|Breeder||John M. Clay|
|Owner||August Belmont, Jr.|
|Record||23 Starts: 21 – 0 - 0|
|Kentucky is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Magnolia by Lexington. He was born around 1861 in USA, and was bred by John M. Clay.|
Travers Stakes (1864)|
Saratoga Cup (1864, 1865)
Sequel Stakes (1864)
Grand National Handicap (1866)
|United States Racing Hall of Fame (1983)|
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
|Last updated on November 12, 2008|
Kentucky (foaled 1861, died 1875), was an American Thoroughbred racehorse by the foundation stallion Lexington, born in the year that great stud produced three foals who would each become one of the best race horses in America: Norfolk, Asteroid and Kentucky himself. Norfolk and Asteroid went undefeated throughout their racing careers, and one of the few horses who ever beat Kentucky was Norfolk.
Kentucky's dam was the foundation broodmare, Magnoia by the great British champion Glencoe, by then standing in the state of Kentucky at the Nantura Stock Farm of John Harper. His sire line was that of King Herod.
A rangy bright bay with a narrow strip and white off fore pastern, Kentucky was owned by John Hunter, one of the founders of the Saratoga Race Course as well as co-owner, and the first chairman of The Jockey Club.
Probably trained by A.J. Minor (the facts are unclear), Kentucky won his one and only two-year-old start. At age three, racing for John Hunter, Travers, and George Osgood, he lost his second start in the inaugural Jersey Derby coming in fourth to Norfolk, but after that he was the winner of 20 consecutive races, including the first Travers Stakes in 1864 and the first two runnings of the Saratoga Cup when it was set at a distance of 2 1/4 miles. He also won the very first Inaugural Stakes in 4 mile heats when Jerome Park Racetrack was newly opened. For three seasons (1864, 1865, 1866), when races were 2, 3, and 4 miles long, he was the undisputed champion of East Coast racing.
In 1866 he was sold for the then enormous sum of $40,000 to Leonard Jerome (after whom the Jerome Handicap is named), then resold to Annieswood Stable, a partnership of August Belmont, Jr., Hunter, Jerome, Cameron, and Travers. The partnership auctioned him in October of 1868 and Belmont bought him outright for $15,000.
He lost his only start at age six in 1867, the second loss of his entire career, in 1869 Belmont decided to send him as a stallion to his Long Island Babylon, New York Nursery Stud where he sired the champion filly Woodbine (b. 1869). He also produced stakes winners Bertram (colt b. 1873), Elastic (filly, b. 1871), Beatrice, Medora and Dublin before dying at Nursery Stud in April of 1875, the same year his father Lexington, "The Blind Hero of Woodburn," died.
Kentucky was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1983.
Notes and references
- “The History of Thoroughbred Racing in America,” by William H.P. Robertson, Bonanza Books, New York