For ex-Derby winner Silver Charm, it’s a life of leisure and Old Friends at Kentucky retirement farm

@Laura Battles

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (AP) — Michael Blowen can step outside his house any day of the week and visit retired racehorses at Old Friends, the thoroughbred retirement farm he founded in Kentucky two decades ago that attentively cares for former winners and losers alike.

From his home’s backdoor, Blowen can watch one former racehorse great in particular amble aimlessly in a nearby pasture: Silver Charm, the champion thoroughbred that won the 1997 Kentucky Derby.

“Hey, handsome,” Blowen called out as he sidled up to his longtime friend that now has only four remaining teeth and spends much of his day napping. Silver Charm moved toward Blowen, who fed him a handful of Mrs. Pastures horse cookie crumbs before pouring the rest into a feed bucket. The oldest living Derby winner then wandered to his water trough, sipped and dozed off.

“He’s pretty predictable,” Blowen said. “He knows what he wants, and when he wants it.”

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