We lose a friend.

“I've seen the needle and the damage done, a little part of us in every one.” Neil Young

Over the past few months our retiree Denied has become steadily more uncomfortable on the ankles we hoped would ultimately fuse in a way that would allow him to live out his life here in retirement. First we hoped for the pasture, and later, just being comfortable in a paddock with our support and company. But it was not to be, the damage was too much, and lately this great horse made it clear that he could no longer go on. Always kind, ever courageous, it was hard to say goodbye.

Denied, 1998-2010, by Bertrando out of Granse Oaks.

Thirty one lifetime starts: 10-8-7. Retired at age ten.


Honoring Elkhorn Stakes winner Marvin's Faith

The Gr.2 Elkhorn Stakes which runs today traditionally closes Keeneland's spring meet with a mile and a half competition that draws some of the world's premiere turf horses. Tranquility Farm retiree Marvin's Faith (Ire) not only won the Elkhorn Stakes in 1995, but he established a new course record in doing so, beating the great competitor Hasten to Add by a nose. It must have been quite a sight to see a young Marvin streaking to victory over the grey stallion against the beautiful spring display of Keeneland's dogwood and redbuds in bloom. In 29 lifetime starts Marvin's Faith won six races, including the Gr.3 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar and the Gr. 3 Bay Meadows Derby.

We have a lot of happy horses here at Tranquility Farm, but I think Marvin is among the most contented. He is always ready for a pet, and he is a perfect gentleman with the other geldings, never one of the rowdy ones who think they are retired prize fighters instead of runners. This summer when the grass is green and the shining horses take a victory lap around the pasture, I'll try to catch a photo of ninteen- year-old Marvin's Faith doing what he loves so well.


Wise One finds his person

An adopter recently wrote to TF with some questions about her horse, and she said “I see that he was there for adoption for a long time.” Welcome to the new economy. Adoptions are becoming ever more problematic as people struggle to survive. But if your dream is to share your life with a fabulous horse don’t give it up. Your can never get it back.
And so it was that a young lady named Samantha walked out into the pasture where Wise One was free to play, long-haired and muddy, his wild mane flying in the wind. “Exactly the horse I have looked so long for,” she said, and her eyes were glowing.

There are more than 100 horses at Tranquility Farm. With a few exceptions they are all available for adoption. They are best friends, grannies for your kids, companion horses, and they are sport horse prospects that are as good as you can find anywhere. All refugees, all exceptional, all waiting… call us.


Our Apple Blossom Queen

This weekend the great Zenyatta, perhaps the only living being on the planet I would address as “Your Majesty”, will make her regal presence felt in the Gr.1 Apple Blossom Stakes at Oaklawn Park. This race seems to bring out the greatest mares of their generation, and so it was in 1988 and 1989 when a red comet of an Irish filly named Invited Guest flashed her brilliance.

Invited Guest placed in two consecutive years in the Gr. 1 Apple Blossom in the midst of a stellar racing career that began with several grade three wins in England and France. She went on to win the Gr.3 Dahlia Handicap, the Gr.2 San Gorgino, and the Gr.3 Golden Poppy Handicap in the US, with a lifetime record of 36 starts, 10-7-3 and earnings of $619,942.To honor Invited Guest today we share a photo taken in all her glory at age eleven as she went through the Keeneland Sale as a broodmare.

Photo courtesy of Gayle Van Leer.

Life is long if you are one of the lucky ones, but Invited Guest nearly outlived her luck. At age twenty- five she was advertised as a giveaway horse, and if that tiny ad had not mentioned her racing career, who knows what cruel fate might have awaited her? But the angels had other plans for Invited Guest, and she is here with us today,a queen in her own right, and a cautionary tale.


Honoring Three Peat

Today as Gary Contessa's good horse with the funny name won the Gr. 3 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct,another good horse with a funny name probably didn't think much about it as he munched grass at Tranquility Farm. Three Peat is one of our senior retirees here, and he has been with us since our doors opened in 1998.

A foal of 1989, Three Peat had a stellar year as a three-year-old, winning the Gr. 3 Bay Shore Stakes in March, running second in the Gr.2 Riva Ridge Handicap in June, going on to defeat Agincourt to win the the Gr.2 Dywer Stakes in July, and then running a close second in the Gr.2 Pat O'Brian Handicap at Del Mar in August. Three Peat raced a total of 20 times, and retired with a record of 6-5-1, and earnings of $324,522. At age 21 Peat is still going strong, an old-school horse who made his money the hard way, and we honor him today as one of the iron warriors of Tranquility Farm.