• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Hidden Lake: Remembering a great champion

HIDDEN LAKE (1993-2016) looks around her new home on the day she arrived at Old Friends Retirement Farm in Georgetown in January 2009. (Photo by Rick Capone)

On Thursday, Sept. 29, Hidden Lake, the 1997 Eclipse Award Champion Older Mare, died at Old Friends. She was 23. Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends, attributed her death to infirmities of old age. Hidden Lake, who was by Quiet American-Friendly Circle, by Round Table, was bred and foaled at Nuckols Farm in Midway on April 2, 1993. She broke her maiden at Del Mar as a 2-year-old and was stakes placed throughout her 3-year-old season. It was during her 4-year-old season, however, that she made her mark on horse racing when she won four-graded stakes; three of them Grade 1 stakes. One of those wins came in the Go for Wand Stakes (G1) at Saratoga where she battled so hard to get the win that she nearly collapsed from heat exhaustion after crossing the finish line. Her jockey, Richard Migliore, said of her win that day, “She reached down and found something that wasn’t there. That’s what champions do.” Migliore considers her win in the Go for Wand one of the most memorable of his career. Owned and campaigned by Robert Clay and Tracy Farmer, Hidden Lake ended her career with seven wins, four seconds, and six thirds in 22 starts and $947,489 in earnings. She arrived at Old Friends in January 2009 thanks to then-owner Robert S. Evans, and became a favorite of Old Friends’ volunteer and board member, Barbara Fossum, who said of her favorite horse, “Hidden Lake defined bravery, determination and courage. She was dignified and generous to those who loved her – demanding and all heart. She personified everything an Eclipse Champion should be.”

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