Bonnie’s Poker, dam of Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I) winner and Hall of Fame member Silver Charm, was euthanized Aug. 5 at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Facility near Georgetown, Ky. The 28-year old mare was suffering from equine protozoal myoencephalitis (EPM).
“Bonnie was doing very well until the last few weeks,” said Old Friends founder and president, Michael Blowen. “Then she started to develop some problems with rear-end mobility. Consulting with Dr. Doug Byars, the decision was made to euthanize her before she became dangerous to herself and others.”
Bonnie’s Poker, who raced for several owners during her career and once won three races in the span of 10 days, was campaigned the last half of her career by Mary Lou Wootton. A hard-knocking claimer during her four years of racing, Bonnie’s Poker won or placed in 30 of 63 races and earned $153,960.
Wootton was the breeder of Silver Charm, who developed into a champion for owners Bob and Beverly Lewis. Trained by Bob Baffert, Silver Charm won the 1997 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and was beaten three-quarters of length in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). He was voted champion 3-year-old male. At 4, Silver Charm won the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Silver Charm, by Silver Buck, was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2007. He currently stands at stud in Japan.
In 2003, Bonnie’s Poker’s owners, Bill and Kristie Jakeman of the Florida-based Latitude 27 farm, opted to pension the aging broodmare after she suffered complications delivering a Fusaichi Pegasus colt, who later died. The Jakemans donated Bonnie’s Poker to Old Friends in 2004.
Bonnie’s Poker (Poker--What a Surprise, by Wise Margin) produced 11 named foals, six of which are winners. Bonnie’s Poker is the granddam of grade III winner Super Freaky (by Smart Strike ).
Dr. and Mrs. S.E. Garland were the breeders of Bonnie’s Poker.