Off-Track Thoroughbred Bawana Jake to Portray Man o’ War in Kentucky Horse Park’s Celebration

March 27, 2017
Contact: Susanna Thomas

Off-Track Thoroughbred Bawana Jake to Portray Man o’ War in Kentucky Horse Park’s Celebration

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Lexington, KY--The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is pleased to announce the selection of Bawana Jake, an off-track Thoroughbred available for adoption through the MMSC, as the official Man o’ War look-a-like for the Kentucky Horse Park’s year-long Man O’ War celebration.

The celebration, entitled Man o’ War: The Mostest Horse That Ever Was, begins on Wednesday, March 29, Man o’ War’s 100th birthday, and will include events such as a special museum exhibit featuring never before seen artifacts, Man o’ War-themed horse farm tours, and special performances in the Parade of Breeds show.

Bawana Jake, an 11-year-old gelding by Forestry out of Starship Miss, will be portraying Man o’ War in the Parade of Breeds shows. A striking chestnut like the great horse himself as well as a descendent of Man o’ War through his dam line, Jake will show audiences how Man o’ War lives on today in today’s racehorses and sporthorses, such as the most recent Triple Crown champion American Pharoah and Blackfoot Mystery, a Kentucky-bred Thoroughbred who finished 16th in the 2016 Rio Olympics in the sport of eventing.

“Man o’ War is a true American icon, born in Kentucky before going on to capture the country’s imagination by winning 20 of 21 races, smashing records and setting the bar that all other Thoroughbreds are measured by,” says Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director Laura Prewitt. “The story of Man o’ War is truly a remarkable one, and our goal is to celebrate his life and equally encourage visitors to experience all that the Kentucky Horse Park has to offer.”

Bawana Jake, along with many other descendents of Man O’War, finished his racing career and is looking for a second career and a loving home through the retraining and rehoming program at the MMSC. “Although he didn’t inherit his forebear’s famous speed, Jake is champion in his own right,” says MMSC Executive Director Susanna Thomas. “Thoroughbreds retired from racing are versatile and athletic, and their large hearts and quick minds enable them to excel in a variety of disciplines. Our job at the MMSC is to herald their innate talents and place them in loving homes where they can blossom into the champions they were born to be.”


The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is a premier non-profit re-schooling facility and showcase for adoptable Thoroughbreds. Founded in 2004, the MMSC uses its illustrious location in the Kentucky Horse Park to herald the athleticism of this amazing breed by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels of ability so they can go on to be ambassadors for racehorses in new careers. The initial funding came from Maker’s Mark, Keeneland Race Course, and private donors. Today the MMSC is supported solely by donations, grants, and adoption fees. Director Susanna Thomas brought the Horse Centered Reschooling Program to the MMSC. It is a holistic interdisciplinary training program compromised of three distinct phases: body, spirit, and mind. Potential adopters must fill out an application and when approved come to the MMSC to try the horse/s to make sure that the fit between horse and adopter is a good one. The MMSC is open to the public and welcomes visitors. For more information visit and follow the MMSC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm/theme park and equine competition facility dedicated to man's relationship with the horse. The park is an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and hosted more than 800,000 visitors and campers, as well as 18,400 competition horses in more than 200 special events and horse shows in 2015. The park is home to the National Horse Center, which comprises more than 30 national and regional equine organizations.  Located at Exit 120, Interstate 75, just north of Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is THE place to get close to horses. Information about the park’s programs and activities may be found on-line at, and on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram and Periscope.