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CALUMET FARM: FIVE DECADES OF CHAMPIONS

calumet trophyExhibit Dates: 2009-Present

The 560 Thoroughbred racing trophies contained in the Calumet Farm Collection represent an incomparable achievement in the history of horse racing. For five decades, beginning in 1932, Calumet recorded more than 2,400 wins, with total earnings of over 26 million. This exhibit, renovated in 2009, features many of Calumets most stunning trophies, along with original oil paintings of the farm’s greatest horses.

 

CALUMET FARM: FIVE DECADES OF CHAMPIONS

INTRODUCTION

Calumet Farm has stood at the apex of Thoroughbred racing and breeding in America since its conversion to a Thoroughbred operation in 1932. Warren Wright Sr.'s vision and business-like philosophy enabled Calumet to achieve a position of dominance in Thoroughbred breeding and racing unmatched in the history of the "Sport of Kings." During these 50 years, Calumet was the Leading Money-Winning Owner 12 times, won a record 8 Kentucky Derbies, had 2 Triple Crown-winning colts and 3 Filly Triple Crown winners, and had 11 horses elected to the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame.

The Calumet story begins not in the paddocks of Belmont Park or Churchill Downs, but in the world of harness racing. In 1924, William Monroe Wright, founder of the Calumet Baking Powder Company and avid Standardbred breeder, purchased land on Versailles Road near Lexington and moved his Calumet Farm from its previous location in Libertyville, Illinois. Having turned his duties with the company over to his son, Warren Wright, he devoted all of his efforts to establishing Calumet as a leader in the Standardbred industry. By the time of his death in 1931, he had more than achieved his goal by establishing Calumet as one of the premier harness racing farms in the country. Among the noted horses within his stable were: Belwin, Peter the Brewer, Truax, and Guy Abbey, sire of the great trotter Greyhound.

William Monroe Wright's greatest dream was to breed and race a winner of the first leg of the Trotting Triple Crown, the Hambletonian. Ironically, this was achieved as Wright lay unconscious on his deathbed, when Calumet Butler trotted to victory in 1931. His victory makes Calumet the only farm in America to have won both the Hambletonian and the Kentucky Derby.


CALUMET FARM: FIVE DECADES OF CHAMPIONS

calumet ExhibitionCalumet Farm has stood at the apex of Thoroughbred racing and breeding in America since its conversion to a Thoroughbred operation in 1932. Warren Wright Sr.’s vision and business-like philosophy enabled Calumet to achieve a position of dominance in Thoroughbred breeding and racing unmatched in the history of the “Sport of Kings.” During these 50 years, Calumet was the Leading Money-Winning Owner 12 times, won a record 8 Kentucky Derbies, had 2 Triple Crown-winning colts and 3 Filly Triple Crown winners, and had 11 horses elected to the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame.

The Calumet story begins not in the paddocks of Belmont Park or Churchill Downs, but in the world of harness racing. In 1924, William Monroe Wright, founder of the Calumet Baking Powder Company and avid Standardbred breeder, purchased land on Versailles Road near Lexington and moved his Calumet Farm from its previous location in Libertyville, Illinois. Having turned his duties with the company over to his son, Warren Wright, he devoted all of his efforts to establishing Calumet as a leader in the Standardbred industry. By the time of his death in 1931, he had more than achieved his goal by establishing Calumet as one of the premier harness racing farms in the country. Among the noted horses within his stable were: Belwin, Peter the Brewer, Truax, and Guy Abbey, sire of the great trotter Greyhound.

William Monroe Wright’s greatest dream was to breed and race a winner of the first leg of the Trotting Triple Crown, the Hambletonian. Ironically, this was achieved as Wright lay unconscious on his deathbed, when Calumet Butler trotted to victory in 1931. His victory makes Calumet the only farm in America to have won both the Hambletonian and the Kentucky Derby.


THE BUILDING OF A GIANT: 1931-1939

Upon inheriting Calumet from his father in 1931, Warren Wright Sr. embarked upon his task of transforming the farm to Thoroughbred breeding and racing. Throughout the decade he methodically gathered the best breeding stock available.

In 1936, Mr. Wright made two purchases which were to have a tremendous effect on the future of the farm. He first bought a quarter interest in A.B. Hancock's imported stallion, Blenheim II. At the Saratoga Yearling Sale, he purchased Bull Lea, a Bull Dog-Rose Leaves colt, which became the foundation for much of Calumet's future success. From Blenheim II and Bull Lea came Calumet's Triple Crown winners, Whirlaway and Citation, and a host of other fine stakes-winning performers.

The services of Ben Allyn Jones, trainer of the 1938 Kentucky Derby winner, were added to the Calumet arsenal in 1939, setting the stage for the fabulous decade which was to follow.


THE EARLY YEARS

While William Monroe Wright was dedicating his energies to establishing Calumet as a prominent Standardbred farm, his duties at Calumet Baking Powder fell to his son, Warren Wright. Utilizing his genius for financial matters, he led Calumet Baking Powder to a pinnacle and then negotiated the sale of the company to General Foods for $40 million.

