2018 Land Report 100: Brad Kelley

2018 Land Report 100: Brad Kelley

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Published On: May 17, 20190.9 min read
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Calumet Farm’s colors have won the Run for the Roses eight times, including Ponder in 1949.

No. 7 Brad Kelley

1,150,000 acres
Much like John Malone’s Silver Spur Ranches have given new life to old ways, Brad Kelley has reinvigorated legendary CALUMET FARM. In the last century, Thoroughbreds from the 762-acre Kentucky breeding and training facility raced to victory in every black-type event, including the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes. Calumet’s dominance peaked mid-century with Triple Crown winners Whirlaway (1941) and Citation (1948). Then owner Warren Wright passed in 1950. Trainer Ben Jones (shown above with 1949 Kentucky Derby winner Ponder) died in 1961. By the 1980s, the farm was in serious decline. By 1991, it was losing a reported $1 million a month and sought bankruptcy protection. Fortunately, it found a savior in Henryk de Kwiatkowski, whose heirs shepherded it for two decades. In 2012, Kelley’s Calumet Investment Group acquired it, and the following year Calumet Farm returned to the winner’s circle when Oxbow won the Preakness Stakes.

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