Thieves broke into the office of the Old Friends Thoroughbred retirement farm near Georgetown, Ky., the evening of May 14 or early May 15.
They reportedly stole cash and a television and left behind a huge mess as they rummaged through files and drawers. No racing plaques or memorabilia were stolen and none of the horses were bothered, according to Diane White, co-owner of Old Friends and the wife of founder Michael Blowen, who was in Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) weekend to promote the organization.
"One of our volunteers discovered it when she opened the office this morning," White said May 15. "The place was a mess. They were people, though, who had no interest in the horse stuff. But they went through all our files and scraped together all the cash they could find."
White estimates the thieves took about $300. The farm's gift shop was left untouched.
"It is unnerving but fortunately it wasn't worse," she said.
Blowen said this is the first time the farm, which is on 136 acres, has had the office broken into. He lauded the Georgetown police department for its quick response. Old Friends has been caring for retired Thoroughbred racehorse stars since 2003. The charity cares for more than 150 horses at facilities in Kentucky and New York.
"It's bad because the money they took is for the horses, but fortunately we never keep much in the office," Blowen said. "The whole thing is just unsettling." Blowen may cut his Baltimore trip short and return home.
"I'm going to have to stop leaving the farm," he joked. "The last time I left Black Tie Affair died."
Lane's End Farm has already stepped up and replaced the stolen TV, White said.