgetown, Ky. Next Shares, winner of the GI Shadwell Turf Mile S. in 2018 among his trio of graded scores, last raced in July at Del Mar for trainer Richard Baltas, who was also part of his large ownership group. The 8-year-old gelding retires with a record of 41-7-5-5 and earnings of $1,891,971. Bordonaro, now 20,...

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John Botty, Well-Respected New England Trainer, Dies at 65

John T. Botty, a retired and well-respected New England trainer known for his attention to detail, patience, and knack for developing young horses, died suddenly Apr. 30 after suffering a stroke. Botty was 65 and lived in Pelham, New Hampshire. He had remained active in the sport as a bloodstock consultant after stepping away from daily work under racetrack shed rows in 2015. For the better part of three decades, Botty, together with his wife of 32 years, Kathleen, ran a successful, mid-sized racing stable based out of Suffolk Downs...

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Bellamy Road to Old Friends

Bellamy Road (Concerto--Hurry Home Hillary, by Deputed Testamony), a daylight winner of the 2005 GI Wood Memorial S. and favorite in that year's GI Kentucky Derby, has been pensioned to Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility based in Kentucky. Owned by the late George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable and trained by Nick Zito, the Florida-bred posted four wins from seven starts and earnings of $811,400. Bellamy Road stood at Dutchess Views Farm in New York since 2016. The 19-year-old previously stood at Kentucky's WinStar Farm and Hurricane Hall. His nine graded...

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Will's Way Passes Away at Old Friends Cabin Creek

Will's Way (Easy Goer--Willamae, by Tentam), whose racing career was highlighted by a hard-fought victory in the 1996 GI Travers S., passed away Dec. 24 at Old Friends at Cabin Creek in Greenfield Center, NY. He was just over a week shy of celebrating his 28th birthday. Campaigned by Rudlein Stable and trained by H. James Bond, Will's Way didn't begin his career until early in his sophomore season, but was a neck second to GI Preakness S. hero Louis Quatorze (Sovereign Dancer) in the GII Jim Dandy S. at...

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Awesome Again Dead at 26

Breeders' Cup Classic winner and top sire Awesome Again (Deputy Minister--Primal Force, by Blushing Groom {Fr}) died suddenly Tuesday at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement farm in Georgetown, Kentucky. He was 26. (Click here for video feature 'The House That Awesome Again Built')  The exact cause of death is unknown. A full necropsy is pending and a full veterinary report will follow. The Canadian-bred had an exemplary resume as both a racehorse and a stallion. He broke his maiden at Hollywood Park in just his second start as a 3-year-old in...

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Coady to Donate 25% of Calendar Sales to Old Friends

Coady Photography will donate 25% of all sales in December of its 2021 calendar honoring 2020 GI Kentucky Derby and GI Breeders' Cup Classic winner Authentic (Into Mischief) to Old Friends Equine. The calendar is currently on sale for $30 and can be purchased at www.coadyphotography.com. "Coady Photography couldn't think of a better cause to support than Thoroughbred retirement and Old Friends," Kurtis Coady said. "We are excited to help. The 9"x12" wall calendar features Coady pictures, some never before seen, from both the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby at Churchill...

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Tom's Ready Arrives at Old Friends

Tom's Ready (More Than Ready), a three-time graded-stakes winner around one turn, has been added to the roster at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, Kentucky. The 7-year-old, trained by Dallas Stewart for Gayle and Tom Benson's GMB Racing, was runner-up in the GIII Lecomte S. and GII Louisiana Derby in 2015, but cut back to one turn to win the GII Woody Stephens S. over seven furlongs and the GIII Ack Ack S. going a mile that season. Winner of the GIII Bold Ruler H. in 2016, the...

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Retired Thoroughbreds at Home in Senior Living Community

As soon as Bev Passerello retired as a riding instructor, she and her husband John sold their home in California, bought an RV and traveled the country. At some point along the way, they ended up in Louisville on the first Saturday in May. "After I saw the Kentucky Derby for the first time, every trip back and forth across the United States went through Kentucky," Bev said. "John finally said, 'I give up, it looks like we're going to move to Kentucky.'" So they parked their motor home in...

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Old Friends Joins Forces with Senior Living Community

Old Friends, the non-profit organization that cares for over 200 retired racehorses near Georgetown, Ky., has formed a unique arrangement with Georgetown's new Ashton Grove Senior Living Community, which is located a few miles from the Old Friends property. Equine retirees from Old Friends will live at Ashton Grove, which is positioned on approximately 40 acres of former Hill 'n' Dale Farm land. Ashton Grove has eight fenced paddocks, a 12-stall barn, and run-in sheds under construction. Old Friends hosted a grand opening of the new location Friday. "This is...

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Old Friends Welcomes Blueblooded LNJ Mares

Group winner Gold Round (Ire) (Caerleon-Born Gold, by Blushing Groom (Fr)), a half-sister to three-time GI Breeders' Cup Mile heroine Goldikova, and Mystery Trip (Belong to Me-Weekend Surprise, by Secretariat), a half-sister to Classic winners A.P. Indy and Summer Squall, have been retired to Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY. Represented by Alex Solis II and Jason Litt of Solis/Litt Bloodstock, the Roth family--Larry, Nanci, and Jaime-the owners of LNJ Foxwoods approached Old Friends about securing aftercare options for several broodmares. LNJ has donated the construction...

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