Old Friends announces arrival of Belmont winner Touch Gold
Touch Gold, the horse famous for denying Silver Charm the Triple Crown in the 1997 Belmont S. (G1), has been retired to Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, Kentucky.
Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends, made the announcement Monday.
The 21-year-old stallion comes to Old Friends from Adena Springs in Paris, Kentucky, and has been generously donated by Adena owner Frank Stronach along with an endowment. In October, Old Friends also accepted the Stronach-owned Alphabet Soup.
Sired by Deputy Minister and out of the Buckpasser mare Passing Mood, Touch Gold began his career in Canada with trainer Daniel Vella. He came to the United States as a three-year-old and was campaigned by David Hofmans. In the U.S., Touch Gold won the Lexington (G2) at Keeneland. Not entered in the Kentucky Derby (G1), he ran fourth in Preakness (G1) after a troubled trip and suffered a hoof injury.
In the Belmont, Touch Gold laid Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm's Triple Crown bid to rest when he went wide and surged ahead to catch the favorite in the closing yards.
Silver Charm was repatriated from Japan in 2014 and is also now pensioned at Old Friends.
Touch Gold went on the capture the Haskell Invitational (G1) before retiring with six wins in 15 starts and career earnings of $1,679,907.
"It's amazing to reunite these two great rivals," said Blowen of Touch Gold and Silver Charm. "We also now have War Emblem and the horse who ended his Triple Crown Bid, Sarava. It's a great to revisit and recount these wonderful racing stories.
"Our thanks again to Mr. Stronach and everyone at Adena Springs for entrusting us with this amazing horse," Blowen continued. "We hope all of Touch Gold's fans will come visit him."
(Rick Capone photo)