Current Auction Hat
“Touch Gold” Hat
For the ninth consecutive year, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® of Cape Cod and Old Friends of Kentucky are teaming up again for an unparalleled online shopping experience that began January 1st with their "Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby" auction. This unique Derby hat fundraiser is an annual event which features one-of-a-kind couture Derby hats created and donated by Sally Faith Steinmann of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit the retired racehorses of Old Friends.
The second Derby hat up for bid in our 2018 auction series honors Kentucky-bred, Touch Gold. The 24 year-old son of Deputy Minister is perhaps best known for his thrilling victory in the 1997 Belmont Stakes over the much-favored Triple Crown hopeful, Silver Charm.
In 2015 Touch Gold was retired to Old Friends in Kentucky thanks to the generosity of owner Frank Stronach. As luck would have it, Old Friends is also home to Touch Gold's old rival, Silver Charm!
In an April 7, 2016 America's Best Racing article by Melissa Bauer-Herzog (“Catching up with Touch Gold”), President and Founder of Old Friends Michael Blowen stated, “I love Touch Gold, he’s the fastest horse on the farm.”
Bond continued, “The excitement of this group is contagious; they love horses as I do. Their main concern is first and foremost that the horse is okay. He’s a neat horse to be around and I think he feels the vibes of all the love that surrounds him. Those people all helped to mold him.”
When I asked Beth Shannon, volunteer at Old Friends, her impression of Touch Gold she responded, “He's the ultimate tough guy with a heart of pure gold. He's fierce, he's feisty, he's rough, and he's loving.”
After an early lead in the race, jockey Chris McCarron settled Touch Gold back behind the leaders. At the top of the stretch they were still fourth off the lead as the crowd rose to their feet in the hope of seeing Silver Charm make racing history. But a bold move by McCarron guiding his mount to the far outside of the front runners allowed Touch Gold just the opportunity he needed to dig down and find another gear. The duo surged past them all and crossed the finish line three-quarters of a length ahead of Silver Charm!
In a June 8, 2018 New York Times article by Joseph Durso, Silver Charm's jockey Gary Stevens stated, ''I saw a shadow out of the corner of my eye. It was Touch Gold, and Silver Charm never saw him.'' In that same article Silver Charm's trainer, Bob Baffert stated, ''And when Silver Charm got a head in front in the stretch, he thought they were done. But he forgot that Touch Gold was out there too.''
The foundation of the wide brim design was created out of soft blue dupioni silk.
The edge of the brim was trimmed with a unique, asymmetrical double organza ruffled brim edge. Created out of alternating layers of black and chocolate organza, the resulting look conveys the movement of the Thoroughbred athlete at full gallop.
A thin strip of fancy black braiding was then top stitched to the ruffled brim edges to give it a finished look.
For the trim centerpiece a single large rose was sculpted out of swirling layers of pale blue, aqua blue and gold organza and placed along the front crown of the hat. A shiny black button framed in gold was stitched to the center of the rose.
The rose was then framed with a medley of sheer black silk organza and gold organza leaves, then topstitched with gold embroidery thread.
Fabric “feathers”, a MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® trademark, were fashioned in varying sizes out of black and gold organza and layered and shaped to add a splash of dramatic detail to the floral trim.
As you can see the hat, like the horse, is bold and stunning from every angle!
An elegant sash, created out of chocolate crinkle taffeta encircles the crown of the hat.
A large black pebble button was added to the back of the hat for the finishing touch.
The lining for the “Touch Gold” hat was created from a rich brown satin to coordinate with the trims.
The finished “Touch Gold” hat design measures approximately 25 inches across, inclusive of the ruffled brim and silk “feathers”.
As a physical remembrance of Touch Gold, several strands of his tail hair were braided and woven into the trim of the hat, creating a unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau that captures Touch Gold not only in spirit but in substance as well.
The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Touch Gold and all of the horses who, thanks to the generosity of those who support their aftercare, now graze in the warm sunshine of Dream Chase Farm for the rest of their lives.
"Sally Faith Steinmann's works of millinery art have raised thousands of dollars and a priceless amount of awareness for all these great retired athletes. Their stunning beauty and indescribable originality symbolize what one great artist can do to positively alter the lives of so many deserving athletes." - Michael Blowen, President and founder of Old Friends
Hats Off to you, Touch Gold!
To read more about Touch Gold, the horse, please click on the following link - Featured Horse.
Bid as many times and on as many hats as you like during this running auction. For further information about the eBay bidding process, please contact Old Friends at 502-863-1775. If you don't desire to place a bid on a hat, please contact Old Friends to see about what other ways you might be able to help out at Dream Chase Farm.
Freight charges will be at the expense of the winning bidder. Winning bidders, please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery of your hat in order to ensure proper sizing.
To view the couture Derby hats from previous auctions, please click on the following - Old Friends Hat Auction Portfolio.