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

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)

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, American Pharoah and Justify. 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. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves on the Board 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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