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.