Warren Wright had been brought into Thoroughbred racing by Yellow Cab magnate John D. Hertz. Hertz had appointed Wright as a director of Arlington Park RaceTrack in Chicago. When he inherited Calumet Farm in 1931, he undertook the task of transforming the farm from a Standardbred to a Thoroughbred breeding and racing operation.

Mr. Wright entered his new venture with the same tough business philosophy that had proved so successful in his days with Calumet Baking Powder. With the investment capital secured from the sale of the family business, he began to build what would, in just one decade, be the finest Thoroughbred racing stable in America.

His first purchases were three yearlings - Warren Jr., Flirting, and Lucille Wright - at the Saratoga sale in 1931. One of these, Warren Jr., became Calumet's first starter on May 30, 1932, and also carried Calumet silks to their first victory at Arlington Park in June of 1932. The stable's first stakes victory came the following year with an A.B. Hancock bred colt, Hadagal.

In 1931, John Hertz had advised Wright to purchase broodmare Nellie Morse (Preakness winner in 1924) from the "Mutt & Jeff" cartoonist, Bud Fisher. She was in foal to American Flag at the time and produced Calumet's first homebred stakes winner and divisional champion, Nellie Flag.

In the latter part of the decade, Wright made three moves which were to have a profound effect on the future of Calumet Farm. In 1936, he purchased a quarter interest in the imported stallion, Blenheim II, from A.B. Hancock. Even more significant was his purchase of a Bull Dog-Rose Leaves colt at the Saratoga Yearling Sale. After a solid racing career, this colt, Bull Lea, became one of the greatest sires in Thoroughbred breeding history. In 1939, Wright made his third move when he acquired the services of noted trainer Ben A. Jones.


THE GLORY YEARS: 1940-1950

"Awesome" might best describe Calumet Farm from 1940 through 1950. Under the leadership of Warren Wright Sr., Ben Jones, and later his son, Horace A. "Jimmy" Jones, Calumet stormed to the forefront of Thoroughbred racing. During this period, Calumet led the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners seven times. In 1947 the farm became the first to exceed $1 million in purse earnings. In homebreds Whirlaway and Citation became racing's fifth and seventh Triple Crown winners. Two additional Kentucky Derby and Preakness trophies were captured by Calumet horses during this period. Calumet horses were selected as "Horse of the Year" five times, and 20 divisional titles were handed out to Calumet runners through 1950.

Warren Wright Sr. died on December 28, 1950, bringing to an end the greatest decade ever experienced by one farm in the history of American racing. In just 19 years he had built a turf giant. The solid foundation laid by Wright, the expertise of trainers Ben and Jimmy Jones, and the guidance of his widow, Lucille Parker Wright, would ensure Calumet's lofty position for yet another decade.

1940 - 1941

Entering 1940, Warren Wright Sr. had assembled all of the necessary tools to establish his racing dynasty. He had the trainer and he had the horses. The next 10 years proved to be the most glorious decade ever experienced by an American racing stable. Calumet had arrived. The farm emergence as a racing power was heralded in 1940 by Whirlaway, a 2-year-old colt by Blenheim II, out of Dustwhirl. Although somewhat erratic at 2, he captured 7 of his 16 starts, including the Saratoga Special and the Hopeful Stakes. His earnings for the year were $77,275.50, vaulting Calumet to third on the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners.

Whirlaway began his 1941 campaign with the same tendency to bolt toward the outside rail that he had exhibited as a 2 year-old. Ben Jones was able to correct this problem prior to the Kentucky Derby by modifying Whirlaway's blinkers, resulting in his 8-length Derby victory in a record time of 2:01 2/5. Whirlaway went on to become Calumet's first Triple Crown winner, finishing the year with 13 wins in 20 starts and capturing the 1941 Horse of the Year title.

Supported by a fine 2-year-old class including Some Chance (c.), Sun Again (c.), and Mar-Kell (f.), Whirlaway catapulted Calumet to its first number-one ranking on the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners with total earnings of $475,091.

1942 - 1943

Whirlaway returned in 1942, winning 12 of his 22 starts and again being voted Horse of the Year. On July 17, he became the world's leading money-winner by winning the Massachusets Handicap. By year's end he had amassed $560,911.50, making him racing's first $500,000 earner.

Bolstered by an excellent group of homebred fillies, 1943again found Calumet at the top of the list of leading money-winners. Two-year-old fillies Twlight Tear and Miss Keeneland joined with Nellie L. (f.,3) and Handicap Mare of 1943, Mar-Kell (f.,4), to help the farm post combined earnings of $267,940. In winning the Handicap Mare championship, Mar-Kell posted victories in four stakes races, including the prestigious Beldame Handicap.

