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:
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)