Taylor's Special Arrives at Old Friends

Taylor's Special, a Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) winner and millionaire, arrived June 15 at Old Friends retirement home at Alfred Nuckols Jr.'s Hurstland Farm near Midway, Ky. The 24-year-old son of Hawkin's Special joined such other retirees as major winners Creator, Ruhlmann, and Sunshine Forever.

Taylor's Special was found abandoned in a field in Washington state, after which Hope for Horses, a state rescue operation, was notified. "They didn't know who he was," said Old Friends founder Michael Blowen. "They later verified his identity by checking his lip tattoo."

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, who was produced from the Espea mare Bette's Gold, 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. He has not stood at stud for several years.