Whirlaway returned at 5 to start twice and was then retired to stud with a cumulative record of 32 victories in 60 starts and total earnings of $561,161.50. He later was leased to Marcel Boussac to stand in France, where he died in 1953 with 17 stakes winners to his credit.

1944 - 1946

In 1944, Twilight Tear (f,3) became the first filly to be voted Horse of the Year. Of her 17 starts she won 14, including a string of 11 straight victories. Her earnings for the year were $167,555.

Her male counterpart in 1944, Pensive (c,3) was considered a good but not great colt. His success to a large measure reflected the training genius of Ben Jones. Although he would win but three stakes races that year, two of these were the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. He came very close to becoming Calumet's second Triple Crown winner, finishing second in the Belmont by one-half length. His earnings for the year were $162,225.

Sun Again (h,5), Pot O'Luck (c,2), Mar-Kell (m,5), Good Blood (f, 2), and Twosy (f,2) combined with Twilight Tear and Pensive to boost Calumet to a record-earning year with total winnings of $601,660.

In 1945, Calumet slipped to third on the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners with $371,660 in earnings. Twilight Tear, Horse of the Year in 1944, bled in her only start at 4 and was retired to a successful career as a broodmare. The top gun for Calumet in '45 was Pot O'Luck won 5 of his 21 starts, including the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He finished second in the Kentucky Derby and had earnings for the year of $149,220. Pot O'Luck's efforts were supported by Armed, a 4-year-old gelding by Bull Lea. Armed won 10 of his 15 starts and earned $91,500.

In 1946, led by Armed, Calumet again claimed the top spot on the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners with $564,095 in earnings. Armed won 11 of his 18 starts, including the Widener Handicap and the Suburban Handicap. His earnings for the year were $288,725. Armed was supported by the 4-year-old filly Good Blood, which posted winnings of $60,875.

Early in 1947, Ben Jones assumed the title of Racing Stable General Manager and named his son and assistant, H.A. "Jimmy" Jones, as trainer. It was then decided to split the stable, with Ben Jones campaigning his half in the East while Jimmy Jones took his portion to California. This arrangement continued until late 1952.

1947 - 1950

In 1947, Calumet had the greatest year of any farm in the history of Thoroughbred racing. The $1,402,436 earned by Calumet horses was more than double any stable's previous earnings. The farm not only captured Horse of the Year and Champion Handicap Horse honors with 6-year-old Armed, but also took 2-year-old and 2-year-old colt honors with Citation and the 2-year-old Filly title with Bewitch. In addition, Bull Lea was the nation's Leading Sire, and Potheen was named Broodmare of the Year. The stable collected a record 100 victories in 1947, with 36 money-winning performers and 10 stakes winners.

Armed led the Calumet barrage, winning 11 of his 18 starts with earnings of $376,325. As a 2-year-old, Citation won 8 of his 9 starts, his only loss being to stablemate Bewitch in the Washington Park Futurity. Bewitch posted 7 additional victories, including Calumet's third Preakness. Fervent (c,3) also contributed, winning 4 stakes races, including the American Derby and the Pimlico Special.

In 1948, Calumet continued its relentless assault on the racing world. Three-year-old Citation, to be named Horse of the Year, was almost unbeatable, winning 19 of his 20 starts and capturing Calumet's second Triple Crown. His $709,470 in earnings established a new record. His stablemate, 3-year-old Coaltown, had total winnings of $104,650 en route to capturing the Champion Sprinter title, and 4-year-old Fervent contributed $123,775 by winning 6 of his 12 starts, including the Equipoise Mile and Washington Park Handicap. P> Citation did not start during the 1949 campaign due to an injury, but his presence was hardly missed. Coaltown, racing in many of the events in which Citation would have been entered, won 12 of his 15 starts and was voted Handicap Horse of 1949. Ponder, a 3-year-old Pensive colt, picked up 9 victories, including Calumet's fourth Kentucky Derby. Calumet fillies also did their share, with Bewitch taking Handicap Mare honors and Two Lea and Wistful sharing the 3-year-old Filly title. Wistful also handed the stable its first National Filly Triple Crown by capturing the Kentucky Oaks, Pimlico Oaks, and Coaching Club American Oaks.

In 1950, Calumet dropped to second on the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners after four consecutive first-place finishes. Citation never returned to his 3-year-old form, but during his 5-year-old campaign he did become the world's leading money-winner at $924,630 while winning the Golden Gate Mile. Both Ponder and Two Lea had successful 4-year-old campaigns, with Ponder earning $219,000 and Two Lea taking Handicap Mare honors.

The year and an incomparable era were brought to a close when, on December 28, Warren Wright Sr. died at his winter home in Miami Beach. His achievements during his 19 years as master of Calumet will forever mark him as one of the giants in the history of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, and the continued success of the farm would serve as a lasting memorial to the solid foundation that he had laid.

