Old Friends, the nonprofit thoroughbred retirement center, has been chosen to receive the Special Eclipse Award for 2014 for its work involving thoroughbreds after their racing careers are over.
The honor will be presented during the 44th annual Eclipse Awards on Saturday, Jan. 17 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
Michael Blowen, the former Boston Globe film critic, began Old Friends in 2003 and currently cares for more than 150 rescued and retired horses in Georgetown, Kentucky.
"This is just unbelievable," Blowen said. "We started with one horse just over 10 years ago and now we have 166 retirees. We have several Eclipse Award winners already at the farm; I can't wait to show them mine!
"It allows us to take other horses that really didn't do as much but deserve a retirement just as well. I want people to come away with really good feelings about the sport of horse racing because I adore it and we've made some inroads in that direction."
Last year's honoree was Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance which provides a similar service.
The Eclipse Awards are voted on by the NTRA, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters.