Old Friends, an equine retirement organization based in Midway, Ky., has announced that it will bring champions Criminal Type and Sunshine Forever back to the Bluegrass from Japan. In addition, group I winner Creator has been acquired and will be coming to Kentucky as well.
Michael Blowen, president of Old Friends, credited Emmanuel de Seroux and Narvick International with brokering the deals with the Japanese Thoroughbred Club to bring the trio of pensioned stallions to the United States.
Old Friends, which has land at Phillip and Betty Sue Walters' Afton Farm for retirees, has also secured five stallion paddocks at Alfred Nuckols Jr.'s Hurstland Farm near Midway, where the three new additions will reside.
Blowen said he hopes this successful negotiation will open up a pipeline from Japan for further deals in the future. "We hope that when the time comes this will help our efforts to bring horses such as War Emblem, Charismatic, and Fraise back home," he said. Old Friends has also opened up contacts through Narvick with Saudi Arabian interests that own Alysheba, and Turkish authorities, where Sea Hero and Strike the Gold stand. All of the above are still working stallions.
Criminal Type, 19, a son of Alydar, was Horse of the Year and Champion older horse in 1990, when he won four grade I's--the Pimlico Special, Hollywood Gold Cup, Metropolitan Handicap, and Whitney Handicap. He earned $2.3 million as a homebred for Calumet Farm. He has been in Japan since 1992.
Sunshine Forever, by Roberto, was bred by and raced for John Galbreath and Darby Dan Farm. He became Champion grass horse in 1988 after a trio of grade I victories in the Budweiser International, Turf Classic, and Man O' War Stakes. He earned more than $2 million. He was sent to Japan in 1995.
Creator was a group I winner in France and only the last of his 16 career races came in the United States. The son of Mill Reef ran as a homebred for Sheikh Mohammed. He earned $550,000.
Blowen said Angel Cordero Jr., who rode Sunshine Forever, has agreed to come to Kentucky for a welcoming ceremony when his schedule allows. The horses are slated to leave Japan Oct. 26 and will spend 30 days in the quarantine facility at Newburgh, N.Y., making their arrival in Central Kentucky sometime around Thanksgiving.