Million dollar earner retires to Old Friends

Michael Blowen, founder of Old Friends Equine, greets new retiree Eldaafer and the racehorse's goat peeps, Google and Yahoo.

Michael Blowen, founder of Old Friends Equine, greets new retiree Eldaafer and the racehorse’s goat peeps, Google and Yahoo.

(Press Release)—Eldaafer, winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, has been retired to Old Friends. The nine-year-old gelding, who suffered a career-ending suspensory injury last November, arrived at the Thoroughbred retirement facility in Central Kentucky on Monday June 2 along with his inseparable companions, the goats Google and Yahoo.

Bred by Shadwell Farm by A.P. Indy out of multiple Grade 1 winner Habibti (Tabasco Cat), Eldaafer easily lived up to his name, which translates as “the victorious.”

Campaigned by several owners throughout his career, Eldaafer had developed a reputation early on for being very difficult. But he began to live up to his potential when he came under the patient eye of trainer Diane Alvarado.

Sire: A.P. Indy
Dam: Habibti
Foal date: March 13, 2005
Earnings: $1,031,836; 46 starts
Breeders’ Cup Participation: 1st Breeders’ Cup Marathon—2010
In his first start out of her barn Eldaafer earned his first graded stakes win in the 2009 Brooklyn Handicap (G2), going a mile and a half on the dirt. He went on to make his first Breeders’ Cup Marathon appearance later that year at Santa Anita where he finished seventh.

In 2010, a victory on the Polytrack in the Turfway Park Fall Championship (G3) guaranteed the gelding a second chance in the BC Marathon, and that was indeed the charm. He sailed smoothly to a length and three-quarter victory in a tumultuous race that was memorable for the televised post-race row between jockeys Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano because their mounts had bumped and stumbled.

Eldaafer’s starts in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon in 2011 and 2012 were winless, but he continued to earn stakes, including the Carl Hanford Memorial at Delaware Park in 2012 and the Greenwood Cup (G3) at Parx in September 2013.

Eldaafer retired with earnings of $1,031,835 from 13 wins, 3 seconds and 7 thirds in 46 starts.

“Eldaafer is a sturdy throwback to a time when stamina and strength were valued,” said Michael Blowen, president and founder of Old Friends. “We’re very grateful that his connections trust Old Friends to take care of his well-deserved retirement.”

8 responses to “Million dollar earner retires to Old Friends”

  1. Rob Davis

    Mr. Blowen, I think it’s really kind of you to take in Eldaafer and allowed him bring his two inseparable goat companions. I’m sure that meant a lot to him and well help him adjust much quicker to his new home and life with you. May Eldaafer enjoy his retirement life and live a long and healthy life with you on Old Friends. If I lived closer to your place, I would love to come by and visit them someday. I’m hoping to get involved in pleasure and trail riding. At my age of 62, that’s about all I’m good for.
    Take care of everyone,
    Rob Davis

  2. adele

    Mr Blowen you are the very best. I have been to Old Friends when I went to the Secretariat Fest in 2013. I admire you tremendously and now to see you take not yet another horse who needs a home but his two buddies. Friends are so important and the horse will thrive thanks to your kindness and compassion. God bless you and your family and workers for always making dreams come true for our four legged friends. Wish you all the best.
    Adele Giambrone

    1. Barbara Grimaldi

      So beautifully expressed, Adele. I agree with every word you wrote. Michael is an angel taking care of equine angels in the kindest and most compassionate way possible.

  3. Sandy Carr

    Yes, the goat buddies are the icing on the cake. Thanks for welcoming him to Old Friends!

  4. Sonya Ericson

    Remember this horse well, I was around him in 2009, when I worked as a vet’s assistantat Delaware Park and Gulfstream …Diane always was extremely good to the horses she had in training. Knew and loved Google the goat !
    Kudos to Diane for keeping them all together and giving the horse a happy retiremwnt…

  5. Rebecca

    AWE! So happy for him and love his goat buddies! 🙂

  6. Michelle Y.

    Happy ending, glad his owner/trainer did right by him by retiring him to Old Friends and glad he got to bring his goat friends along!

  7. Susan Crane-Sundell

    It’s gratifying to see him get his well-earned retirement and to see him land at Old Friends makes it all the better. Not only will he receive great care and love from people who appreciate his accomplishments, but he will be able to receive visitors who will have seen him race and remember all he gave to his fans at the track. Congratulations Eldaafer-now you’re home!

    P.S. Glad you got to bring your goat pals–the three of you will really like it there!

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