For the second consecutive weekend, Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Tapit were in the limelight with stakes winners descending from female families developed by Verne H. Winchell. Yesterday, the filly Untapable won the G3 Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds; the weekend before, Tapiture had won the G3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn. See the last few posts on here for information on their pedigrees and some background on owner/breeder Verne H. Winchell, a Californian who got into racing in 1958 with the purchase of the mare Ronnie’s Baby. Winchell would go on to win the Champagne Stakes in 1961 with Donut King, and among the 60 or so stakes winners he campaigned until his death in 2002 were champions Mira Femme and Tight Spot. Winchell owned Mira Loma Thoroughbred Farm in California until 1977 and then phased his operation to Kentucky at Oakwind Farm in 1978. The farm has since been renamed and the stable is now run by Winchell’s widow, Joan, and son Ron as Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC. Major winners for the them include Tapit, now one of the two or three best stallions in North America.
Last night I took to Twitter to reflect on Winchell’s first mare and the people associated with her—and their associations with history.