GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — On Wednesday at Old Friends Farm, a renowned athlete celebrated his 30th birthday.
That athlete is Alphabet Soup, a horse known for setting the track record at Woodbine during the 1996 Breeder's Cup. In the process of breaking the track record, Alphabet Soup also defeated the best horse in the world at the time, Cigar.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 🎂Old Friends is celebrating Alphabet Soup’s 30th birthday! Alphabet Soup is best known for setting the track record at Woodbine during the ‘96 Breeders’ Cup, defeating the best horse in the world, Cigar. @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/y6umqR608t— Jacqueline Nie (@JacquelineMNie) March 31, 2021
"It was a cold afternoon that day up in Toronto," Jockey Chris McCarron reflected. "I thought I had three or four really good chances to win a race that day but I blanked up until the classic. I felt dejected a little bit after the race right before Alphabet Soup's race, and I was like 'Oh man, I only have one more chance to win.'"
Sure enough, 'Soup' pulled it off. Years later, Soup is now retired and spends his days roaming the fields at Old Friends Farm.
"He survived cancer, he is an amazing fighter," Old Friends Farm President Michael Blowen said. "These horses show you so much in retirement about what kind of character they have, and they're all different and he is spectacular."
According to Blowen, Soup would be 98 in human years. Instead of a big party, Old Friends Farm held a drawing and chose 15 fans to invite to the farm. Soup celebrated his 30th birthday with fans from across the country and his best friend Gorgeous George by his side.
"(They) just live out their lives in peace, serentity and lots of joy," McCarron said.