Belmont winner Sarava arrives at Old Friends

Sarava, winner of the 2002 Belmont Stakes, has been retired to Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, Kentucky.

Co-owners Gary Drake of Louisville and Paul and Susan Roy of Great Britain donated the 13-year-old stallion to the organization.

Sarava arrived at Old Friends early Saturday morning from the Appleton family's Bridlewood Farm near Ocala, Florida, where he has stood stud since 2010.

Bred in Kentucky by Bill Entenmann's Timber Bay Farms, Sarava was sired by 1984 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Wild Again and is out of the Deputy Minister mare Rhythm of Life. He career boasted three wins from 17 starts and earnings of $773,832.

Beginning his career on the turf in Europe, Sarava failed to break his maiden overseas. Returning to the U.S., a minor injury kept the budding three-year-old off the Kentucky Derby trail in 2002, but he returned with a vengeance under conditioner Ken McPeek to demolished the field in the Sir Barton Stakes on Preakness Day at Pimlico.

Sarava's greatest victory -- and maybe one of the game's biggest upsets -- came three weeks later when, at 70-1, he ended War Emblem's bid for the Triple Crown by capturing the 134th running of the Belmont Stakes.

Not only was Sarava the longest shot in Belmont Stakes history but his victory came before what was then the largest crowd ever assembled for the race: 103,000 in attendance.

"Sarava is the first classic winner to retire at Old Friends," said Old Friends founder, Michael Blowen. "We are thrilled that Gary and the Roys would trust us with his great stallion and grateful for the generous endowment.

"I also want to thank Midway (Kentucky) Mayor and bloodstock agent, Tom Bozarth, for his assistance. I know Sarava's fans will love to visit him. To me, it's like having Michael Jordan in my yard."

"Sarava has been a special horse to all of us," Gary Drake said. "He has done his job well on the track and in the breeding shed, and has earned a respectful retirement. We are pleased that Michael and the Old Friends staff will be caring for him. They do a marvelous job with their retired stallions."

For more information about Sarava or any of the retirees at Old Friends contact the farm at (502) 863-1775.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at


Most Popular Stories