Derby fans stay in town extra day to visit “Old Friends”


12 years ago former Boston Globe movie critic Michael Blowen moved out to the Bluegrass to take care of what is now 104 race horses also living out their retirement. And every year at the open house the farm’s keeping visitors like Amy Gulbrandson from California in town for one more day.

She says, “It’s special to me because it’s so unique that there’s a place that takes in and take care of thoroughbreds when they finished their racing days and their stud days and they’re ready to just retire and live out their life in a peaceful happy setting.”

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It’s people like Amy and newcomers like Jeremy Weintraub who help  keep the retirement home running.

He says, “It’s really nice. Everything’s laid out really well. It’s been a lot of fun food is great and the silent auction’s been very interesting so far.”

If you can believe it the wait-list to live at Old Friends is about 44 horses long. The owner is hoping to use money from events like these to build forty new pens just down the road.

Blowen says, “We keep expanding because there’s so much demand for homes for these horses now. So we work very, very hard to expand, to create more facilities, so we can get some of these horses off the waiting list and into our retirement home. “