Old Friends Equine awarded the Bobby Frankel Award to the staff of the Daily Racing Form last week in recognition of the publication’s 90-page glossy tribute to the famous racehorses who now reside at the famous Kentucky retirement facility.
Michael Blowen, president and co-founder of Old Friends Equine presented eight staff members of the racing industry publication with the award during a fundraising gala June 5 at Oheka Castle in New York.
The award, named for the late New York-based Thoroughbred trainer Bobby Frankel is presented to people and organizations who best exemplify the Old Friends mission to help ex-racehorses at the end of their racing days. The Daily Racing Form went above-and-beyond with its glossy publication paying tribute to Old Friends horses, Blowen says.
“They just came out with the second issue. It’s unbelievable. It’s 90 pages and it’s beautiful,” Blowen says, noting that 2002 Belmont Stakes winner Sarava is on the cover, and that its pages are filled with biographies of the great horses who Blowen and his nonprofit actively care for at his retirement farm. “Giving the Racing Form the Frankel Award was one of the highlights of the night.”
Another highlight was the appearance of famous jockey Edgar Prado, who signed autographs. And Charlie Pigg, a co-owner of racing star Palace Malice, also attended.
Jockey Rosie Napravnik, who recently joined the Old Friends board, was unable to attend due to a heavy racing schedule at Churchill, Blowen adds.
And, although the second-annual fundraiser at Oheka Castle did not attract a large turnout, it was a “great party,” in a mansion befitting Great Gatsby, as a talented Frank Sinatra impersonator crooned in the background.
Blowen also credits famous racing photographer Barbara Livingston for her photography contribution in the Daily Racing Form’s collector’s edition, which Old friends makes available for $10.
“It’s a really great memento,” Blowen says. “It has all our horses in it, and their biographies and past performances. A lot of our major horses have a whole page. And even our barn cats got a mention!”