The nonprofit Thoroughbred retirement center Old Friends will be presented the Special Eclipse Award at ceremonies Jan. 17 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
The award selection of Old Friends was announced Dec. 19 by event sponsors National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters. The Special Award honors extraordinary service, individual achievements in, or contributions to the sport of Thoroughbred racing.
Founded in 2003 by former Boston Globe film critic Michael Blowen, the Georgetown, Ky., farm cares for more than 150 rescued and retired horses, including several pensioned stallions. This year Old Friends became the new home for two of racing’s biggest stars from the past 20 years, bringing 1997 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hero Silver Charm back to the U.S. after retiring from stud duty in Japan and acquiring three-time Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) winner Game On Dude after the 7-year-old gelding finished racing.
Other grade I winners currently residing at the main farm include Amazombie, Affirmed Success, Afternoon Deelites, Bonapaw, Commentator, Dinard, Early Pioneer, Fabulous Strike, Geri, Gulch, Hidden Lake, Kiri’s Clown, Kudos, Ogygian, Sarava, Sean Avery, Seek Gold, Special Ring, Tinners Way, Wallenda, and You and I.
“This is just unbelievable,” Blowen said. “We started with one horse just over 10 years ago and now we have 166 retirees. We have several Eclipse Award winners already at the farm; I can’t wait to show them mine!”
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