Gulch, who was pensioned earlier this year because of declining fertility at Will Farish’s Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky., has taken up residence at Old Friends. The 25-year-old son of Mr. Prospector arrived at the retirement facility near Georgetown, Ky., Dec. 22.
The champion sprinter of 1988, the year he won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I), Gulch stood his entire career at Lane’s End. He has sired more than 70 stakes winners, 30 of them a grade/group stakes winner. His runners have earned more than $80 million.
Gulch is one of five champions at Old Friends, joining Black Tie Affair, The Wicked North, Hidden Lake, and Sunshine Forever.
“When Lane’s End announced Gulch’s retirement, I called the farm and explained we would be thrilled to have him,” said Old Friends founder and president, Michael Blowen. “I know his legion of fans would love to visit him here. Lane’s End has their lovely facility and a professional staff to give Gulch a great home, but we’re overjoyed that he’s coming.
“Lane’s End has contributed significantly to Old Friends ever since we started,” Blowen continued, “but Gulch is one of the greatest contributions we’ve ever received. It’ll be great to have him in a paddock next to Commentator.”
“Gulch has had a long and wonderful career here,” said Bill Farish of Lane’s End. “We wanted to make sure that he was well taken care of in his retirement and we thought our nearby neighbor Old Friends would be a great place for him.”
Farish said Gulch’s popularity with fans influenced the farm’s decision to send him to Old Friends, which is open to tourists daily.
“He was a horse that was well known to the public having been through the Triple Crown trail and having been a top 2-year-old and a champion sprinter,” said Farish. “He was a horse that people always wanted to see. Plus, he’s kind of a ham, and he will enjoy the attention immensely.”
Gulch, out of the grade I-winning Rambunctious mare Jameela, was bred and raced by Peter Brant and was trained first by LeRoy Jolly and then by D. Wayne Lukas. In addition to the Sprint, Kentucky-bred Gulch won consecutive runnings of the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I, 1987-88) and took the Wood Memorial Invitational (gr. I), Futurity (gr. I), and Hopeful (gr. I) stakes and the Carter Handicap (gr. I). He retired with 13 wins and a dozen placings from 32 starts and earnings of $3,095,521.
His progeny include Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Thunder Gulch, and other grade I winners Court Vision , Great Navigator, The Cliff's Edge , and Wallenda, who was retired at Old Friends in 2007 after returning from stud duty in Japan. He also sired English and Dubai champion Nayef, English classic-winning filly Harayir, Japanese group I winner Eagle Cafe, and French group I winnerTorrential.