WARREN WRIGHT

Warren Wright Sr. A native of Springfield, Ohio, became an office boy for the family business, the Calumet Baking Powder Company, at age 15. Nine years later he succeeded his father, William Monroe Wright, as president. Under his guidance the company prospered and, in 1928, was sold to General Foods for an estimated $40 million.

In 1931, Warren Wright inherited Calumet Farm from his father and immediately began its transformation to Thoroughbred racing and breeding. Wright was a methodical man who approached his new venture into racing with the same attitude of efficiency that he applied to business. His first decade as master of Calumet was primarily formative although the stable ranked in the top ten money-winning owners as early as 1934 and again in 1936, '37, '38, and '40.

Calumet truly arrived in 1941 with Whirlaway. The next 10 years would bear the fruits of Wright's labors and establish a standard of excellence which continues today.

Warren Wright Sr. died on December 28, 1950. His career may have been best summarized in the obituary by editor Haden Kirkpatrick in The Thoroughbred Record (Vol. 153, No.1, January 6, 1951):

"He played the game the way all games should be played, with a fierce devotion to the main objective, content with nothing but paramount achievement. In a sport that has its integrity sometimes questioned, his was above the reproach of even the most scurrilous critics. The world knew, and there was never a doubt, that when the Calumets went down as they sometimes did, they went down leveling with all turrets blazing. That element of uncompromising endeavor was doubtless Warren Wright's greatest gift to American racing. For the devil red, not merely a symbol of the ultimate aristocracy of the turf, became also the proud banner of the $2 bettor. They believed in it, and they worshipped the horses that bore it. Wherever the Calumets were running, the clerks, the salesmen, the laborers could turn out in full confidence, with their little bills in their hands, secure in the knowledge that whether they rode with Wright or against him, his entry was going to blast for all the money, and intended either to get it or crack wide open trying."


BUILDING ON THE WARREN WRIGHT LEGACY: 1951-1961

When Mrs. Lucille Parker Wright assumed control of Calumet Farm after the death of her husband, it could hardly be expected that the unprecedented success the farm had experienced during the past decade could be maintained. Calumet, however, was not an average farm and, although not to the extent as during the 1940's, continued to dominate racing for the next 10 years. From 1951 through 1961 the farm topped the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners five times with $3 million-plus years. In Hill Gail, Iron Leige, Fabius, and Tim Tam capturing the farm's fifth and sixth Preakness trophies. Bull Lea continued to dominate as a sire, leading the General Sire List in 1952 and '53 and the Broodmare Sire List in 1958, '59, '60, and '61.

A major chapter in Calumet's history came to a close with the retirement in 1960 and the death in 1961 of B.A. "Ben" Jones. Jones, certainly one of the greatest trainers of all time, had helped guide Calumet through an incredible 20-year dominance of Thoroughbred racing. As would soon become evident, his presence would be missed.

1950 - 1952

One of Warren Wright Sr.'s major ambitions had been to see Citation become racing's first millionaire. This occured some six months after Wright's death when 6-year-old Citation captured the Hollywood Gold Cup, sending his total career earnings to $1,085,760. Ironically, finishing second was Bewitch, the only horse to beat Citation as a 2-year-old. The $20,000 in second-place money made Bewitch the all-time leading money-winning female. The Hollywood Gold Cup was Citation's last race. He was paraded before his fans for the last time at Arlington Park on July 28 and then retired to stud. Returning to the farm with him were stablemates Bewitch and Coaltown.

Calumet returned to the top of the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners in 1952 with its fourth $1 million-plus year. The stable was led by Handicap Female and 3-year-old Filly Champion Real Delight. With earnings of $236,272.50, she won 11 of her 12 starts and gave Calumet its second National Filly Triple Crown. Hill Gail (c, 3) got off to a tremendous start in 1952, winning 4 of his first 6 starts, including the Santa Anita Derby. On May 3, he captured his biggest prize by giving the farm its fifth Kentucky Derby victory. Unfortunately, because of calcium deposits in his ankles, the Derby was his last race.

1952 - 1954

In 1952, three other Calumet horses had earnings in excess of $100,000. Leading the way with $268,745 was 3-year-old Mark-Ye-Well, which captured the rich Arlington Classic and American Derby. Six-year-old Two Lea contributed $174,550 in winning 6 of her 11 starts, and 3-year-old A Gleam chipped in $122,700, running exclusively on the West Coast.

Aside from racing, 1952 marked another major event in Calumet's history when Mrs. Lucille Wright married Hollywood screenwriter and producer Rear Admiral Gene Markey.

Although they would have been considered excellent years by most farms, 1953, '54, and '55 found Calumet in a three-year downswing. In 1953, Mark-Ye-Well (c,4) provided most of the firepower, winning 3 of his 7 starts, including the rich Santa Anita Handicap and the Santa Anita Maturity. Two other Bull Lea colts, Fleet Bird (c,4) and Chanlea (c,3), contributed $100,000-plus years. Fleet Bird collected $167,275 with 5 wins in his 16 starts. Chanlea, winner of the Santa Anita Derby, added $122,350 to the Calumet treasury. Real Delight (f,4) started only once, winning the Arlington Matron Handicap.

