Taylor's Special

Taylor's Special

Barbara D. Livingston

Taylor's Special Euthanized; Awad to Join Old Friends Roster

Taylor's Special, who won the 1984 Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) and earned more than $1 million, was euthanized Sept. 19 at Old Friends near Midway, Ky.

The son of Hawkin's Special--Bette's Gold, by Espea, was 25.

Taylor's Special was found abandoned in a field in Washington state and after being identified by a state rescue agency, was sent to Old Friends. Since arriving at the horse retirement home in June 2005, Taylor's Special had gained nearly 300 pounds, Old Friends founder Michael Blowen said.

"He tried to jump his gate last night and had some superficial cuts and scrapes," Blowen said. "He was just fine but this morning, he struck his left hoof down so hard it just popped."

Blowen said Taylor's Special will be cremated and a ceremony will be held at Old Friends Oct. 2.

Bred in Kentucky by Dravo G. Foley, Taylor's Special won 21 of 41 races and earned $1,065,805 for owner W.F. Lucas and trainer Bill Mott. He not only won the 1984 Blue Grass Stakes, but a dozen other stakes, including the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds and the Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) at Arlington Park. He ran 13th in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and fourth in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).

Taylor's Special first stood in Maryland, then later in Alberta, Canada. In Washington, he resided at a farm near Granite Falls, which later was sold to a developer after the owners, an elderly couple, died.

At stud, Taylor's Special sired four stakes winners, including graded winner Lies of Omission.

The death of Taylor's Special leaves 21 horses residing at Old Friends, the group to be joined later this week by four-time grade I winner Awad.

Awad, by Caveat--Dancer's Candy, by Noble Dancer, won the Arlington Million. Secretariat Stakes, Early Times Manhattan Stakes, and Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap, all grade I turf events. He raced as a homebred for Ryehill Farm.

Awad made 70 starts from two to eight and won 14 races including 11 stakes. He also ran second 10 times, third 11 times, and earned $3,270,131. The Maryland-bred set two course records, running 10 furlongs at Arlington in 1:58.69 and 12 furlongs at Saratoga in 2:23.20.

He entered stud at Northview Stallion Station in Maryland in 1999 and in 2005 moved to Castle Rock Farm in Pennsylvania. He sired one stakes winner.