01/22/2015 12:19PM

Grade 2 winner Bluesthestandard dies at 17


Multiple Grade 2 stakes winner Bluesthestandard was found to have died last year at age 17.

The gelded son of American Standard had been adopted out to a farm, along with fellow retired racehorses Falcon Scott and Bonfante, after previously residing at Old Friends Equine Retirement in Georgetown, Ky. Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends, said that allegations on social media that the horse had been abused or neglected prior to his death are “absolutely not true.”

Blowen declined to name the farm that adopted the horses or its owner but said the owner failed to contact Old Friends upon the horse’s death. Blowen said the owner has since broken off communications and disconnected her phone.

“In the stipulations when we adopt horses out, we’re supposed to be notified of any problems with the horse within 24 hours,” Blowen said. “Basically, the only problem is that she didn’t tell us over a year ago. If she’d have just called us and told us, and stuck by the agreement, we would have known about it and had a necropsy done. We’d have had a lot of things done that we have done on our horses when they die.”

Old Friends returned to the farm to pick up Falcon Scott and Bonfante after receiving the news about Bluesthestandard, and Blowen said both horses were healthy and in good condition. This led him to believe that neglect was not a factor in Bluesthestandard’s death.

“I think he died of natural causes, judging from the condition of the other two horses who came here,” Blowen said. “They were just in tremendous shape. Anyone that wants to come see them is invited to.”

Old Friends, honored this month with a Special Eclipse Award for service to the Thoroughbred industry, has adopted out a very small number of horses from its farm who appear capable of going on to another career. Blowen said that Old Friends’s current policy is to only adopt out horses through facilities accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, through which Old Friends also is accredited.

The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance’s Code of Standards includes a section on adoption policies and protocols, stating that accredited organizations shall have protocols for screening prospective adopters, for stating any limits on the horse’s use, for ensuring a chain of legal custody for horses, and for following up on an adopted horse’s welfare.

Bluesthestandard won 19 of 47 starts during his six years on the racetrack for earnings of $1,041,618. His résumé includes Grade 2 wins in the Palos Verdes Handicap and Portero Grande Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Santa Anita and a score in the Grade 3 Texas Mile Stakes at Lone Star Park. He finished second to Cajun Beat in the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Sprint and placed in the Grade 1 Ancient Title Breeders’ Cup Handicap.

Bluesthestandard was claimed eight times in his career, including being picked up for $22,500 as a 4-year-old in his debut, a victory at Hollywood Park. He changed hands often on the California circuit, ending his 5-year-old campaign with owner Jeffrey Sengara and trainer Ted West, who raced the horse throughout his time in graded stakes-level competition.

Two starts after finishing third in the Palos Verdes Handicap in 2005, Bluesthestandard was placed in a $40,000 claiming race and had a new owner after finishing off the board. He never raced in another stakes and was claimed two more times, finally for $12,500 in his last start.

Trainer Kristin Mulhall offered to buy Bluesthestandard from his most recent owner, Steven Sobel, after he was retired in 2006, and he arrived at Old Friends in the fall of 2009.

Bred in Georgia by Terry Brown, Bluesthestandard was the final foal out of the winning Bob’s Dusty mare Bob’s Blue, whose six foals were all winners, including stakes winner Arrive Alive.

Jaley Giddens More than 1 year ago
Did blue show after he raced?
Dianna Zlaket More than 1 year ago
Seems like the Eclipse people should have done more leg work!! Sick of all the Kool Aid. It is industry wide. But it is not going away. Look at all the other articles on the corruption. OF had an obligation to the horse and made a mistake. The person who killed the horse was not OF. But they should have followed up on the adoption. Nobody knows what happen to the horse…RIP Blue!
JeAnna Ramirez More than 1 year ago
I am heartbroken............. Rest in sweet peace baby :(
mike More than 1 year ago
If this isn't true,individuals posting this should be sued.
mike More than 1 year ago
Mary, Am very disappointed and upset over this development. Still can't wrap my brain around if this was happening why didn't someone do something?
Mary Adkins-Matthews More than 1 year ago
The horses were NOT at Old Friends. They were with someone else. No one knew other than the person that had him.
mike More than 1 year ago
I'm aware the horses weren't @ Old Friends. Still if it were true,one would reason someone observed and would've made a call.
Vickie Aument More than 1 year ago
Blues should have been buried at Old Friends and should no have at least a tribute there - he should never have left there - he deserved better
Mary Adkins-Matthews More than 1 year ago
exactly.... it makes me feel disgusted. There is nothing mentioned about him on the main Old Friends page. I wonder if he will be mentioned at this years memorial
WinnysMom More than 1 year ago
According to Blowen, the only problem is that Angie failed to notify Old Friends of Blues passing. That sounds so cold-hearted, why isn't Blowen concerned with what should come first - the horse? He makes it sound like Blues dying is ok, but it's not ok that Angie didn't notify him of his death. From what I've read, this story goes beyond a failure to communicate by Old Friends, and touches on unethical behavior by a 501c3. I'm saddened to read of Blues death, and am appalled at the lack of facts and transparency by Old Friends. I hope Old Friends learns from Blues death and makes changes to their policies of free leasing horses, contacting owners, and implementing policies to follow up on the care and condition of the horses living off-site.
Gaye Goodwin More than 1 year ago
amen to THAT! Michael Blowen better learn from this debacle.
Jaley Giddens More than 1 year ago
Her phone is not disconnected and she is now Angie Raab
Dianne Boothe More than 1 year ago
Wow, just, wow. When the media is told something by someone like Michael Blowen and Old Friends, they print it as fact. Have Michael explain why he didn't call the last owner to see if she wanted him back? AND that horse was NOT rideable, he was not able to have a 2nd career! But yet you tell people he was serviceably sound?? Wow, this sickens me. Yet people will continue to drink the Kool Aid that is being passed around. For those not so quick to drink that Kool Aid, Blues was starved to death, AND Old Friends never even contacted the owner/previous owner to ask her if she wanted him back. OF dropped the ball on this one big time.
Mary Adkins-Matthews More than 1 year ago
Dianne, I have also been told that Blues starved to death by several people. If there is truth in this, the person that had him (Angie Cadaret) should be held accountable if possible even though if was so long ago. As far as the article is concerned and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance having procedures for adoption, Blues was given to Angie long before Old Friends became part of the TAA. Angie told me that the horses were "loaned" to her, not adopted. If there was a contract, I sure would like to see it. If he was starved to death, he certainly did NOT deserve that end as NO HORSE DOES. Whether a horse is famous like Blue or a horse that nobody has ever heard of, they deserve love, respect and care. These are the athletes of this sport!
mike More than 1 year ago
I've contributed at times to OF over the past six years. Can you please tell me if this is a fact regarding Blues starving to death? Mike Relva
Jaley Giddens More than 1 year ago
I know the people who had blue and I knew the lady who did this to blue and to my knowledge, yes it is a fact but OF and she are covering it up.
mike More than 1 year ago
Then why didn't someone step up to the plate and make a friggin call when this was happening? I'm pissed.
Mary Adkins-Matthews More than 1 year ago
Mike.. I was originally told that the horses were "loaned" to the person that had Bluesthestandard. I think it is very disrespectful to the horse that no memorial has been mentioned for him on the Old Friends facebook page. Blues deserves more than this. I have talked to Kristin Mulhull who claims that she did indeed talk to the people that were there when Blues fell and died. Apparently he did not die of natural causes according to them. I do believe that this matter should be looked into as much as possible to assure that the person that had Blues never owns a horse again.
Jaley Giddens More than 1 year ago
She wants to get another horse as well.