In 1954, Calumet dipped to fourth on the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners, its first time out of the top three since 1939. Running exclusively on the West Coast, the stable was led by California Derby winner Miz Clementine. She scored wins in 9 of her 13 starts, with earnings of $109,450.

1955 - 1958

In 1955, Calumet finished eighth on the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners with earnings of $438,590. This was the last year that Calumet raced on the West Coast.

In 1956, Calumet recorded its fifth $1 million-plus year and again captured the top spot on the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners. Fabius, a 3-year-old colt from Citation's first crop, led the stable in earnings with $227,818. After finishing second to Needles in the Kentucky Derby, he came back to give Calumet its fifth Preakness victory. Barbizon (c, 2) won 5 of his 6 starts in capturing the 2-Year-Old Colt crown. Bardstown, a 4-year-old gelding which did not start at 2 or at 3, won the Equipoise Mile and the Trenton Handicap en route to earning $173,050 for the year. Calumet's fillies were also well represented in 1956 as 3-year-old Princess Turia scored in 8 of her 19 starts, including the Kentucky Oaks and the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.

1957 and '58 proved to be excellent years at Calumet, with both years finding the farm at the top of the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners. The 1957 group of 3-year-old colts was one of the greatest ever-with Gallant Man, Round Table, and Bold Ruler joining the Calumet threesome of General Duke, Iron Liege, and Barbizon. After General Duke, considered the stable's best runner, was scratched, it was left to Iron Liege to present Calumet with its sixth Kentucky Derby triumph. Five-year-old Bardstown collected 4 wins in his 6 starts, including the Widener Handicap and the Gulfstream Park Handicap.

In 1958, Tim Tam won the stable's seventh Kentucky Derby and sixth Preakness, as well as the Champion 3-Year-Old Colt title. He might very well have become the farm's third Triple Crown winner; however, in the Belmont he broke a sesamoid bone in his right foreleg. In an amazing display of courage he held on for second. Tim Tam was joined by 3-year-old filly A Glitter, Iron Liege, and Bardstown in assuring a successful year for the stable.

1959 - 1961

As the decade drew to a close, Calumet experienced what was for them an off year in 1959. Most of the action was provided by 7-year-old Bardstown which, despite soundness problems, won 3 of his 5 starts, including the Widener Handicap. He was joined by Ohio Derby winner On-and-On, which contributed $101,088.75 as Calumet dropped to tenth on the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners.

On-and-On returned in 1960 to score victories in 5 of his 17 starts and to post earnings of $270,480 as Calumet climbed back to sixth place among money-winning owners. In 1960, Ben Jones announced his retirement and left the stable in the care of his son, Jimmy.

For the twelfth time, 1961 found Calumet atop the list of money-winning owners. Leading the stable was Beau Prince, a 3-year-old Bull Lea colt. With total earnings of $194,392.50, he captured the American Derby and the Travers Stakes in succession en route to winning 5 of his 18 starts. Yorky (c, 4) counted the Widener Handicap as one of his three 1961 victories, and Pied d'Or took 8 of his 21 starts, including the Camden and the Princeton Handicaps.

The era closed on a sad note with the death of Ben Jones on June 13. Jones' accomplishments in his 20 years at Calumet had been close to miraculous. He would be greatly missed.

BEN ALLYN JONES: 1883-1961

Ben Allyn Jones was born in 1883 in Parnell, Missouri. His father, the town's founder and owner of the Parnell Bank, had visions of his son someday replacing him as the bank's president. Ben Jones had other ideas and soon embarked upon his dream to be a race horse trainer. His early experience came in the rough bush circuit throughout the Midwest and West, with his first victory at a recognized track record in 1909 in Oklahoma City. In 1932, he was hired by Herbert M. Woolf as trainer for Woolford Farm and, in 1938, won his first Kentucky Derby with Lawrin.

In 1939, Warren Wright Sr. made one of his most astute moves when he hired Jones to take over the Calumet stable. During the next 21 years, Ben Jones established himself as one of the greatest trainers of all time. He trained 5 Kentucky Derby winners for Calumet (Whirlaway, Pensive, Citation, Ponder, and Hill Gail) and 2 Triple Crown winners (Whirlaway and Citation).

Four of his horses (Whirlaway, Twlight Tear, Armed, and Citation) received Horse of the Year honors. During Jones' tenure at Calumet, the stable led the nation in earnings a record 11 times.

In 1947, he assumed the title of General Manager of the Racing Stable but continued, with his son H.A. "Jimmy" Jones, to train until his retirement in 1960. Ben Jones was elected to the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1958. He died on June 13, 1961, at age 78.

HORACE ALLYN "JIMMY" JONES: 1906-2001

There is an old racetrack saying that champions beget champions. This was certainly proven true in the case of Horace Allyn "Jimmy" Jones.

