"Hats Off to the Horses" of Old Friends - Noor, the horse



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Featured Horse


Pedigree: 1945-1974; Black; Sire – Nasrullah; Dam - Queen of Baghdad; Grandsire – Nearco; Damsire – Bahram
Trained by: Frank Butters (1947-48), Burley Parke (1949-50)
Owners: HH Aga Khan III, Charles S. Howard (from October 1949)
Breeder: HH Aga Khan III; Foaled in Ireland
Record: 31: 12-6-6 - $383,968
Major wins - Bretby Nursery Handicap (1947), Diomed Stakes (1948), Great Foal Stakes (1948), Santa Anita Handicap (1950), San Juan Capistrano Handicap (1950), American Handicap (1950), Golden Gate Handicap (1950), Hollywood Gold Cup (1950)
Awards - U.S. Champion Handicap Male Horse (1950)
Honours - United States Racing Hall of Fame (2002)
Ranking - #69 - Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century
The great Noor
The great Noor, sired by Nasrullah out of Queen of Baghdad
Photo courtesy of Charlotte Farmer

Noor halter
Noor halter
Photo courtesy of Charlotte Farmer

Noor, head shot
Noor photo courtesy of Devora Berliner


*Noor and Citation
~ A Rivalry for the Ages ~

Noor and trainer Burley Parke
Noor with trainer Burley Parke

Noor wins the 1950 Santa Anita Handicap
Noor hits the wire first in the 1950 Big 'Cap (Santa Anita Handicap);
Citation, Two Lea and Ponder (Calumet Farms) finish 2-3-4


Noor and Citiation, San Juan Capistrano stretch drive
Noor battles Citation down the stretch in the 1950 San Juan Capistrano

Noor wins San Juan Capistrano!
And it's
Noor by a nose!

Photos courtesy of Devora Berliner, creator of the Noor Facebook page, *Noor: In Memory of a Champion”

Excerpt from
Step and Go Together
- B. K. Beckwith
“’Noor, as he stands today,’ Lou Machado continued, ‘is the best made thoroughbred I’ve ever seen. He has enough of everything in the right places, and not too much of anything.’ We looked at the big stallion as he swung in his paddock, finally pulling up opposite us and nodding his head toward us over the white wall. ‘It is a pleasure for me to be able to sit here and watch him. I never tire of it. He is the perfection of balance and power.'”

We have all heard the stories of great horses and that of their jockeys, but every once in awhile something extraordinary happens between a horse and jockey that puts them in a class above all others. Such was the case between Noor and Johnny Longden.” - Quote courtesy of Charlotte Farmer

Noor with jockey Johnny Longden aboard
Noor photo courtesy of Devora Berliner, creator of the Noor Facebook page, *Noor: In Memory of a Champion”

*Noor's Story
The following written materials were provided courtesy of Charlotte Farmer who brought Noor's remains from Loma Rica Ranch in Grass Valley, California to Old Friends Equine in Georgetown, KY where he was laid to rest. Charlotte's passionate devotion to Noor reminds us all that if we keep on telling the stories of these great champions, they will never die but will live on forever. Thank you, Charlotte!

- Noor was named after one of the most famous diamonds in history, the Kohinoor. Kohinoor means, “mountain of light,” and thus, Noor means “light.” The Kohinoor is set in the Maltese cross at the front of the crown that was made for Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother.

The Kohinoor Diamond - Mountain of Light
The Kohinoor Diamond
Photo courtesy of Charlotte Farmer

- Charles “Seabiscuit” Howard purchased Noor in 1949. He raced briefly in the fall of that year, and then in 1950, slowly and steadily began to catch on to the ways of American racing. This was never more evident than when he raced against the mighty Citation in his first of five races in the San Antonio Handicap. Both were five-year olds and gave rise to one of the most famous rivalries in racing history.

