08/29/2011 7:06PM

Noor to be buried at Old Friends


The remains of Hall of Famer and 1950 champion older horse Noor have traveled from California to Kentucky, where they were to be reinterred Wednesday at the Old Friends equine retirement facility in Georgetown, Ky.

Noor died at Frank Knoop's Loma Rica Ranch in Grass Valley, Calif., in 1974 at age 29 and was buried in the infield of the ranch's half-mile infield. The property recently came under development for a business park and residential area, prompting Noor's fans to open a search for his unmarked grave. In March 2010, aided by Noor's former veterinarian, Jon Peek, and California-based trainer John Shirreffs, local resident Tom Nichalson used radar to identify the spot.
Noor fan Charlotte Farmer led the effort and raised about $8,000 to move the Nasrullah horse's remains to Old Friends, where they will be buried along with soil from California's Santa Anita, Golden Gate, and Hollywood Park racetracks, all places where Noor won races.
Bred by the Aga Khan in Ireland, Noor was from Nasrullah's first crop. He was out of the Bahram mare Queen of Bagdad.

Noor initially ran for the Aga Khan in England, where he won a pair of stakes 2, then took the Diomed Stakes and finished third in the Epsom Derby, among other good performances.The Aga Khan sold Noor to Charles S. Howard, who enjoyed even better success with Noor. In the States, Noor won six stakes, including the 1950 Hollywood Gold Cup and Santa Anita Handicap, and also set three world and three track records over distances ranging from 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 miles. He also defeated Triple Crown winners Citation and Assault during his career.

The reinterment ceremony is open to the public and is to take place at 10 a.m. at Old Friends' Dream Chase Farm, 1841 Paynes Depot Road, Georgetown, Ky.