Black Tie Affair Going to Old Friends

Horse of the Year sired grade I winners Evening Attire and Formal Gold.

Black Tie Affair, 1991 Horse of the Year, has been pensioned at Randy Funkhouser’s O’Sullivan Farms near Charles Town, W.Va., because of complications from arthritis. The 23-year-old son of Miswakifound it difficult to cover mares.

“His fertility was fine last year,” Funkhouser said. “He covered about 36 mares.”

Black Tie Affair will spend his retirement at Old Friends retirement farm near Georgetown, Ky.

Bred in Ireland by S. Peakoff, Black Tie Affair was voted Horse of the Year and champion older male after winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) and six other graded stakes for owner Jeff Sullivan and trainer Ernie Poulos. Poulos, a popular trainer on the Illinois circuit, died in March of 1997.

Black Tie Affair closed out his Horse of the Year season with six consecutive victories, taking the Stepen Foster (gr. III), Michigan Mile Handicap (gr. III), Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III), Philip Iselin Handicap (gr. I), and  Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) prior to the Breeders' Cup. His streak came under four jockeys: Juvenile Diaz, Pat Day, Shane Sellers, and Jerry Bailey.

Black Tie Affair was retired after the Classic with 18 wins from 45 starts and earnings of $3,370,694.

Black Tie Affair, who entered stud in 1992 at Ben Walden Jr.’s Vinery near Midway, Ky., and later stood several years in Japan, has sired 35 stakes winners, including grade I winner and New York fan favorite Evening Attireand grade I winner and sire  Formal Gold. His progeny earnings are $56.2 million.

Black Tie Affair stood at O' Sullivan for a partnership managed by Donna Hayes. Black Tie Affair is out the Al Hattabmare Hat Tab Girl.