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Which Owners have the Most Kentucky Derby Wins?

All-Time Kentucky Derby Wins Owners_615x400

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most coveted races in the United States, if not the most coveted. To win once is the thrill of a lifetime for an owner, but to have more than one horse wear the roses is a rare feat. Below is the list of the most all-time Kentucky Derby wins by an owner.

Calumet Farm (8): No other owner has come close to the glory Calumet Farm has experienced in Churchill Down's Kentucky Derby. The iconic Lexington farm’s eight Kentucky Derby winners were Whirlaway (1941), Pensive (1944), Citation (1948), Ponder (1949), Hill Gail (1952), Iron Liege (1957), Tim Tam (1958), and Forward Pass (1968), who was the victor after Dancer’s Image was disqualified for bute when there was a zero tolerance rule. Whirlaway and Citation went on to be Triple Crown winners.


Colonel Edward R. Bradley (4): Bookmaker. Casino builder. Race track owner. Colonel E. R. Bradley spent a good portion of his life around gaming and horses. He bought his first racehorse in 1898 which led to an acquisition of Lexington land eight years later that became Idle Hour Farm, where he trained and raced Thoroughbreds. Colonel E. R. Bradley’s Kentucky Derby winners were Behave Yourself (1921), Bubbling Over (1926), Burgoo King (1932), and Brokers Tip (1933). There is a stakes race at Fair Grounds named after the Colonel, a track which he had ownership of for a time.


Belair Stud (3): Belair Stud, located in Maryland, was at the top of the breeding game in the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. Their three Kentucky Derby winners include Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), and Johnstown (1939). Gallant Fox and Omaha remain the only father-son combination to win the Triple Crown.


Bashford Manor Stud (2): Sadly, the Louisville Thoroughbred farm did not last. The barns and house were torn down and neighborhoods and a shopping mall were developed. Bashford Manor Stud won the Kentucky Derby with Azra (1892) and Sir Huon (1906).


Harry P. Whitney (2): Harry P. Whitney was a member of the Whitney family and married into the Vanderbilt family. Aside from owning Thoroughbred racehorses, Whitney was also a polo player who bred his Thoroughbred mares to Quarter Horse stallions for polo ponies. He won the Kentucky Derby with Regret (1915) and Whiskery (1927). Regret was the first of three fillies to win the Kentucky Derby and became Horse of the Year.


John and Fannie Hertz (2): In 1915, John Hertz started the Yellow Cab Company where he lived in Chicago. The brand then spread to the rest of the country. Nine years later, Hertz bought a rental car company, calling it Hertz Drive-Ur-Self Corporation. Hertz and his wife Fannie owned horse property in Illinois, California, and Kentucky. Their first Kentucky Derby winner was Reigh Count (1928) followed by Reigh Count’s son Count Fleet (1943), who won the Triple Crown.


Greentree Stable (2): The Whitney family’s Greentree Stable had locations in New Jersey, New York, and South Carolina for racing and training. Their breeding operation, Greentree Farm, was started in 1925 in Lexington, Kentucky. Greentree Stable had success in both steeplechasing and flat racing, including Kentucky Derby winners Twenty Grand (1931) and Shut Out (1942). Gainesway Farm now owns the land that Greentree Farm sat on.


King Ranch (2): King Ranch not only had success with their Thoroughbreds, but also with Quarter Horses, cattle, and other agribusiness. The Texas ranch is split into divisions and consists of 825,000 acres. King Ranch won the Triple Crown with Assault (1946) before winning the Kentucky Derby a second time with Middleground (1950).


Darby Dan Farm (2): Darby Dan Farm originated in Ohio before finding its way to Lexington, Kentucky. After Colonel E.R. Bradley passed away in 1946, his Lexington property went up for sale and smaller farms sprang up on the land. The Galbreath family, who started Darby Dan Farm, purchased a 650 acre plot from the original buyer in 1949, thus creating their central Kentucky stud farm. Chateaugay (1963) and Proud Clarion (1967) were their two Kentucky Derby winners.


Meadow Stable (2): The Meadow is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and people can take tours of the historic Virginia farm, which includes a stop at the foaling shed where Secretariat was born. The Meadow’s Kentucky Derby winners came in back to back years with Riva Ridge (1972) and Secretariat (1973) who went on the be the Triple Crown winner.


Bob and Beverly Lewis (2): Bob and Beverly Lewis got into Thoroughbreds in 1990 and owned several successful racehorses. Their first Kentucky Derby win came with Silver Charm (1997) followed by Charismatic (1999). Both horses also won the Preakness in their respective years.

Reddam Racing LLC (2): Reddam’s first Kentucky Derby winner was I’ll Have Another (2012). The colt went on to win the Preakness, but was retired one day before the Belmont Stakes due to injury. The same connections came back to win with Nyquist (2016), who was only the second horse to win both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby. 


By Christine Oser


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