Bit by Bit Blog

The Boys Are Back In Town

Unless you've been ignoring social media the last couple of weeks, you have probably noticed the exciting news about our shuttled stallions. Some of racing's top celebrities are finally back home in Horse Country! If you've missed these studs while they were down south (and we are pretty sure you did), it is time to celebrate and welcome them back! American Pharoah, Air Force Blue, Vancouver, Frosted, Medaglio d'Oro, Street Boss, Animal Kingdom, Mshawish, and California Chrome have all settled in back on their respective farms.

Photo: Laura Richard

Photo: Laura Richard

photo: Coolmore Stud

photo: Coolmore Stud

These guys got to spend the last 6 months or so in some incredible destinations like Australia and Chile. #travelgoals! They weren't on vacation though, not entirely at least. There was still work to be done at their temporary homes. Our top stallions were called overseas to do the important job of creating the next generation of great thoroughbreds in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Don't worry though! They were still treated like the champions that they are. They traveled by air (which became routine for them through their racing careers) accompanied by travel buddies and a dedicated staff of grooms and vets whose ultimate goal was to keep them happy and healthy. 

Of course, they had their entourage with them on the way back to their old Kentucky homes and we are pleased to know (although not entirely surprised due to the staff's expertise) that the stallions are settling in just fine to their old stalls, paddocks, and routines.

While we have certainly missed them, absence makes the heart grow fonder and we are beyond excited for all our guests to visit their favorites! American Pharoah, Air Force Blue and Vancouver are back home at Coolmore at Ashford Stud; Frosted, Medaglio d'Oro, Street Boss and Animal Kingdom have returned to Godolphin at Jonabell; and Mshawish and California Chrome are back at it at Taylor Made Farm! Be sure to book your tour so you can welcome them back in person!

Photo: Godolphin at Jonabell

Photo: Godolphin at Jonabell

Photo: Taylor Made Farm

Photo: Taylor Made Farm

Taking It All In Stride

“No foot, no horse.” A pertinent industry saying for Ryan Watson, Darby Dan’s Stallion Manager, as we observed DIALED IN receive his new set of shoes made just for him. The morning began at 8:30am when Stuart Muir, a farrier with Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, pulled off the stallion’s current set, which had only been glued on five weeks prior. The old adhesive was filed away and his hoof was cleaned of mud and debris to make way for his shiny new set. This set, like every other, would be custom tailored to fit DIALED IN’s feet specifically. Using tools that look like they belong on the set of Game of Thrones, Stuart shapes the metal, measures it against the hoof, and shapes it some more. Like a glass slipper, it has to fit perfectly. 

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Now that we have recovered from the holiday weekend and the madness that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we are so pleased to wish everyone a happy and generous #GivingTuesday! Today is a global day of giving fueled by social media and kicks off the charitable season when many focus on gift giving and donations. Last year, the movement generated over $168 million in donations and they are on course to exceed that number! Will you be part of the movement?.

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129 Reasons to Watch the Breeder's Cup


The 34th running of the Breeder's Cup will not be one to miss. This international field of unparalleled depth cultivates two of the most exciting days of thoroughbred racing beginning tomorrow, November 3. The world's top horses will go nose to nose in 13 different races and this year we are up to our withers in greatness with 129 Horse Country connections (possibly even more!) We won't overload you by listing every single one but you can follow our members on social media and celebrate each victory with us!

Lane's End has 17 connections
Pin Oak Stud has 2 connections
Runnymede has 2 connections
Spendthrift has 10 connections
Stonestreet has 8 connections
Taylor Made Farm has 6 connections
Three Chimneys has 5 connections
WinStar Farm has 10 connections
Winter Quarter has 1 connection

Adena Spring has 7 connections
Airdrie Stud has 5 connections
Brookdale has 1 connection
Claiborne has 15 connections
Coolmore at Ashford Stud has 14 connections
Darby Dan has 2 connections
Diamond A has 1 connection
Gainesway has 7 connections
Godolphin at Jonabell has 16 connections

What is a connection exactly? Let's break it down using the Breeder's Cup Classic as an example.

Breeder's Cup Classic:

1. Arrogate
Taylor Made Farm was the home of Unbridled's Song who is Arrogate's sire

2. War Decree
Claiborne Farm is home to War Front who is the sire of War Decree

3. Win The Space
Win The Space was bred by Spendthrift. This is also the home of his dam, Teamgeist. She also once lived at Three Chimneys. His sire, Pulpit, stands at Claiborne Farm.

