Eclipse Champion Hidden Lake, Dead at 23

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Hidden Lake at Old Friends. (Photo by Peggy Maness)

GEORGETOWN, KY – SEPTEMBER 29, 2016 – Eclipse Champion and multiple grade-one winner Hidden Lake has died. The 23-year-old daughter of Quiet American was euthanized this morning at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, where she had been pensioned since 2009.

Michael Blowen, founder and President of Old Friends, made the announcement of her passing this afternoon and attributed her death to infirmities of old age.

Owned and campaigned by Robert N. Clay and Tracy Farmer for three seasons, Hidden Lake (Quiet American – Friendly Circle, Round Table) broke her maiden at Del Mar as a 2-year-old and was stakes placed throughout her 3-year-old year.

But it was during her 4-year-old season, after moving to the East Coast, that the mare truly made her mark. In 1997 Hidden Lake captured four graded stakes, three of them Grade 1s, including the Hempstead Handicap at Belmont and the spectacular Go for Wand at Saratoga, a formidable performance after which she nearly collapsed from heat exhaustion.

At the time her jockey, Richard Migliore, summed up her greatness of spirit: In the Go for Wand “she reached down and found something that wasn’t there. That’s what champions do.” He has called her victory one of his most memorable career wins.

Hidden Lake came back strong three months later to win The GR1 Beldame and was also a contender in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff where she finished 7th. Following her banner season Hidden Lake received the Eclipse Award as Champion Older Mare and retired shortly thereafter with 22 starts, seven wins, and career earnings of $947,489.

She did become a broodmare but had increasing difficulty carrying foals to terms. In 2009 then-owner Robert S. Evans donated Hidden Lake to Old Friends.

“Hidden Lake defined bravery, determination, and courage,” said Old Friends board member Barbara Fossum, who cared for the mare regularly at the farm. “She was dignified and generous to those who loved her–demanding and all heart,” she added. “She personified everything an Eclipse Champion should be.”

“Hidden Lake was all class,” said Blowen. “especially at the end. Her courage and fortitude were unmatched while on the track and off.”
For additional information contact Old Friends at (502) 863-1775.

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Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 160 retired racehorses. It’s Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has two satellite facilities: Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division in Greenfield Center, N.Y., and at Old Friends at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, KY. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.