The son of Hall of Fame trainer Ben Jones, Jimmy joined his father as an assistant trainer at Calumet in the early 1940's. In 1947, his father assumed the title of Racing Stable General Manager and named Jimmy as Calumet's trainer.

Together with his father, Jimmy Jones was trainer of Triple Crown winner and racing's first millionaire, Citation. Jones also trained Kentucky Derby winners Iron Liege and Tim Tam. In all, he saddled 30 winners in races worth more than $100,000. Other notable stakes winners which were trained or co-trained by H.A. Jones include: Armed, Barbizon, Bewitch, Coaltown, and Two Lea.

Jones retired from Calumet in 1964 to become Director of Racing at Monmouth Park. He was elected to the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1959.


THE YEARS OF TRANSITION

1962 - 1976

The 1960's and early 1970's found Calumet in a period of transition. The farm had suffered major blows with the death of Ben Jones in 1961, the retirement of H.A. "Jimmy" Jones in 1964, and the death of Bull Lea the same year. These factors, combined with the tremendous increase in the number of Thoroughbred foals registered in North America, made the odds of continuing dominance, such as had been experienced during the 1940's and '50's, next to impossible.

Calumet, however, continued to be successful throughout this period. For 8 of these 14 years, Calumet ranked in the top 30 on the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners. In 1968 and 1971, the farm returned to the top 5, ranking third in 1968 and fourth in 1971. Also in 1968, Forward Pass gave the farm its eighth Kentucky Derby victory and seventh Preakness triumph. Strong efforts from horses such as Eastern Fleet, Gleaming, and Best Turn helped ensure Calumet's continued respectability.

1968 - 1976

The early 1960's found Calumet in a state of flux. With Ben Jones' death in 1961 and H.A. "Jimmy" Jones' retirement in 1964, the farm had lost the services of two of the finest trainers of the twentieth century. This was compounded in 1964 by the death of the farm's leading sire, Bull Lea, and by the failure of his sons to emulate their sire's performance at stud.

Calumet's ability to dominate racing was inhibited in part by the continuing expansion of the Thoroughbred industry. In 1947, there were 7,705 thoroughbred foals registered in North America. This figure had almost doubled to 14,870 by 1962, and by 1976 it had reached 29,500. In 1968, Calumet reduced its broodmare band and, therefore, its foal crop. With fewer horses and with the tremendous increase in competition, odds were against any stable dominating racing as Calumet had during the '40's and '50's.

There were, however, many bright moments during this period. In 1968, Forward Pass was awarded Calumet's eighth Kentucky Derby victory after the Dancer's Image was disqualified when phenylbutazone, a then forbidden substance, was discovered in post-race tests. Forward Pass went on to score the farm's seventh Preakness victory and finished second in the Belmont. In 1970, Best Turn (c, 4) recorded four stakes victories en route to earning $181,999. In 1971, Calumet climbed back to fourth on the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners, based on strong efforts by Gleaming (c, 3), Eastern Fleet (c, 3), and Son Ange (c, 3).

CALUMET RETURNS TO THE SUMMIT

In 1977, Calumet's fortunes were on the upswing as a new trainer, John Veitch, guided eventual 3-Year-Old Filly Champion Our Mims and the 2-year-old colt Alydar through successful campaigns. With their rivalry firmly established at 2, Alydar and Affired returned in 1978 to treat fans to some of the greatest racing ever seen on the American turf. Although Affirmed captured the three Triple Crown events,with Alydar runner-up in all, both horses established themselves as true champions.

In 1979, Calumet reaffirmed its return to racing's hierarchy as Davona Dale became the third Calumet filly to capture the National Filly Triple Crown. In also winning the New York Triple Crown for Fillies, she became the first horse ever to capture both titles.

Before Dawn became Calumet's sixteenth divisional champion when she was voted 2-Year-Old Filly of 1981.

1977 - 1978

In 1976, Calumet acquired the services of its eleventh trainer, 30-year-old John Veitch. Veitch, son of Racing Hall of Fame trainer Sylvester Veitch, became the youngest trainer in the farm's history and played an important role in returning the farm to racing prominence. In 1977, Veitch has some powerful ammunition with eventual 3-Year-Old Filly Champion Our Mims and 2-year-old colt Alydar. Our Mims collected $318,304 in winning 5 of her 10 starts, including the Fantasy Stakes and the Coaching Club American Oaks. Alydar scored in 4 of his 9 starts, including victories over evental 2-year-old Colt Champion Affirmed in the Champagne and the Great American Stakes. In three other starts he finished second to Affirmed, setting up one of the greatest rivalries in racing history. Based on the performance of Our Mims and Alydar, Sweet Tooth, dam of both, was named Broodmare of the Year by the Thoroughbred Breeders of Kentucky.

