Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY has partnered with the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and Lexington’s Nick Ryan’s Saloon to proudly present “Hall of Fame Day at Old Friends” on Monday October 17, 2011.
The event will kick off at 3pm at Old Friends, 1841 Paynes Depot Road in Georgetown, with an observance for the three great Thoroughbred Champions who have been laid to rest at the farm’s official Hall of Fame Cemetery: Skip Away, Noor, and Precisionist.
The afternoon will be highlighted by tours of the farm and visits with many of the stars of the turf now retired at Old Friends.
Hall of Fame Day continues with an evening soiree (6pm) at Nick Ryan’s Saloon, located at 157 West Jefferson Street in Lexington.
Tickets to Nick Ryan’s are $50 and include a BBQ buffet, drinks, live music, and many special guests; reservations can be made by calling (502) 863-1775.
“We're flattered that the National Racing Hall of Fame has honored Old Friends by designated us as the official cemetery for Hall of Famer's whose final resting spots may be in jeopardy," said Old Friends founder, Michael Blowen. "We're grateful to Nick Ryan's for their participation and support and we welcome everyone to the event, especially members of the Hall of Fame.”
“The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is proud to partner with such a great organization as Old Friends for a Hall of Fame Day in Kentucky,” said Brien Bouyea, the communications officer for the Museum. “We will be honoring a Hall of Fame legend in Skip Away, as well as two other Hall of Fame greats, Noor and Precisionist, both of whom have found a perfect final resting place in the heart of the bluegrass.”
Bouyea added that the Hall of Fame has also authorized the creation of additional Hall of Fame plaques for the markers of these Thoroughbred legends so that fans will be able to learn the incredible stories of these remarkable athletes.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Old Friends on this event,” said Don Wathen, owner of Nick Ryan’s Saloon, which is one of Lexington’s most celebrated new eateries. “My wife Barbara and I have a great love for horses, and we want to use our venue to give back to that community. We plan on having at least three charity fundraiser events here every year.”
About the Hall of Fame Champions
Three-time Eclipse winner and 1998 Horse of the Year, Skip Away raced for owner Carolyn Hine and was trained by Hubert "Sonny" Hine. Throughout his career he captured 18 of 38 starts and earned $9,616,360–third best on the all-time North American money list behind Curlin and Cigar. As a four-year-old Skip Away’s triumphs were especially impressive, winning both the GR1 Jockey Club Gold Cup and the GR1 Breeders’ Cup Classic. In his final year of racing, at age 5, Skippy won seven of nine starts and earned $2.7 million. The campaign included seven consecutive wins—five of them in GR1 stakes—at six different tracks. He was inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame in 2004. .
Noor, son of the superstar stallion Nasrullah, was campaigned by owner-breeder Charles S. Howard (also the owner of Seabiscuit) after the colt’s 3-year-old season in 1948. Trained by Burley Parke and ridden by Johnny Longden, Noor was voted 1950 handicap champion after winning four out of five head-to-head sprints with Citation and defeating the then 7-year-old Assault. The victories made Noor the first horse to ever beat two Triple Crown winners. Noor was exhumed from his previous burial ground at the Loma Rica training track in California due to the land being developed He was re-interred at Old Friends in late August.
Precisionist was a boldface name on the racing scene from 1983 to 1988. During his five seasons the son of Cozier captured 17 stakes wins, including the triple-play Strub series at Santa Anita and a two-length win in the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, which helped him seal the title of Champion Sprinter that year. Other notable wins include the Swaps Stakes and the San Miguel. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.
For more information about Hall of Fame Day or any if the retirees at Old Friends contact the farm at (502) 863-1775.
About Old Friends
Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 100 retired racehorses. It’s Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has a satellite facility in Greenfield Center, New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, which is also open to visitors. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org
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