(Edited press release)
Old Friends, a Thoroughbred Retirement Facility near Georgetown, Ky., will soon host its annual homecoming/fundraiser, and this year it’s a three-day event.
The festivities, which begin the evening of July 13 and continue through July 15, will be highlighted with performances by circus stars the Flying Wallendas and Sopranos actor Frank Santorelli.
Tino Wallenda and his troupe, known for their travels with the St. Louis-based Circus Flora, will perform in honor of their namesake, 1993 Super Derby (gr. I) winner Wallenda, who was returned from stud duty in Japan this spring. Wallenda is the fifth horse Old Friends has returned from overseas and the 13th stallion to retire at the group’s Dream Chase Farm.
“News about Wallenda returning to the U.S. was posted on Tim Woolley’s racing Web site www.timwoolleyracing.com,” said Old Friends President and founder Michael Blowen. “The next day, MaryBeth MacKay, a publicist for Circus Flora who happens to be a racing enthusiast called us, and soon after we were talking with the Wallendas about performing at our yearly fundraiser.”
Homecoming Festivities are as follows:
--July 13: "Bada Bing Night," 5 p.m. at the Black Tulip in Midway, Ky. Drinks at the Railroad Street bistro and a chance to meet the Flying Wallendas, as well as Sopranos star Frank Santorelli, who will be behind the bar serving up cocktails and T.V. tales. At 7 p.m. at the Thoroughbred Theatre, Santorelli and other special guests will perform.
--July 14: Homecoming, 5 p.m. at Old Friends. The Flying Wallendas will give their special welcome-home performance. Other festivities include live Bluegrass music, tours of the Old Friends farm, a buffet from Wallace Station, drinks, live and silent auctions, working-artist demonstrations, and more. Tickets are $50, children under 12 are free.
--July 15: Kids Day, 2 p.m. at Old Friends. The Flying Wallendas perform at 3 p.m. for the children. Tours will also be given. Tickets are $10.
In addition to individual tickets (available by calling 502-863-1775 or visiting www.oldfriendsequine.org, Hall of Fame sponsorships are on sale. Each sponsorship package includes four tickets for Bada Bing Night, 10 for the Homecoming event, unlimited Kids Day tickets, and a listing in the program and on the Hall of Fame Banner.
Among the sponsors so far is Shadwell Farm for its 2006 Horse of the Year Invasor and Dr. George & Susie Mundy’s graded stakes-placed filly, Chincilla.