On Jan. 21 and Jan. 22, the remains of two-time Ohio Horse of the Year Glacial Princess will be transferred from the former Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio to Old Friends Thoroughbred retirement farm in Georgetown, Ky.
A multiple stakes winner, the Ohio-bred Glacial Princess broke down during the Ballerina Stakes in 1987 at the Ohio oval and was euthanized. The then 6-year-old mare was buried in the infield and a memorial was placed at the grave site.
But Beulah Park closed in 2014, and since then the property has been sold and redevelopment is scheduled. The redevelopment plan spurred Elyria-based racehorse owner Ryan Brady to lead efforts to relocate the popular race mare.
"It was really important to find a dignified resting place for Glacial Princess," Brady told thisweeknews.com. "I couldn't stand the thought of her grave being paved over by a parking lot or a new building.
"I never got to see her race, but growing up in Ohio, I knew her history," added Brady, "and I thought this is just the right thing to do."
Brady worked with new the property owner to arrange the relocation, and also consulted West Coast-based Charlotte Farmer, who led a similar effort to move the remains of '40s champion Noor from California to Old Friends in 2014.
Deanna Grimstead, assistant professor of anthropology at Ohio State University, will lead the exhumation on Jan. 21 beginning at 8 a.m., which will not be open to the public for safety reasons.
Glacial Princess's remains will then be driven to Georgetown, Ky. Jan. 22 and be reburied at Old Friends. She will be placed in a paddock that is now also the final resting place for Hall of Fame champions Noor and Skip Away, and the gravestone for '30s-era champion Springsteel.
Glacial Princess's gravestone will be donated to Old Friends by her former owner, Dr. John Graver, and placed at a later date. Glacial Princess was named Ohio Horse of the Year in 1985 and 1986.
Beulah Park hosted the Glacial Princess Stakes until the track closed. The race is now held at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course.
"She was great horse," said Graver. "The mare had such a determination—I don't think she was ever behind at the half-mile pole. And she ran against the boys as much as the girls. They called her the Iron Lady.
"I've never had another like her and probably won't again."
"She was a champion, the pride of Ohio, and we are proud to be able to offer her fans a place to come and honor her," said Old Friends president Michael Blowen. "It's important to keep such history alive. Glacial Princess brought so much to the sport of racing and she should be remembered as one of the greats."