Star Plus Dies at Old Friends

Argentinian Group 1 winner Star Plus (Arg) (Alpha Plus–Nannar {Arg}), by Big Play) died Saturday following a paddock accident at Old Friends retirement facility in Georgetown. The 20-year-old had been at Old Friends for 11 years.

Following a win in the 2007 G1 Joaquin S. deAnchorena, Star Plus was purchased by Earle Mack to race in the United States, where his best finishes were a runner-up effort in the 2008 GIII Turfway Park Fall Championship S. and an allowance victory at Keeneland.

Star Plus suffered a major ankle injury and Mack’s intention was to retire the bay in 2010 when he sold him to a small breeding operation with the stipulation he would not race again. However, the new owner returned the Group 1 winner to the track where he raced four times at three different tracks, Mt. Pleasant, Mountaineer, and Parx Racing, and finished last in all four races, despite Mack’s letters informing the track’s of the horse’s condition.

Mack took matters into his own hands, and after the horse’s fourth race, an allowance optional claiming race at Parx Racing on Jan. 28, 2012, negotiations were held, and with the help of some others, Mack purchased Star Plus back.

Mack then made arrangements with Blowen and donated his horse to Old Friends to enjoy his well-earned retirement. Star Plus arrived at the farm later in 2012, along with a generous donation by Mack to Old Friends to ensure the care of his horse.

“Star Plus was so much fun,” said Old Friends founder Michael Blowen. “We ran together (he always won, of course) and he seemed overjoyed with himself. Smart. Whimsical. Carefree. In short, a great role model.”

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