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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

The legend of Claiborne Farm grows with another win at Churchill Downs

In April of 1956, the champion Doubledogdare won the prep for the Kentucky Oaks (now called the Eight Belles.) She came back a week later to miss the lilies by a nose, but would account for the Falls City Handicap later that fall for Claiborne Farm. Today at Churchill Downs, the elegant, but simple gold silks could be seen finishing first in another stakes races, as the very impressive juvenile filly, Sign rolled to victory in the Pocahontas Stakes. In between the two fillies, the history rich farm has collected 27 other stakes wins at the Louisville oval.


The most important of all those victories came in 1994 when a strapping son of Seattle Slew, named Swale, won the Kentucky Derby for trainer Woody Stephens.



If Swale’s win in the 1984 Kentucky Derby was the most important victory in the history of the farm, then surely the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic in which Blame held off Zenyatta, was the most memorable.
Only another legendary farm, Calumet has won more, but at 32-to-30, the margin is dwindling, and Claiborne Farm is coming on strong. Here is a list of all 30 stakes wins for Claiborne Farm at America’s most recognizable race course:
1956 – Doubledogdare (Falls City Handicap) (Eight Belles)
1983 – Flippers (Pocahontas) (Golden Rod), Bon Gout (Dogwood) (Pleasant Hill), Narrate (Falls City Handicap) & Routine (Seneca)
1984 – Swale (Kentucky Derby), Flippers (Pleasant Hill) & Knot (Debutante)
1985 – Tile (Bashford Manor) (Iroquois)
1987 – Bound (Chilukki)
1990 – Dibs (Locust Grove)
1992 – Discover (Stephen Foster Handicap) & Hitch (Dogwood)
1993 – Lure (Woodford Reserve Turf Classic)
1998 – Buff (Jefferson Cup)
1999 – Mighty (Iroqouis)
2000 – Buff (Louisville Handicap) & Conserve (Firecracker Handicap)
2001 – Watch (Cardinal Handicap)
2004 – Stroll (Woodford Reserve Turf Classic) & Congrats (Alysheba)
2008 – Lattice (Louisville Handicap)
2009 – Blame (Clark Handicap)
2010 – Blame (Breeders’ Cup Classic) (Stephen Foster Handicap)
2012 – Sign (Pocohontas)


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Older Comments about The legend of Claiborne Farm grows with another win at Churchill Downs...

Great thing about that farm is it is like a small family community as most working there have been there a very long time. Sosby, the farm manager when I was there, was very forthcoming, honest and really interested in my coming there for visits. The grooms were especailly warm and open to all questions. I left with on of Secretariat's shoes and a Claiborne yellow warm up jacket I bought from one especially nice fellow whom I stayed in contact with over the years.
Actually, airedale while tv is for Secretariat I am for Kelso and Dr. Fager
for airdale. when someone is SO OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY and pose it as if they are speaking from actual experience, the clown mask needs to be removed by FACT.
Incredibly ironic that one is for Man o’ War, the other for Secretariat, and they were born about 53 years apart, don’t you think?
airedale2008, they seem to have different opinions. Nothing like an argument to bring out the best.
I suppose if it will take some heat off of you, Mary, it can’t be all bad. Must be one dandy of a love-hate relationship if they enjoy conversing, though.
Oh heck no, I need cocoa to take half of tv's "help" or I might be the recipient of all of it, and besides, they might not know it, but they like to talk to each other, airedale.
cocoa and t_v: I am going to say what most folks on this site are thinking. We want to discuss the merits and virtues of great racehorses, not see insults hurled back and forth daily between you two. It matters not who started the war. You guys need to end it. Now would be a most opportune time.
Turkeys have been run into the barn on Martha's Vineyard, if there were ever animals with no sense of self preservance, turkeys are them.
I was there when NO ONE else was around and had the run of the place. I have a Claiborne jacket I bought from one of the grooms.
You and humphrey must have met eachother, he went the same day.
One of my favorite places on earth. November 5th 1985...I met Secretariat one on one for the first time.....Best memory in racing.
I love the Claiborne tradition of one syllable names for their runners.
Great list Brian. Aside from all of these home breds think about the great stallions and all of their stakes winning offspring. Secretariat, Bold Ruler, Mr. Prospector, Nijinsky II.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

As Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website, and co-hosts the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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