Old Friends at Cabin Creek’s Cool N Collective has Died

GEORGETOWN, KY – Dec. 30, 2022 – A New York fan-favorite, Cool N Collective was euthanized on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022, at Old Friends at Cabin Creek due to laminitis. He was 25.

“I loved this horse so much,” said Cabin Creek owner and manager JoAnn Pepper. “He was unique. He required a lot of attention and was a great teacher. He was with us almost 13 years, and helped shine the light on aftercare. He was so well loved every day by us all and is so missed already. I’m thankful to Mike Repole for trusting us with this amazing horse. We were blessed to know him.”

The sweet bay gelding arrived at Cabin Creek in 2010 thanks to the generosity of his owner, Mike Repole, who is a big supporter of Old Friends, and a vocal supporter of thoroughbred aftercare.

“He really came into my life when I was just getting started as a horse owner,” Repole said. “We’re talking about a horse I claimed for ten thousand dollars a few times. He led an incredible life and lived to 25 years old. Every horse in racing should have that type of racing career and that type of retirement. … (He was) a really, really, special, cool horse. Back then, when he won a $12,500 claimer at Aqueduct, it felt like a Grade 1 to me because I didn’t know better. It was a real special feeling. … He was my first super star!”

Repole also thanked everyone at Cabin Creek for all the wonderful care they gave him. “I really want to give JoAnn, her husband, Mark, and all the volunteers a big shout out. They do an amazing job.”

Cool N Collective was sired by another former Old Friends retiree, Ruhlmann, and was out of the Cox’s Ridge mare, Panther Run. He was bred by Winsong Farms and foaled in Ontario, Canada on March 22, 1997.

He began his racing career as a 3-year old in 2000, and continued to race until he was 10 in 2013 and became one of the oldest horses to race in New York. Overall, he raced 81 times, won 15 times, finished second 27 times, third 13 times, and earned $678,836. In his 81 races, he was in the money 55 times (15-27-13).

In his first race, Cool N Collective finished second at Aqueduct. His first win came his fourth time out in a maiden special weight race at Woodbine.

His best year also came in 2000, as he won the Elgin Stakes (Black Type) at Woodbine, a race he ran four more times in his career, finishing second in 2002, 2003, and 2004, and fourth in 2005. Also, in 2000, he finished second in the Pegasus Handicap (G2) at Meadowlands, and third in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie.

Repole truly loved Cool N Collective, and he claimed the horse a number of times during his career. Interestingly, one time he claimed him was on June 8, 2007, and in his first race for his new owner on July 18, Cool N Collective finished in a dead heat for the win with Signature Dancer in a claiming race at Monmouth Park.

For his final race on March 3, 2010, Cool N Collective came full circle to where it all began for him, Aqueduct. Trained by Bruce Brown, he finished fifth in a claiming race.

For his official retirement one month later on April 3, with Repole in attendance, he was presented to Pepper and Old Friends founder and President, Michael Blowen on Wood Memorial Day at Aqueduct prior to the sixth race, which was designated the Cool N’ Collective race for that day. He arrived at Old Friends soon after.

“Cool N Collective symbolized horses I adore,” said Blowen. “He never took a day off and ran until the ripe old age of 13. Just like his sire, Old Friends retiree Ruhlmann, he never left anything on the table. We owe him more than he ever owed us.”

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