Monday was Jockey Meet & Greet Day at Old Friends and we got a chance to spend some time with Jean Cruguet and Rosie Napravnik.
Jean Cruguet won more than 2,400 races in a lengthy career that ended in 1996. He is probably best known for winning the Triple Crown aboard Seattle Slew.
Rising star Rosie Napravnik, reigning queen of Fair Grounds, recently topped the 1,500 win mark. She made history aboard Shanghai Bobby in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but that one is off the Derby trail following an unplaced effort in the Florida Derby on March 30. She said that she hopes to pick up a Derby mount within the next two weeks…stay tuned!
Rosie was very accommodating to all of the fans on Monday, posing for pictures, answering questions, and signing autographs. She gets back to work at Keeneland on Wednesday.
It was fun strolling through Old Friends and visiting with many of my past equine buddies including Bull Inthe Heather, Clever Allemont, Danthebluegrassman, and Ogygian.
Bull Inthe Heather is still full of energy and personality at age 23. The son of Ferdinand won the G1 Florida Derby in 1993 and finished 11th in the Kentucky Derby later that year. He was determined to get his carrots earlier today as the video below clearly illustrates.
Ogygian may have lost a step or two but the one-eyed wonder is loving retired life at the ripe old age of 30. He won 7 of 10 lifetime starts between 1985-87 and was one of my early favorites as a young racing fan back in the day.
Old Friends is an important organization and we should all considering contributing to the well-being of these special animals when their careers on the racetrack come to an end. To learn more about Old Friends and to find out how you can help, visit their website at http://www.oldfriendsequine.org/
After the Old Friends event, we traveled to Kentucky Horse Park and spent the rest of the day reminiscing about equine legends John Henry, Man O’War, and Secretariat.
This is just the beginning of our Blue Grass Stakes week coverage. The Blue Grass draw will be held at Keeneland on Wednesday and we will be there all day snapping pictures and shooting videos. We hope to add some special guests to the mix and will post a Blue Grass handicapping preview later this week as well.
For more on our day at Old Friends and Kentucky Horse Park, please visit Stacy’s Kentucky horse racing photos page.