4. War Story
Northern Afleet, War Story's sire, stands at Taylor Made. Belle Waiting, his dam, lives at Brookdale

5. Gun Runner
Gun Runner is owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Three Chimney's. His sire, Candy Ride, stands at Lane's End

6. Mubtaanij
Mubtaanij is owned by Godolphin

7. Churchill

8. West Coast
West Coast's sire, Flatter, stands at Claiborne. His dam, Caressing, lives at Airdrie Stud

9. Gunnevera
Was sired by Dialed In who stands at Darby Dan

10. Pavel
Pavel was bred by WinStar Farm and was sired by Creative Cause who stands at Airdrie Stud. These two Horse Country members are co-owners of Pavel's dam, Mons Venus.

11. Collected
Collected was bred by Runnymede Farm which is also the home of his dam, Pavel. His sire, City Zip, stood at Lane's End.


10 of the last 20 Classic winners have all been connected to Horse Country members. Will we have another to add to the roster? Tune in this Friday and Saturday to NBC Sports to watch the excitement unfold!

2016 Breeder's Cup Classic

3 Things you don't want to miss on the Man 0'War tour!

It's one thing to hear about the legend of the great Man O'War, but it is an entirely different experience to actually see where he stood at stud. After participating on the Friday tour, there are some key takeaways to look out for if you plan on going to the November 1st special tour- and you should!

  1. The magnificent barn and stunning stall, in which Man O'War lived out his stud career has been fully restored to all of its glory by the current owners Greg and Becky Goodman. This is certainly a site to see, just ask the guests from out first tour who were gasping at how colossal the stall is in person!
  2. After the tour at Mt. Brilliant is concluded, a must-do back at the Kentucky Horse Park is to talk to a gentlemen by the name of Gene Carter. This 90 year old horsemen was the last person to ever ride Man O'War, and he has some of the most fascinating stories for all horse lovers!
  3.  Finally, after a beautiful morning at Mt. Brilliant, make your way to the resting place of Man O'War. His remains were moved here during the mid 1970's. He is now buried in a place of honor near the entrance of the Horse Park marked by Herbert Haseltine's beautiful Man O'War statue. 

Book your spot now before it fills up!

Where in the Bluegrass is the Blue Penguin!?

It’s giveaway time! You’re invited on a social scavenger hunt in the Bluegrass!  


Our friends at 21c Lexington have let the iconic Blue Penguin out for a Horse Country field trip and it’s your job to guess where he will pop up!

Every day Monday Oct, 2 - Friday, Oct 6 we will post on Facebook + Instagram from a different Horse Country location with clues about the penguin’s whereabouts. Simply ‘like’ the post and guess the location in the comments section. For every correct guess submitted through the week, you’ll be entered to win a weekend in Lexington hosted by Horse Country, 21c, and Keeneland! If you guess all six locations correctly, you will get an extra entry in the drawing!

You only have to like the post and guess on ONE social platform – so choose your favorite and guess away!

The contest will run from Monday, October 2 – Friday, October 6, with a Penguin appearance and clues at a different Horse Country location each day.

A winner will be randomly drawn on Monday, October 9 and announced on social media.  The winner will receive:

·        The Kentucky Bred package at 21c on Friday, October 27, including breakfast at Lockbox on October 28

·        Two tickets to a tour at Taylor Made Farm on Saturday, October 28

·         Lunch at Daddy Joe’s following the tour

·         4 General Admission tickets to Keeneland

·        And more!


Good luck and have fun!

The Horse Country Guide to the Keeneland Sale

It's September and in Kentucky that means football, fall foliage, and Thoroughbred Sales!

Sales season kicks off this weekend with the Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase Sunday, September 10, followed by the Keeneland September Yearling Sale that runs September 11-23.

Did you know these sales are open to the public? Even if you can't make one of our Horse Country - Keeneland Sales Tours, you are welcome to visit at any point in the sale. You never know what next great champ you see pass through the sales ring!

New to the sales world and culture? No problem! We've compiled a quick list of some of the most common lingo you may hear through the sales. A review of this and you'll be talking like an industry insider in no time! 

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Get behind the scenes of the Keeneland September Sale

Horse Country, in partnership with Keeneland,  is pleased to  offer guests an opportunity to experience an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the world’s leading Thoroughbred auction house including dedicated guided tour time with real consignors and agents! You can't get this access anywhere else! Be sure to book your visit before this unique opportunity is sold out! 

