Michael Blowen

Old Friends Releases Statement on Death of War Emblem

Michael Blowen, founder and President of Old Friends, released the findings of the necropsy report regarding the recent passing of dual Classic winner War Emblem. The 21-year-old was found deceased at Old Friends Mar. 11 after what was initially perceived to be a fatal paddock accident. A full medical report was pending at that time. The following statement was issued by Old Friends resident veterinarian, Dr. Bryan Waldridge of Park Equine Hospital in Versailles, KY: "After War Emblem's sudden death, a complete necropsy was performed at the University of Kentucky...

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Chu Elected to Old Friends Board of Directors

Old Friends elected owner/breeder Susan Chu to its Board of Directors Mar. 9. Chu and her husband have campaigned the likes of champion Drefong (Gio Ponti) and MGISW Bast (Uncle Mo) under the Baoma Corp. banner. "I am honored to be able to participate in such a worthwhile organization," said Chu. "Old Friends contributes so much to the welfare of these incredible retired Thoroughbreds." Chu will join current Old Friends board members: President Michael Blowen, Vice President Bill Vandendool, Chairman Cynthia Grisolia, Secretary Barbara Fossum, Treasurer Mark Otto, and voting...

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Pollard's Vision to Old Friends

Multiple graded stakes winner Pollard's Vision (Carson City - Etats Unis, by Dixieland Band) has been retired to Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, Kentucky. The 19-year-old stallion arrived from Mighty Acres in Pryor, Oklahoma, where he had stood since 2015. Bred by Charles A. Smith, Pollard's Vision was campaigned by Edgewood Farm and trainer Todd Pletcher. He earned a spot in the 2004 GI Kentucky Derby with a win in the GII Illinois Derby. Only 17th on the First Saturday in May, the dark bay returned to capture...

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Dual Classic Winner War Emblem Dies

War Emblem (Our Emblem-Sweetest Lady, by Lord at War), winner of the 2002 GI Kentucky Derby and GI Preakness S. died early Wednesday morning at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, Kentucky. Pensioned at Old Friends since 2015, he was 21. While the cause of death is thought to be the result of a paddock accident, exact details are unknown. However, results from a necropsy report are expected to be forthcoming. In 2015 Old Friends re-repatriated War Emblem from the Yoshida family's Shadai Stallion Farm in Japan. He was...

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Patch Settles Into the Sweet Life of Retirement

"There are two things that I refuse to die from," Michael Blowen said as he strode along the fence line at Old Friends Farm in Georgetown, Kentucky. "The first is shoveling snow, because I'm from New England and I hate snow. And the second is boredom." The founder and president of Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm weaved among the paddocks, stopping to distribute carrots to Ide (Forty Niner), the winner of four consecutive Grade III stakes in 1995 and 1996, and then breaking into a sprint along the paddock of...

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Cajun Beat, 2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint Winner, Passes Away

Cajun Beat (Grand Slam--Beckys Shirt, by Cure the Blues), the 2003 GI Breeders' Cup Sprint winner, has died. The 20-year-old gelding had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility based in Georgetown, Kentucky, since 2016. Details of Cajun Beat's death are pending following a full necropsy. "He was a lovely horse, a real champion," said co-owner Satish Sanan of Padua Stables. "With all of the horses we've had, he was one of our favorites--he was my wife's favorite. He didn't show much talent until we gelded him, and...

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Gdovka Elected to Old Friends Board

Peggy Gdovka was elected to the Board of Directors of Old Friends, the non-profit Thoroughbred Retirement Facility Dec. 4. She will begin her term immediately. Currently the Sr. Director of Corporate Partnerships & Licensing/Merchandising for Breeders' Cup Ltd., she previously served a stint in Keeneland's sales department. "I could not be more pleased for the invitation to sit on the Board of Old Friends," said Gdovka, who grew up in Woodford County. "When I look at the amount of past Breeders' Cup participants and champions that have benefited from Old...

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