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Kentucky: a road trip through the state - Part 27 - Orlando / Florida Guide

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Now if you are really into thoroughbred horses then you might want to arrange something more special. Most of the living Kentucky Derby Winners are retired to Bluegrass farms in the area. So what I have listed here are the farms and studs of living Derby winners that allow tourists. If you want to tour just one farm or several, the following are some excellent choices. You have to purchase in advance and all the places do their booking through a central point which makes it easier for both them and you. The web site for this is ‘visithorsecountry. com’ and it’s your one stop shop.

One thing you should bear in mind when you organise a trip like this is the increasing number of stallions that take break to the Southern hemisphere after the Kentucky breeding season ends. When I say take a break it’s much more of a working holiday for them. So if your trip takes place from July through January then they may not be at home.

So the top four farms or studs locally are :-

Ashford Stud, near Versailles, is the home of 2015 Derby winner American Pharaoh, 2000 Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, as well as 1995 Derby winner Thunder Gulch. Giant' s Causeway also lives here and is currently charged out at a stud fee of $100, 000. Tours are only available from Monday through Friday at 3 p. m.

WinStar Farm is very large at around 1, 800 acres. It has divisions for stallions, broodmares, foals and yearlings as well as a racing stable. WinStar bred the 2010 Kentucky Derby Winner Super Saver. Tours start at the new Stallion barn and are normally run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 2 p. m.

Three Chimneys Farm is in Woodford County, west of Lexington, and is thought by many to be one of the world' s finest horse farms. Three Chimneys offers tours of their Stallion Division only in the months of April and October and then only on Tuesday through Saturday. The April tours begin start at 1 pm and the October tours start at 10 am.

Claiborne Farm, north of Lexington near Paris, has had a big influence on the Thoroughbred industry. It has been owned by generations of the Hancock family and has a number of claims to fame. The tour includes a simple tombstone that marks the grave of the Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winner. Many consider this to be the greatest race horse of all time with a life size bronze statue erected at the home of the Derby. The 2013 Kentucky Derby Winner Orb is also at stud here. He lost his first three races and then won the next five consecutive races which culminated with the Kentucky Derby.
Tours are given seven days a week at 10 a. m. except during the Keeneland sales.

The next section of our trip continues in part 28 when I will look at some of the farm that do not have Derby winners on them.

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