The 9-year old gelding, who won his first Grade 1 race in his last year on the track, was donated to Old Friends courtesy of his owner, Tom Egan
GEORGETOWN, KY – Nov. 10, 2023 – Red Knight, a multiple graded-stakes millionaire has been retired to Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement farm in Georgetown, Ky.
The 9-year-old chestnut gelding arrived at the farm for his retirement on Tuesday, Nov. 7. He was donated to Old Friends courtesy of his owner, Tom Egan of Trinity Farm.
Bred by Trinity Farm, Red Knight, who is by Pure Prize–Isabel Away, by Skip Away, was foaled in New York on March 26, 2014.
Red Knight raced for seven years between 2017 and 2023, and seemed to get better with age, as he won some of his biggest races during his last two years on the track.
He began his racing career as a 3-year old in 2017 under the care of trainer Bill Mott. Owned his entire career by Egan, Red Knight finished second in his first start, a maiden special weight race at Belmont Park on June 18.
He followed that with three straight wins. The first two came at Belmont Park where he broke his maiden in a maiden special weight contest, and then followed that with a win in an allowance race. He then moved to Aqueduct where he won an allowance optional claiming race.
In 2014 as a 4-year old, he won his first stakes race in the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (Black Type) at Gulfstream Park, where he set a course record of 3:19.87 for two miles at the track. Then, in 2020 as a 6-year old he captured his first graded-stakes win in the Sycamore Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.
In 2022 as an 8-year old, he began the year with a new trainer, Michael Maker, and went on to win some of the biggest races of his career. That year he won two stakes races, the Colonial Cup Stakes (Black Type) at Colonial Downs where he set a course record of 2:29.67 for 1 1/2 miles at the track, and then the Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes (G2) at Kentucky Downs.
Then, as a 9-year old in 2023, Red Knight won the William L. McKnight S. presented by Davidoff Cigars (G3) at Gulfstream Park, and capped things off with his biggest career triumph when he won the Grade 1 Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont Park.
According to an NYRA press release, Red Knight became just the third 9-year old to win a Grade 1 race in New York. The previous two were John Henry, who won the 1984 Turf Classic at Belmont, and John’s Call, who won the 2000 Sword Dancer and 2000 Turf Classic.
Red Knight went on to finish 2023 with four out of money finishes, the last one a sixth in the Sycamore Stakes (G3) at Keeneland on Oct. 13, a race he won in 2020. Shortly after that race, Egan announced that Red Knight would be retired and sent to Old Friends.
The 9-year old gelding finished his career with a record of 12 wins, nine seconds, two thirds and $1,886,338 in 38 starts, which included seven stakes wins and nine in the money stakes finishes.
Egan contacted BloodHorse.com to make the announcement about Red Knight going to Old Friends. He believes that the New York-bred Red Knight will be a hit at the farm.
“He has a big personality,” Egan said. “He likes people, but he doesn’t suffer fools, whether they’re grooms or exercise riders.”
Egan went on to thank trainer Mike Maker, who he believes made all the difference with the horse, and helped him capture his Grade 1 win in the Man o’War Stakes in 2023.
“As I call him, he’s (Red Knight’s) a gift from above. He really is,” Egan said. “You’d never get into racing and think you’d have a horse like that.” Luckily for Egan, he did, and now Old Friends gets to enjoy the beautiful gelding every day.
“I stalked Tom Egan ever since the Saratoga meet concerning Red Knight,” said Michael Blowen, President and founder of Old Friends. “I adored Red Knight and knew that, at nine, his racing career was nearing the end. Tom was gracious enough to acknowledge my adoration and, now, his wonderful horse is here. What could be better?”: