January 20, 2020, Georgetown, KY (USA): – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY., today welcomed 2017 Kentucky Derby contender and graded-stakes-placed Patch.
The 2014 son of Union Rags out of the A. P. Indy mare Windyindy, Patch was donated to the non-profit organization by owner Calumet Farm following his three-season racing career. His last start was in the Birdstone Stakes at Saratoga this past August.
A 30-1 long shot in the 2017 Kentucky Derby, Patch became the season’s feel-good story after it was revealed that he had lost his left eye as a two-year-old but overcame his adversity to make it to the Churchill Downs starting gate on the First Saturday in May. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Patch eventually finished 14th in that race behind winner Always Dreaming.
“Patch is a great horse and he has a great story,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “He is beloved by fans, and we are so looking forward to welcoming them this year. Patch has already stolen the hearts of everyone at Park Equine, where he spent a week while we made paddock space available, and everyone here is really excited about him.”
Old Friends is planning a “Welcome Home Patch” day at the farm sometime in the near future. Announcements will be made soon with date, time, and details. Patch retires with 14 starts, 2 wins, 2 places, 2 shows and career earnings $534,450.
Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY, has put a new face on the concept of equine aftercare. Founded in 2003 by former Boston Globe film critic Michael Blowen, the organization has grown from a leased paddock and one horse to a 236-acre farm and a herd of over 200 rescued and retired horses, including 21 pensioned stallions. Tours are offered daily
Photography Courtesy: Old Friends