Kentucky Derby celebration and fundraiser for Old Friends Farm

Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm hosts their 17th annual “Homecoming” event on Sunday
Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm hosts their 17th annual “Homecoming” event on Sunday
Published: May. 8, 2022 at 5:11 PM EDT|Updated: May. 8, 2022 at 7:00 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Each year in the heart of horse country, Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm hosts “Homecoming.” The event raises money for the farm and also celebrates the Kentucky Derby.

“Everybody’s coming here to celebrate the Derby, celebrate Old Friends, and of course see the oldest living Derby winner who’s behind me, somewhere, there he is, Silver Charm. It’s a great day to celebrate everything that these horses have done,” president and founder of Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement, Michael Blowen said.

The event happens in Georgetown every year, the day after the Derby. There was one thing everybody wanted to talk about at the event on Sunday: Rich Strike, at 80-1 odds, the biggest long shot in a century, taking the win on Saturday.

“You see a horse that was just barely into the Derby come from behind like that and win the race at those kinda odds, you just have to say, ‘that’s that’s a gift,” event attendee, MaryAnn Dalrymple said.

Many people were shocked by the upset.

“I’m standing up in front of the TV jumping up and down carrying on cause ya know that’s what you do and all of a sudden I see this red horse, cutting up the rail just I mean it was straight out of Calvin Borel’s playbook which he’s one of my favorite jockeys, and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, who is that?’ and then I was like ‘well’ and thrilled to death for them,” Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement volunteer, Donna Davis said.

This year’s Kentucky Derby was extra special for some, like Janice Corum. She traveled from North Carolina to participate in the Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade.

“Thank goodness it was raining because I was, tears were falling. There was no stopping them,” Corum said.

For information on how to donate to Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm, you can visit their website.

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