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If you've never experienced a thoroughbred sale, here are just a few things you might see behind the scenes!

1. The Inside Scoop

In addition to guided visits throughout the grounds including the Keeneland Grandstand, picturesque Paddock, world-renowned Keeneland Sales Pavilion complex - where some of Thoroughbred racing’s greatest horses have been sold - you'll actually get to see what the professionals look for and experience the thrill of the sale from the insider's perspective! Horse Country members Darby Dan, Mill Ridge, and Taylor Made will offer a special portion of the tour from consignor and agent perspectives!

2. Future Champions

The Keeneland September Sale has produced more graded stakes winners than all other sales combined. Some of the most incredible thoroughbreds have stepped foot (or hoof) into that hallowed sales ring. As a matter of fact, during the past decade, Keeneland graduates have accounted for more than half of all winners of the Triple Crown classic races! 

3. Familiar Faces

The Keeneland September Sale brings in, not only impressive horses, but some very notable industry members. The industry's most established breeders, trainers, and medical professionals can be found on Keeneland's ground during these hectic two weeks. But remember that these folks are here to get things done, so be sure to give them their space.

4. History Making Moments

During the two weeks in September, the Keeneland Sales Pavilion is electric with the movement and procurement of some of racing's future stars. From the moment the yearling steps into the sales ring to the moment he leaves, potentially million dollar decisions are made. In 2006, one yearling sold for $11.7 million. The year before, a colt went for $9.7 million. It is something you really have to experience for yourself.

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High Stakes at the Travers Stakes

Happy Travers Stakes weekend! Some may know this race as the mid-summer Derby or the highlight of the summer race meet at Saratoga, but we know it as great racing- especially this year!

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7 Things You Should Know About Saratoga Race Course and its History

We are on the eve of our adventures at Saratoga Race Course and it has inspired to do some digging into the history and stories of one of the oldest race tracks in America. After scanning through countless industry pubs and the official Saratoga website, we found a few that we just had to share!

1. The term "upset", meaning an unexpected defeat of an opponent that's considered to be more formidable, was coined at Saratoga. Man o' War went into the Sanford Stakes in 1919 undefeated and lost to a horse named Upset.

2. Saratoga also holds the ominous nickname "Graveyard of Champions" because of the many upsets that too place on the track Man o' War and Triple Crown winners Gallant Fox and American Pharoah were all defeated at Saratoga.

3. Films such as "Seabiscuit," and "The Horse Whisperer"have scenes filmed at Saratoga. A scene in Ian Fleming's James Bond novel, "Diamonds are Forever," features a scene at the Saratoga Race Course as well!

4. In 1941,  Whirlaway became the only Triple Crown winner to also win the Travers, even to this day.

5. August 2, 1864:  Kentucky wins the first Travers Stakes, the first race held on the new Saratoga Race Course

6. “Health, History, Horses” is the well-known slogan for Saratoga Springs.

7. The current track record for The Whitney is held by Lawyer Ron with a time of 1:46.64 from the 2007 race.

NEW! Shuttle Tours at WinStar Farm!

It is our great pleasure to introduce Shuttle Tours at the wonderful WinStar Farm! 

This new experience includes the hour long tour of the WinStar stallion complex - but doesn't end there! As a guest, you will aboard a brand new electric shuttle that will take you through the mares & foals division of the farm, while your guide shares more history of the property, the business, and day-to-day operations. 

These new tours are available Wednesdays and Saturdays (March-October) at 11:30am and are approximately two hours in length. Get ready for a very special experience with unique photo ops and a behind the scenes peek into this amazing location!  


Book your tour now!

Ali Goes to Saxony

The day had finally come…it was time to head to Lexington for one of my favorite times of the year, Keeneland opening weekend. I spent most of my Friday afternoon taking in all of the racing action at opening day of Keeneland, and planned to do the same on Saturday.Early Saturday morning I just couldn’t resist the urge any longer and hopped on Horse Country to book an early morning visit to a farm. After doing some research, I decided to visit Saxony Farm.

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Ali Goes to Runnymede

Whenever I think of Runnymede Farm, I think of the word passion. Passion for their clients, and passion for their horses.Spend one minute talking with Chief Executive Officer of Runnymede, Brutus Clay, and you will see the passion first-hand.

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