Calumet experienced its first million-dollar year since 1957, with the farm ranking sixth on the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners in 1978. Although 18 horses contributed to the farm's treasury, this was the year of Alydar. Of his 10 starts, Alydar recorded victories in 7. All 3 of his losses were second-place finishes to Affirmed in the 3 Triple Crown races, making him the first horse ever to be a Triple Crown runner-up. Of the 9 1/2 miles run against one another, Affirmed outdistanced Alydar by a cumulative 2 lengths, 3 necks, a head, and a nose. The Blood Horse summed up the two careers as:

"There was a winner and a loser, but the brilliance of each made a hero of the other."

Alydar suffered a fractured wing in the coffin bone of his left front foot, probably instigated in the traffic jam in his disqualification over Affirmed in the Travers. Following this, he was retired for the season.

1979 - 1981

In 1979, Calumet climbed one notch to fifth on the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners with earnings of $1,202,201.50. Three-year-old Davona Dale led the stable, taking 8 of her 13 starts en route to winning 3-Year-Old Filly honors. She gained the distinction of becoming the first filly ever to win both the national and the New York Triple Crown for fillies. Alydar returned at 4 but was never up to his 3-year-old form. He recorded 2 victories in his 6 starts and, after suffering a fractured sesamoid bone, was retired to stud.

In 1980, Calumet slipped out of the money-earned rankings despite a fine performance by 3-year-old filly Sugar and Spice. With victories in the Ashland, the Mother Goose, and the Cotillion Stakes, she became the farm's 147th stakes winner.

Two-Year-Old Filly Champion Before Dawn was Calumet's only stakes winner in 1981. In capturing the title, she became the stable's sixteenth divisional champion, winning 5 of her 6 starts. She returned at 3 to win the Jasmine and the Hibiscus Stakes and the Fair Grounds Oaks before being retired to broodmare duties.

The final chapter of Calumet's first 50 years was written on July 24, 1982, with the death of Mrs. Lucille Parker Wright Markey. Under her guidance and that of her first husband, Warren Wright Sr., Calumet had risen to a position of dominance in Thoroughbred racing unlikely ever to be duplicated. Through five decades Calumet captured 8 Kentucky Derbies, 2 Triple Crowns, 3 Filly Triple Crowns, and had 148 stakes winners with total earnings of $26,410,941.06. The record speaks for itself.

LUCILLE PARKER WRIGHT MARKEY: 1896-1982

Mrs. Lucille Parker Wright Markey was born near Tollesboro, Kentucky, in 1896. In 1919, she married Warren Wright Sr. and, after he inherited Calumet Farm from his father, she worked with him to establish Calumet as a giant in the Thoroughbred industry. After the death of Mr. Wright in 1950, she assumed control of the farm and saw her efforts rewarded as Calumet continued at the apex of American breeding and racing. In 1952, she married Rear Admiral Gene Markey.

During Mrs. Markey's association with the farm, Calumet amassed racing and breeding statistics that are unlikely to ever be challenged. From 1931--when her first husband, Warren Wright Sr., converted Calumet to Thoroughbred breeding and racing-unitl Mrs. Markey's death in July of 1982, Calumet horses had total earnings of $26,410,941.06. They had recorded a phenomenal 2,401 victories (508 stakes), 1,689 seconds (326 stakes), and 1,509 thirds (246 stakes).

Noted horseman C.V. Whitney echoed the sentiments of many who had known Mrs. Markey when he stated in The Thoroughbred Record (Vol. 216, No. 4, July 28, 1982):

"...She kept Calumet Farm in the tradition of the best type of horse racing and her standards were high. Her death is a great loss to the horse racing industry."

1982 - PRESENT

According to Warren Wright's will, the farm passed into the hands of Warren Wright Jr.'s heirs after Mrs. Markey's death. Partly due to the downturn in the Thoroughbred market and partly through mismanagement, the farm went into a precipitous tailspin resulting in bankruptcy and a forced sale of all land and horses in 1992. Purchased by Count Henryk de Kwaitkowski, Calumet has returned to respectability, and once again the Farm's red and blue silks are becoming fixtures on American tracks.


CONCLUSION

Since converting to Thoroughbred racing in 1932 and until Mrs. Markey's death in 1982, Calumet Farm recorded 2,401 wins - 508 of which were in stakes races. Twelve times Calumet led the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners. Of its 148 homebred stakes winners, 9 won in excess of $500,000. Eleven Calumet horses - Alydar, Armed, Bewitch, Citation, Coaltown, Davona Dale, Real Delight, Tim Tam, Twlight Tear, Two Lea, and Whirlaway - have been elected to the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, along with father-son trainers B.A. "Ben" and H.A. "Jimmy" Jones. Calumet captured 2 Triple Crowns, 8 Kentucky Derbies, and 7 Preakness victories. Sixteen Calumet horses captured a total of 35 year-end divisional championships, with 5 taking the Horse of the Year title.

