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Friday, July 02, 2010

Rest in Peace: Champion Black Tie Affair Lost to Laminitis

Black Tie Affair, originally uploaded by

The sad news from Kentucky is that Black Tie Affair was humanely destroyed yesterday. Apparently he had been suffering from laminitis.

Black Tie Affair was Horse of the Year and won the Breeders Cup Classic back in 1991--which seems like just yesterday. He was bred in Ireland, raced out of Chicago, and stood at stud in Japan, among other places.

But he had the good fortune to end up at Old Friends, a retirement for horses outside Lexington, Kentucky. According to their Facebook page, when he arrived at the farm, he suffered terribly from melanoma and arthritis; apparently laminitis was a problem for some or all of the time as well.

Black Tie Affair was one of those horses that inspires his fans. He ran better than you thought he could. He was tenacious. And he was a beautiful gray streak to watch among all the bays and chestnuts on the track, especially that day when he won the Breeders Cup Classic.

I remember that Black Tie Affair was shod by Joe Trhlik at Arlington Park back in the 1990s.

I heard a quote just today and put it on my Facebook page earlier. Little did I know it would come back to haunt me: "A racehorse is an animal that can take several thousand people for a ride at the same time." It's from the soon-to-be-published book, Secretariat's Meadow.

Black Tie Affair took millions of us for a great ride. A ride that ended Thursday. Laminitis did it again.

Thanks to Kate Hunter of Keiblog, one of our Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance affiliates, for posting this amazing (and bloggable) photo of Black Tie Affair. It was taken about three weeks ago at Old Friends.