An Improbable Story

An Improbable Story

If you’ve been around the horse biz for very long, you know it’s FULL of improbabilities and that’s part of what makes it so much fun and, at times, so frustrating. Well, sit back and we’ll tell you our new/old Improbable Story…. It starts in the early 1970s when a horse named Brigadier Gerard won seventeen of his eighteen career races to be rated by some as the best racehorse trained in Britain in the 20th century.  Sadly, he did not replicate himself at stud, except that a son of his named General (FR) showed promise at 2 and caught the eye of one Diane Perkins. When General (FR) did not run on, she was able to purchase  him and he made his way to stud in Argentina. There General (FR) bred a mare recently purchased by Peter and Diane Perkins via their San Francisco de Pila farm near Buenos Aires, and on October 1, 1980 Lord At War was foaled. Lord At War (ARG) was undefeated in three starts in his native Argentina, culminating with a win in the Gran Premio Joaquin S. Anchorena going a mile on the turf.   He was not only making his stakes debut, but he was making his second start in just eight days, and was a 3-year-old running against older horses in the most important mile race of the Argentine calendar!  As a result, he was the Champion Miler of Argentina for 1983. The Perkinses brought their star to North America to be trained by the great Charlie Whittingham. Lord At War (ARG) raced on dirt and turf and won or placed in...
Bourbon County Wins Big at Belmont

Bourbon County Wins Big at Belmont

Two horses raised right here in Bourbon County, Kentucky won their very first Grade I stakes in VERY different fashion on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park in New York City. One was a longshot running in his first G1 race at age 5.  One was a $1.2 million yearling vindicating his big ticket purchase price in the classic Belmont-G1. One was rewarding his breeder’s faith in him, after his breeder bred, foaled, raised him and invested four years of training bills in a gelding who required five starts to break his maiden. One was rewarding his owners’ faith in him, after they banded together to be able to afford him at the uber elite Saratoga Yearling Sale and invested $1.2 million to purchase him, only to watch him run 10th in his career debut a year later at Saratoga. What they share is Bourbon County roots, and the joyful support of hundreds of Bourbon Countians who labor in various aspects of the Thoroughbred horse business.  They all experience sooooo many ups and downs that they truly exult when a fellow Bourbon Countian gets to enjoy the view from the top of the heap. The big ticket 3-year-old winner of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes is TAPWRIT, the third son of Tapit to win the Belmont in the last four years.  He was raised at Craig and Holly Bandoroff’s Denali Stud under the care of the excellent team led by Gary L. Bush.  Denali also had the responsibility and accomplishment of sending him through the Saratoga Yearling Auction.  Selling a big ticket yearling is not like selling an expensive piece of jewelry.  These young...
Historic Downtown Paris, KY

Historic Downtown Paris, KY

Virtually all of downtown Paris, Kentucky is a 96-acre Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the town features the eight-member Paris Antiques & Gallery District, a Walking Tour of historic buildings, the nationally accredited Wallis Arboretum, the award-winning Hopewell Museum, the oldest standing tavern (Duncan Tavern) in the state of Kentucky, a micro-brewery, a micro-distillery, more than ten downtown restaurants and a dozen boutiques for guaranteed friendly shopping. Amy Hess, of KET’s Kentucky Life, visited Paris last fall.  See the friendly, beautiful and fun result...
Silver Charm Arrives at Three Chimneys in 1999

Silver Charm Arrives at Three Chimneys in 1999

For 18 years, I was the Communications and Marketing Director at Three Chimneys and had the honor of helping welcome 1997 Kentucky Derby Silver Charm to his new home in July of 1999.  I was so “taken” with him and the experience that I sat down late in the day after he arrived and wrote the following.  This week marks the first Kentucky Derby since his return to the United States from Japan, his trainer (Bob Baffert) has the two favorites for this year’s race (American Pharoah and Dortmund), and Charm’s reunion with Gary Stevens will be part of the Derby coverage, so Lyra thought you’d enjoy the following…. It’s exciting anytime a new stallion arrives at the farm… a new career for him, a new patriarch for us.  The Sallee Van pulls up, the big door is opened, the ramp extended and the new kid on the block takes his first tentative or, sometimes, aggressive steps on to Three Chimneys soil. But this time was different.  I wasn’t a part of Three Chimneys when Seattle Slew arrived, so nothing had prepared me for this day. We didn’t have much time to ready a red carpet for Silver Charm.  We only learned late Sunday afternoon that he would be arriving between 1:30 and 2:00 the next afternoon – Monday of the July Sales.  The other members of the Three Chimneys team covered for me at the sales and I went to the office Monday morning to fax notice to the local media that the Third Leading Moneywinner in history would be arriving in Midway in less than five hours....
More Bourbon County Historic Sites

More Bourbon County Historic Sites

It’s APRIL and things are hopping in the Bluegrass!  You can always tell when Keeneland is getting ready to open by how there are soooooo many more people in Downtown Paris…and they come from all over the world.  Literally.  The Guesthouse at Rosecrest Farm is fully booked for the month of April, most of the people who come in to Loch Lea Antiques are looking for horse items, and there’s lots of excitement about “Who will make the Kentucky Derby.” People talk about what a big deal it is going to be to have the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland this November, and it is a great thing, but they don’t realize what a huge deal every April is!  Keeneland hosted 270,093 people at the 2014 Spring Meet, and 251,574 last Fall.  The Breeders’ Cup is going to sell 28,000 reserve tickets for each of the two days of Breeders’ Cup races this year…..which would put this fall with the Breeders’ Cup only 10 percent ahead of last spring’s meet! My point is that Keeneland and the lead-up to the Kentucky Derby is a big, big, BIG deal economically for the Bluegrass every April.  It’s spread out over the entire month, and some people come year, after year, after year.  We love it. So here’s some more information for you about those 25 Historic Highway Markers in Paris and Bourbon County.  The Guesthouse at Rosecrest Farm is located in the southern half of the county, and I’ll tell you about the four located in that part of the county.  Click here by the way, if you’d like to go back to our first posting about the...