The great race mare Lotka dies at 30 in Ky

Lotka, on left, was a bright, bossy personality at the retirement farm

Lotka, on left, was a bright, bossy personality at the retirement farm. Photo by Laura Battles

(Press Release)—Lotka, the 30-year-old Kennelot mare by Danzig, died yesterday at Our Mims Retirement Haven in Paris, Kentucky. Lotka had been a resident there since August of 2008.

“We have had many great mares at OMRH but none as full of life as Lotka,” says Jeanne Mirabito, Our Mims president. “She was magnificent, the heart of the farm. As crushed as I am at her passing, I was honored to be part of her life.”

The late Henryk de Kwiatkowski was responsible for Lotka’s breeding, and the mare ran under his Kennelot Stables colors. Lotka won the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes, the Grade 2 Black Helen Handicap, the Grade 3 Columbiana Handicap, La Prevoyante Invitational Handicap, Magnolia Stakes. She also won the second running of the Grade 3 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Keeneland.

Lotka in her youth. Photo via Our Mims Facebook page

Lotka, at 30, looked fantastic!  Photo via Our Mims Facebook page

In October 2011, Lotka was invited back to Keeneland to celebrate the 25th anniversary of that win. She appeared at Keeneland’s Breakfast with the Works on Keeneland’s 75th Anniversary. Lotka also ran second in the Grade 1 Fantasy Stakes and third in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. Overall, she raced 20 times with 10 wins, 4 places, and 1 show for a career earnings total of $721,804.

Lotka was also a very successful broodmare. Her 1995 son Mambo Twist by Kingmambo earned almost $2.5 million on the Japanese tracks. Lotta Dancing, her 1991 filly by Alydar, earned over $350,000 on the track. Of Lotka’s fourteen foals: only three were unraced and four earned over $100,000.

In her retirement years at the Haven, Lotka was a favorite among visitors, and just celebrated her 30th birthday March 27th.

But her advanced years never affected her mare-in-charge swagger.

“We could always count on her to be large and in charge when it came to herd dynamics,” Mirabito says. “She also ruled our hearts. I remember the day Lotka arrived. I looked into her eyes and was mesmerized by the intelligence behind them. I knew, at that moment, my life would never be the same.

Lotka's bucket filled to the brim, in tribute

Lotka’s bucket filled to the brim, in tribute

Mirabito adds that Lotka’s passing is a loss that will be felt a long time to come. The great mare will be buried in the Haven’s cemetery.

OMRH became a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2006. Featured in Barbara Livingston’s More Old Friends, the Haven specializes in “restoring health and spirit in aged mares.”

The Haven is supported through donations, eBay auctions, and its online shop.

Our Mims Retirement Haven is home to Princess Royale, Bel’s Starlet, Blue Viking, Ms. Royal Flagship, Taba Dance, Trail Guide, and Dogwood Patty. Our Mims’ grandson, 1997 Breeder’s Cup™ Sprint winner Elmhurst, arrived in October of 2011.


12 responses to “The great race mare Lotka dies at 30 in Ky”

  1. Nadine Anderson

    Here at Brazeau Thoroughbred Farms we have recently been blessed by having one of Lotka’s sons come here to stand at stud. His name is Blake’s Passion and he was a very good race horse. He is a true gentleman and very stately. We will strive to perpetuate the excellence of his pedigree (he is by Saint Ballado) and breed some great mares to him.

  2. Barbara Griffith

    Does anyone know what happened to this mares 14 foals? No will ever know how many of them ended their lives in the slaughter pipeline. There is enough of them found in kill pens. At least whoever owned her sent her to a decent home to live out the rest of her life.

  3. Judith Ochs

    Grand, grand mare – and one fortunate to end her days with Jeanne Mirabito. My admiration for Jeanne is boundless. She takes these former brood mares and gives them a home with dignity and love – not to mention a personalized stable door, lots of carrots and visitors to ooh and aah and admire them again. Just as old people in our country can often face an uncertain future – so much more so for these mares who have been used by humans for their own purposes and then discarded when they can no longer bear foals to be sold. Jeanne is a rare breed herself – a true one of a kind who does what others cannot or cannot bear to do. Thanks Jeanne – and I am sure that Lotka will be there for you always whether you can see her or not (though she may have trouble getting to you as there are so many mares who also love and care for you)…

  4. Jon

    What a grand mare! Rest great one!

  5. Jo-Anne Ward

    Reading this article was a lift to my day! Another really good one, Susan Salk…keep them coming. Although, understandably in this day and age, difficult to often pull off. I would have easily mistaken Julys photo at 30years as being much earlier, many would.
    Obviously, quite a nice mare she was.

  6. Jeanne Mirabito

    Thank you, Susan. First for honoring Lotka with this article and second for the grand compliment of thinking the photo taken in July, when Lotka was 30, was a photo from her youth!! She would have liked that very much.

    Lotka’s passing…in my heart, this is close to the equalivalent to that of when I lost Our Mims. Very close. She was amazing. The grief is overwhelming right now.

    I know that over the next few days and weeks, the tears will lessen and I will be able to walk into the barn without falling apart, and, I know this great mare will never be forgotten.

    The Ladies, Elmhurst and I just have to wait for those better days to get here.

    1. Jo-Anne Ward

      Jeanne, those of us that are truly dedicated to our animals lifetime well-being, share your grief at your loss of Lotka.

  7. Leslie M. Bliman-Kuretzky

    Lotka was one of the greatest and bless her and bless Jeanne for opening her heart to all these marvelous mares. The World can and needs more people like Jeanne

  8. TBDancer

    I love reading about these fine old stars. These are the lucky ones who spend their last years “with full buckets” and all the attention they want and deserve. RIP, Lotka.

  9. Cheryl Bellucci

    Thank you so much for posting this, Susan. We appreciate it so much.

    I must, however, point out that the posed photo of Lotka was taken just this past July by Cindy Evans Photography. That’s how timeless and ageless this mare was. She was so regal. I’ve not met a mare since Our Mims who realized how regal she was. Lotka was definitely “self aware.”

    Thanks again, Susan.

  10. Laura

    I’m really glad there is a place where these magnificent animals who gave so much on the track can go to retire with dignity. Much love to OMRH for loving these animals through their golden years.

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