Academy Award, one of the only surviving sons of Triple Crown winner Secretariat, has arrived at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement farm in Georgetown, KY. Michael Blowen, Old Friends founder and president, made the announcement Jan. 29.
Golden Globe-winning actress Angie Dickinson, a long-time supporter of Old Friends, is sponsoring the retirement of the 24-year-old stallion, along with Secretariat's owner Penny Chenery and Boston-based TV producer Barbara Bowen.
“Michael and I have been friends for a long time and I adore the horses,” said Dickinson, the star of TV’s Police Woman and such films as Point Blank, Rio Bravo, and Dressed to Kill. “Now, I finally have an Academy Award, and I can't wait to see him.”
Dickinson made the contribution through a charitable trust she established with her ex-husband, composer Burt Bacharach.
Chenery, whose relationship with the spectacular Secretariat is the basis of an upcoming Disney film starring Diane Lane, donated funds to support Academy Award through the Secretariat Foundation. Bowen, a TV producer from Boston and a longtime fan, donated her time and money to assure that Academy Award would have a dignified retirement.
Academy Award (Secretariat—Mine Only, by Mr. Prospector) didn’t begin his racing career until age 4. In his two seasons on the track the diminutive chestnut had 19 starts and five wins, including a stakes victory on the turf in the Early Times Manhattan Handicap (gr. IIT), in which he defeated Stage Colony, an Old Friends retiree who passed away in 2009. Academy Award’s career earnings totaled $226,943.
Once owed by Peter E. Blum, Academy Award has been standing at Win Row Farm near Lebanon, Ohio since 1991.
“We're overjoyed to have Academy Award in a paddock next to Commentator and Gulch,” said Blowen. “Academy Award winner Anjelica Huston has even agreed to draw him for us.
“I also want to thank Chris Rosell of Win Row Farm for agreeing to retire this grand old man. We are now responsible for nearly 90 Thoroughbreds that won more than $60 million on the track.”
For more information about Academy Award and other Old Friends champions, see the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org or call (502) 863-1775.