I flew to Atlanta to meet up with Sarah on that Wednesday afternoon, and we spent the evening hanging out with our parents and ogling some of the neat models Mom and Sarah have liberated at estate sales lately. (I'll write a blog about these guys soon.)
|Epic Hagen-Renaker score from a local estate sale last November
|Very rare Albany Desert Orchid from an estate sale last month
We had no set schedule for the day, so we stopped and checked out antique malls along the way. We didn't find anything, but the sunset at the end of the day was pretty stunning.
Our tour at Ashford on Friday wasn't until 3:00pm, so we decided to spend the morning visiting some old friends at, well, Old Friends.
Buddy the official greeting cat came out to welcome us and get some love.
The tour started inside the gift shop and welcome center with a video about the farm, its residents, and its mission. Old Friends is a retirement home for Thoroughbreds whose racing and/or breeding careers are over. The farm offers tours to visit some of the more famous residents which raises funds to rescue a number of lesser known horses. After the video, we all headed back outside for our walking tour.
Our first stop was to see Sarava, winner of the 2002 Belmont Stakes. At 70-1, he was the biggest upset winner in the history of the race.
Across from Sarava was Nicanor, one of Barbaro's full brothers. Though his racing career started off promisingly with a 15 length score in a turf maiden race, Nicanor was not particularly successful as a racehorse or as a stallion. But he more than makes up for it in terms of looks and personality. If we could have smuggled him home with us, we would have. He is such a sweet, friendly boy.
|Nicanor just wants your carrots and your love
|Sarah and Nicanor
|Game On Dude (left) and Little Mike (right)
|Me feeding carrots to Alphabet Soup
Other barn residents were G1 stakes winner Afternoon Deelites...
...the somewhat shy turf stakes winner River Squall...
...and the farm's newest resident, Einstein. A Brazilian-bred son of the Kentucky Derby winner Spend A Buck, Einstein won G1 stakes on dirt and turf before retiring to stud. He's another one I would have happily taken home as a pocket pony.
The smallest resident in the barn, Little Silver Charm, was also the loudest. He is the farm's official spokeshorse, and he was very insistent that he receive his due in the form of carrots. So much so that the vet has ordered him on a diet (which he is not happy about).
|Little Silver Charm
|Sarah and Z Dager
|Me and Silver Charm
|Touch Gold (but don't touch him!)
|Eye of the Tiger and Lisa
|A gorgeous view on the way back
|Nicanor still being adorable
|Noor's new resting place
After Old Friends, we had a late brunch and hit a few antique stores before heading to Ashford.The only things we liberated were some Derby glasses. Next time, on to Ashford to see the champs (and more old friends)!