Old Friends’ Two-Time Graded-Stakes Winner, Even the Score, Euthanized Due to Colic

GEORGETOWN, KY. – April 16, 2024 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement facility in Georgetown, Ky., is saddened to report that Even the Score, a two-time graded-stakes winner, was euthanized at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital on Saturday, April 13, 2024, due to colic. He was 26.

The beautiful gray stallion had been at Old Friends since March 30, 2023 thanks to his owner, Rosendo “Ro” Parra, and Morgan Kei, who interned at Millennium Farms while attending the University of Kentucky and took care of Even the Score there.

“Although Even The Score enjoyed a proud career both on the track and at stud, he was particularly special to us at Old Friends because he was a friendly and gentle stallion who was beloved by everyone at the farm,” said John Nicholson, President and CEO of Old Friends. “We will miss this good horse and will always honor his memory.”

“Even The Score was a special horse to our family,” said Parra. “My wife and I shed some tears when we learned he had to be put down. Even The Score was our first graded-stakes winner. We are very thankful to Old Friends for taking care of him over the past year.”

Bred by Aspiration Stable, Even the Score, who was by Unbridled’s Song-Ashtabula, by Rahy, was foaled in Kentucky on April 2, 1998.

Even the Score began his racing career as a 3-year old in 2001 and promptly won his first start, a maiden special weight race at Churchill Downs on June 27 for trainer Dallas Stewart and owner Thomas Vanderhyde.

A winner of multiple allowance races in 2001, 2002 and 2003, he scored his first stakes victory in the Mardi Gras Handicap (Black Type) at Fair Grounds as a 5-year old in 2003.

He was privately purchased prior to the start of his 6-year old racing season by Parra, and moved to trainer Vladimir Cerin’s barn in California, and in his first race for his new connections finished third in the San Bernardino Handicap (G3) at Santa Anita.

Even the Score then went on a two-race win streak, capturing his two-biggest career races, the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (G2) at Hollywood Park and the Californian Stakes (G2) at Hollywood Park.

With those wins, he was one of the favorites heading into his next race, the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1), but finished third. He was next preparing for the Pacific Classic (G1), but suffered an injury and was retired.

However, he recovered from that injury in good order and was placed back into training and preparing for the Santa Anita Handicap (G1), when he suffered another injury and was retired permanently. He ended his racing career with a record of nine wins, one second, nine thirds, and $751,628 in earnings in 29 career starts

Even the Score began his stud career in 2005 at Parra’s Millennium Farms in Lexington, Ky., and stood there until he was pensioned in 2020. During his stud career, he sired a number of stakes winners and stakes placers, most notably Blue Grass Stakes (G1) and Pacific Classic (G1) winning millionaire, Dullahan; and Secretariat Stakes (G1) and Jamaica Breeders’ Cup Handicap winner, Take the Points.

In 2023, Even the Score was sent to Old Friends courtesy of Morgan Kei, who cared for the horse following the sale of Millennium Farms. He arrived at the farm on March 30.

“Even the Score was so special to us, not only because of his great racing achievements, but also because of his lovable personality,” said Kei. “He never minded visiting with me in exchange for a peppermint (or two). He was so loved and will be missed by many.”

While he was only at the farm for a little over a year, Even the Score made quite an impression on the farm’s staff and visitors alike.

“Even the Score was so easy going … no ego like so many of our other stallions,” said Michael Blowen, founder of Old Friends. “I’m sorry he didn’t live with us a little longer.”

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