Silver Charm Retiring In Comfort

In 1997, Silver Charm nearly won the Triple Crown.  Then, he had a long breeding career.  Now 20, Silver Charm is back in Kentucky for good.

It took two flights and a road trip to Chicago, but Silver Charm arrived last week at Old Friends in Scott County . 

Michael Blowen started Old Friends, a retirement home for thoroughbreds, about 10 years ago.  At the same time, Silver Charm was heading to a stud farm in Japan. 

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Silver Charm is Blowen’s favorite race horse.

"He never won his races by 10, or 15 lengths.  He wasn’t impressive that way, but he was just tough as nails.  He wouldn’t let horses get by him," said Blowen. 

Silver Charm barely won the Derby by a nose, the Preakness in a photo finish, and just lost the Triple Crown at Belmont.

Blowen always dreamed of giving Silver Charm a place to retire.  That became a possibility with a phone call last month.

"She said, ‘Do you have room at your farm for an old grey stallion?’ I knew exactly who she was talking about.  I was like a kid at Christmas, best Christmas present you could ever get," said Blowen.

Silver Charm arrived last week.  In his career, he earned close to $20 million from racing and breeding.  It took cooperation from Silver Charm’s owner, Three Chimneys Farm, the Japanese Bloodhorse Breeders’ Association, and Old Friends to set him up for retirement.

"At the end of the day, he has no social security, no 401K, and they really deserve it," said Blown.

Blown is such a fan of Silver Charm, he named a miniature horse Little Silver Charm, who’s been at the farm since day one.

"He (Little Silver Charm) promises me that he’s going to teach Silver Charm how to behave like a civilized retiree," said Blowen.

Silver Charm is the 6th horse that came to Old Friends from Japan.  Blowen says the successful journey will lead to more horses coming from overseas.