Calumet, was number one on the list of Leading Money-Winning Owners twelve times and in the top three from 1939 to 1954, acquired total earnings of $26,410,941.06 - a record that speaks for itself.

It is unlikely that any farm will ever dominate Thoroughbred racing as Calumet did during the '40's and '50's. One thing, however, seems certain. Calumet Farm, now owned by Count Henryk de Kwaitkowski, remains and will continue to remain a major force in American Thoroughbred racing.

NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Calumet produced 148 stakes from 1934 through 1982. Some of the greatest horses in the industry have hailed from Calumet Farm and include the following:

TRIPLE CROWN RACES

The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes combine to form the most sought after prize in American Thoroughbred racing.The Triple Crown. Calumet Farm had in Whirlaway and Citation 2 of only 11 horses ever to achieve this honor. Three others - Pensive, Tim Tam, and Forward Pass - came close, winning the first two legs, only to fall short in the Belmont. In all, Calumet captured a record eight Kentucky Derby trophies, with Whirlaway first receiving the blanket of roses in 1941, followed by Pensive in 1944, Citation in 1948, Ponder in 1949, Hill Gail in 1952, Iron Liege in 1957, Tim Tam in 1958, and Forward Pass in 1968. The farm also collected a record seven Preakness victories: Whirlaway in 1941; Pensive, 1944; Faultless, 1947; Citation, 1948; Fabius, 1956; Tim Tam, 1958; Forward Pass, 1968. The elusive Belmont has been won by the farm's horses only twice, with Triple Crown Winners Whirlaway and Citation scoring in 1941 and '48 respectively.

Two Triple Crown Winners:
Whirlaway ('41)
Citation ('48)

Eight Kentucky Derby Winners:
Whirlaway ('41)
Pensive ('44)
Citation ('48)
Ponder ('49)
Hill Gail ('52)
Iron Liege ('57)
Tim Tam ('58)
Forward Pass ('68)

Seven Preakness Stakes Winners:
Whirlaway ('41)
Pensive ('44)
Faultless ('47)
Citation ('48)
Fabius ('56)
Tim Tam ('58)
Forward Pass ('68)

Three National Filly Triple Crown Winners:
Wistful ('49)
Real Delight ('52)
Davon Dale ('79)

Eleven Horses in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame:
Alydar
Armed
Bewitch
Citation
Coaltown
Davona Dale
Real Delight
Twlight Year
Two Lea
Tim Tam
Whirlaway

Five Horses of the Year Titles:
Whirlaway ('41 & '42)
Twilight Tear ('44-1st filly voted Horse of the Year)
Armed ('47)
Citation ('48)

Two Trainers in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame:
Ben A. Jones
H.A. "Jimmy" Jones
Horses Sired By Bull Lea

The list would not be complete without mention of Bull Lea, one of the most impressive sires in Thoroughbred history, whose list of famous sons and daughters include:

Armed, Iron Liege, Bewitch, Mark-Ye-Well, Citation, Real Delight, Coaltown, Twilight Tear, Faultless, Two Lea, and Hill Gail.

Bull Lea sired 58 stakes winners and his progeny's purses totaled $13,589,181 through 1969.

THE CALUMET TROPHY COLLECTION

In 1981, Margaret Glass, the Farm's secretary since 1940, had the foresight to realize that with Lucille Wright Markey's declining health, a decision need to be reached over the ultimate fate of the more than 500 trophies and 28 paintings amassed by the farm over the past five decades. Together with Keeneland Association CEO and future President of the Breeders' Cup, James E. Bassett, III, they ultimately were able to place the collection on long-term loan at the Kentucky Horse Park's International Museum of the Horse.

With the Farm's demise in 1992, the trophies and paintings became pawns in the attempt to pay off Calumet's many creditors. In December of 1996 the Horse Park and Museum were notified that the collection, the last of the Farm's assets, would be sold through the Federal Bankruptcy Court. By February, Bassett, Glass, park and museum officials, and several concerned Lexington community leaders came together to form the "Save the Calumet Trophies" committee. Over the next 20 months, the committee raised more than $1.2 million from concerned Kentuckians and Thoroughbred racing fans throughout the world.

In the 1998 Kentucky General Assembly, the legislature appropriated an additional $1.5 million to keep the trophies in the Bluegrass. After continued legal wrangling which kept the fate of the collection in doubt up until the final moment, the trophies and paintings were finally purchased for $2.7 million by the Kentucky Horse Park on September 4th, 1998. At the campaigns end, some 1,189 donations had been received from all 50 states and four foreign countries.

The hardware won by Calumet's horses over the five decades prior to Mrs. Markey's death in 1982 is by far the most extensive in the history of racing in America. The 524 piece collection contain 270 silver, 138 gold, one ceramic, and seven crystal trophies, as well as 105 silver and three gold julep cups. Above and beyond the trophies' significance to racing, the exquisite workmanship shown over four centuries by American and European artisans distinguishes this as one of the finest exhibitions of its type in the world.