- Noor closed out his career with the running of the $100,000 Hollywood Gold Cup. The sportscasters of the time would declare, “He swept past the greatest field of thoroughbreds ever assembled in one race in the world this year . . . shattered the track record for the mile-and-a-quarter . . .” By winning he became one of only two horses to defeat two Triple Crown winners, 1946 Triple Crown winner Assault and 1948 Triple Crown winner Citation. Chris T. Chenery’s Hill Prince, 1950 Horse of the Year, had beaten Noor in the two-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont earlier in the season; Hill Prince also raced that day. After this win, Noor was named 1950 U. S. Champion Male Handicap Horse of the Year.

Noor wins Hollywood Gold Cup
Noor photos courtesy of Devora Berliner, creator of the Noor Facebook webpage - *Noor: In Memory of a Champion”

- In December of 1951 Noor was sent to Lexington, Kentucky to stand at stud at Charles A. Kenney’s Springside Farm. His stud fee was $3,000.00, and in 1954 it was raised to $3,500.00.

- In 1954, Noor was returned to California residing again at Lin Howard’s Stock Farm in Moorpark. Then, at the age of 19, Noor was moved for the final time to Fred Knoop’s Loma Rica Ranch in Grass Valley, California. Noor passed away on November 16, 1974, at the age of 29, and was buried in the infield of the ranch’s 1/2-mile training track. Dr. Jon Peek, DVM retired, the only living person who was there the day Noor died, identified the approximate location of his grave. With the aid of ground-penetrating radar, Noor’s grave was located on March 16, 2010.

- In 1999, Blood-Horse Magazine released a list of the top 100 Thoroughbred champion racehorses of the 20th Century. Noor is listed 69th, ahead of his rival Hill Prince. In 2002, Noor was inducted into the Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame at Saratoga Springs, New York

- A business park and residential development was planned for the former Loma Rica Ranch. In March 2010, Noor's grave was located and an effort was mounted to ensure that his remains were not disturbed. On August 26, 2011, Noor's remains were exhumed for reburial in Kentucky.

- Noor's remains were reinterred Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at Old Friends Equine in Georgetown, KY. Charlotte Farmer, the woman who led the effort to bring Noor's remains from California to Kentucky, attended. There were readings, stories shared, and one final Call to the Post to honor this great champion.

Special thanks also to Charlotte's Team – Erin Dwyer, Denise Jaffke, Roxann Freitas, Kip Hannan, Ariadne Delon Scott, Kittredge Collins, Eldon and Gary Parke, Karen Goguewho helped bring Noor to Old Friends.

Noor - Old Friends Hall of Fame Cemetery
Noor photo by Wendy Wooley, www.equisportphotos.com

Noor - Old Friends Hall of Fame Cemetery
Charlotte Farmer's special words to Noor...


Please Visit the Noor Facebook page!
For more information on Noor, please visit the Noor Facebook page created by Devora Berliner, “*Noor: In Memory of a Champion
Devora Berliner is the proud owner of a Thoroughbred named Capricious One who has Noor in his bloodline, making her connection even more personal. And her memories of Noor are vivid as she writes, “I remember Noor very well, even though I was just in grade school when I met him. My dad was a huge fan of his and when he was moved to Loma Rica Ranch in Grass Valley (about an hour from where we live) in April 1964, we were there before the end of the month. I'll always remember the look of awe on Daddy's face when farm manager Henry Freitas opened the stall door and turned Noor to face us. He was HUGE to a 4th grader and at first the only thing I saw were his long, black legs. I'd been around horses before, but never a former race horse so I knew how to greet a horse for the first time held my hand out to him, palm up and waited for Noor's reaction. This big, beautiful face reached out and when he was just inches away, he sniffed me. I'll never forget his warm breath on my hand and his very soft nose. I was in love! We made annual visits to Loma Rica after that, and our first stop was always to see Noor. He was calm and very gentle whenever we saw him. He carried himself as if he knew he was special, always looking so regal...”


The great Noor
The great Noor
Photo courtesy of Charlotte Farmer


To place a bid on the “Noor” auction hat or to learn more about Old Friends at Dream Chase Farm, please visit the Old Friends website to access the eBay link or call them at 502-863-1775.
To view the couture Derby hats from previous hat auctions, please click on the following - Old Friends Hat Auction Portfolio

Old Friends

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