08/05/2013 11:42AM

Silver Ray, Grade 3 winner, purchased for $30 and sent to Old Friends


Silver Ray, winner of the Grade 3 Hoist The Flag Stakes and sire of 13 crops, will be sent to Old Friends Equine Retirement in Lexington, Ky. after being purchased for $30 out of a livestock auction in Mira Loma, Calif.

The 24-year-old Silver Hawk horse went through the ring at Mike’s Livestock Auction in mid-July emaciated and missing his front teeth, having cribbed them off. He sold to April Smith for $30 and was placed in the care of Polo Pony Rescue in Glendale, Calif., after Jockey Club papers confirmed his identity as a horse with a notable résumé.

Cathleen Trope, president of Polo Pony Rescue, told the Glendale News-Press on July 25 that her goal was to get Silver Ray placed in one of the notable Thoroughbred retirement farms in Kentucky.

Silver Ray was campaigned during his racing career by Jerry and Ann Moss, who have been longtime supporters of Old Friends. The horse is scheduled to move to the Midway, Ky., farm in September.

"If anybody deserves a retirement at this place it's this horse," Michael Blowen, founder of Old Friends, told the News-Press "At one point in his life he was extremely competitive and really valuable."

On the racetrack, Silver Ray won six of 26 career starts for earnings of $268,532. His signature victory came in the 1991 Hoist The Flag Stakes at Hollywood Park, and he also finished third in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby.

Silver Ray was not nearly as successful as a stallion, siring 47 foals in 13 lifetime crops, with 11 winners.

According to the Polo Pony Rescue blog, Silver Ray was eventually sold to a dressage trainer, where he had some success as a sire in that discipline, but he was ultimately sold again. The rescue’s research found that the last registered foal by Silver Ray was a Quarter Horse filly born in 2011.