Any Given Saturday arrives at Old Friends. Photo by Rick Capone.
Any Given Saturday has been repatriated to the United States from South Korea to spend his retirement at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, Ky., founder and president of Old Friends, Michael Blowen, announced Monday.
The son of Distorted Humor–Weekend in Indy, by A.P. Indy had been purchased by the Korea Thoroughbred Breeders Association in 2014 and was relocated to South Korea where he has been for the last nine years.
The 19-year-old dark bay Thoroughbred recently flew home and underwent the standard quarantine procedure at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital before arriving at Old Friends this afternoon.
Bred by WinStar’s Racehorse Management, Any Given Saturday was foaled Jan. 29, 2004 in Kentucky. He was sent through the 2005 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, but was purchased back by WinStar for $1.1 million.
He began his racing career for WinStar as a 2-year old in 2006, and promptly won his first two starts, a maiden special weight race and an allowance race. He finished his first year with a second in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs.
As a 3-year old in 2007, he opened his season with a win in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (Listed) at Tampa Bay Downs for his first stakes win. WinStar then privately sold an interest in the bay stallion to Padua Stables.
Later that season, he also scored three consecutive wins, which included the biggest win of his career, the Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1), which he won by 4-1/2 lengths for his first Grade 1 victory. In that race, he defeated graded stakes winner Hard Spun, and the soon to be named 2007 Horse of the Year, Curlin. Following the race, Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum’s Darley Stud privately purchased Any Given Saturday.
The other two races in his 2007 win streak were the Dwyer Stakes (G2) and the Brooklyn Handicap (G2). In addition, that year, he also finished second in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3), third in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1), eighth in the Kentucky Derby (G1), and sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (G1).
Following the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Sheikh Mohammed chose to retire the horse instead of continuing his racing career due to possible health issues. Any Given Saturday was retired with six wins, two seconds, one third, and $1,083,533 in earnings in 11 career starts.
Any Given Saturday began his stud career in 2008 at Darley, before going to Pin Oak Lane Farm in Pennsylvania for the 2014 season. He was then purchased in 2017 by the Korea Thoroughbred Breeders Association (KTBA) and was relocated to South Korea for the 2015 breeding season.
Any Given Saturday had a very successful stud career. His progeny included undefeated Princess Arabella, one of the nation’s top fillies in 2012 until her career was cut short due to injury; Cristina’s Journey and Hoppertunity, both multiple graded-stakes winners; 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner, Mongolian Saturday; and Hey Leroy, winner of the 2014 Appleton Stakes (G3).
In 2023, Any Given Saturday was pensioned and, following discussions with Blowen, he was returned to the United States to live out his retirement at Old Friends.
Jun Park, Bloodstock Agent for the Korea Thoroughbred Breeders Association, who was not only responsible for working out the details of getting Any Given Saturday sent to South Korea, but was also instrumental in helping bring the horse home to the United States and to Old Friends. He has visited the horse at Rood & Riddle, and is very happy to see him back in the United States.
“I was so excited to see him at the stall at the clinic,” he said. “I mean, he went to Korea a long time ago, and he came back here and it’s good to see him back.”
When asked why he helped retire the horse at Old Friends, he said, “(Michael) has been (doing an) excellent job since he founded the farm. I mean, the horses are happy out there, (and) racing fans are still able to see the horses. And, that’s great.”
“We are very grateful to the KTBA for donating Any Given Saturday to Old Friends,” said Blowen. “It’s a great example of how we can all work together for the betterment of these invaluable athletes. I can’t wait to feed him a Mrs. Pastures’ horse cookie.”