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Greentree Stable

Greentree Stable
Former type Thoroughbred Racing Stable &
Horse breeding Farm
Industry Thoroughbred Horse racing
Founded 1914
Defunct 1989
Headquarters Red Bank, New Jersey
Key people Payne Whitney
(owner 1914-1927)
Helen Hay Whitney
(owner 1927-1944)
Joan & Jock Whitney
(co-owners, 1944-1982)
Divisions Aiken, South Carolina
(training center)
Lexington, Kentucky
(breeding farm)

Greentree Farm in Lexington, Kentucky was an American thoroughbred horse racing stable and breeding business that was established in 1914 by Payne Whitney of the prominent Whitney family of New York City.

Payne Whitney operated an equestrian estate and stable at Saratoga Springs, New York with his brother Harry Payne Whitney who also had a very large stable of horses. The permanent Greentree Stable was in Red Bank, New Jersey with a training base at Aiken, South Carolina while Greentree Farm in Lexington, Kentucky was established in 1925 as a breeding operation.

After Whitney's steeplechase horse won the 1911 Greentree Cup race at Great Neck, New York, it was decided to use the Greentree name for several of their properties. Following Payne Whitney's death in 1927, his widow, Helen Hay Whitney, took over. With her children, John Hay Whitney and Joan Whitney Payson they continued to build on the stable's past success.

Jockey George Woolf on the Greentree Stables colt, Devil Diver

The business enjoyed great success, its horses winning numerous important steeplechase and flat races throughout the United States. As part of a program honoring important horse racing tracks and racing stables, the Pennsylvania Railroad named its baggage car #5859 the " Greentree Stable ".

In January of 1928, Thomas W. Murphy, a renowned trainer in harness racing, became head trainer for Greentree Stable. Murphy stayed until the end of the 1930 Pimlico Fall meet and was replaced by James G. Rowe, Jr. [1]

Trained by James Rowe, Jr., Whitney Stables' colt, "Twenty Grand" earned the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year in 1931 and would be inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame trainer John M. Gaver, Sr., who won the Belmont Stakes for the stable three times, trained Devil Diver, Champion Handicap Horse for 1943 and 1944 and 1953 Horse of the Year, Tom Fool. Both horses were also voted into the racing Hall of Fame.

Racing in Helen Whitney's name, she won the American Grand National four times (1926, 1927, 1928, 1937). Her horse Jolly Roger, who won the Grand National twice, was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1965.

Greentree Stable also had steeplechase horses, one of which won the 1946 American Grand National Steeplechase. Other steeplechase horses raced in England and Ireland.

With the passing of John and Joan Whitney, in 1989 their heirs sold the Kentucky property to its current owners, Gainesway Farm. The equestrian estate in Saratoga Springs was put up for sale in 2005.

U.S. Triple Crown race winners:


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