07/17/2009 12:00AM

Old Friends welcomes three new residents


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Old Friends, the equine retirement farm in Georgetown, Ky., has gained three new residents in Tour of the Cat, a millionaire, Benburb, 1992 Canadian champion 3-year-old and Horse of the Year, and Boule d'Or, a Grade 2 winner.

Earlier this week, Old Friends secured its first U.S. Horse of the Year when O'Sullivan Farms in West Virginia announced it would pension Black Tie Affair there.

Tour of the Cat, a 10-time stakes-winner, was due to arrive at Old Friends on July 18, said the farm's founder, Michael Blowen. A 11-year-old Tour d'Or gelding, Tour of the Cat made the last of his 79 lifetime starts on July 16, finishing sixth for a $5,000 claiming price at Presque Isle Downs. He retires with earnings of $1,106,955.

Boule d'Or, an 8-year-old Croco Rouge horse, won the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Handicap in 2008. He also placed in group stakes in England, France, Germany. He leaves the races with $598,571 in earnings from 62 lifetime starts.

Owner Robert Gray donated Boule d'Or and sponsored the horse's transportation and stall at Old Friends.

Benburb, a 20-year-old son of Dr. Carter, arrived earlier this week.

"I think horse people know about us now, and they know that when their horses come here they're treated well," Blowen said Friday of the rush of new residents. "We show off their horses and tell their stories. And the fans have such interest in them. We had between 150 and 200 people come through yesterday and again today, and, from what the reservations look like, we're expecting about the same tomorrow."