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Old Friends’s “Lava Luau” Postponed. Lava Man Arrival Now Set for June

GEORGETOWN, KY— MARCH 11, 2009 —Michael Blowen, president and founder of the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility Old Friends, announced today that the arrival of racing legend Lava Man would be delayed.

The seven-time Grade 1 winner was expected at the Georgetown, KY farm this week, and a public celebration was scheduled for April 2. This will now be postponed until sometime in June.

Co-owners STD Racing Stables (Steve, Tracy, and Dave Kenly) and Jason Wood made a commitment to pension their star with Old Friends last fall after he retired from the track with over $5.2 million in earnings due to ankle problems. In these past months it became apparent that Lava Man’s injuries proved more problematic. His owners have taken every precaution to improve his health and well being before his journey east, thus insuring a long and comfortable retirement at Old Friends.

The 8-year-old gelding has been undergoing cutting-edge stem cell treatments at the Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center to improve his ankle issues. “The procedure is designed to regenerate cartilage,” says Steve Kenly. “Hopefully, it will make him sound for the rest of his life. We brought him to Alamo Pintado for diagnosis last year, and they recommended this new method,” adds Kenly. “And who better to do it on than a horse that has some recognition?”

So far the prognosis is excellent. “He seems to be thriving,” says Kenly. “He appears pain free and, physically, he’s never looked better.” Lava Man is recovering at Magali Farms in Santa Ynez, CA, where his care has been “outstanding,” Kenly notes.

“I know this will disappoint many of his fans who made travel plans to visit him at Old Friends on April 2,” said Blowen. “And, of course, we’d love to have him sooner rather than later. But not if it means reducing his chances for a retirement that we all hope will be as long, or longer, than that other great claimer, John Henry.

“The Kenlys and the Woods and everyone associated with this spectacular athlete have made all the right choices since his retirement last year,” continued Blowen. “We thank them for taking such great care of Lava Man. We apologize for any inconvenience,” he adds, “but we’d like everyone to remember that it’s never about us, it’s about the horse.”

The Lava Man celebration will be rescheduled. If you already made reservations for the ‘Lava Luau” scheduled for April 2nd, please contact Old Friends at 502-863-1775 for further information.


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