While Calumet Farm has maintained a commercial operation, its stallion barn has remained empty since 2004. The legendary Kentucky farm announced the addition of two stallions – the first stallions to stand at Calumet since Nicholas in 2004. Cactus Ridge has relocated from the Vinery and the Nick Zito trained Ice Box makes the stud list two-deep with his retirement from racing. Cactus Ridge is owned by country singer Toby Keith and was sired by Hennessy. Ice Box was sired by Pulpit.
Bill Witman, manager of Calumet said, “While not the powerhouse it was when such game-changing sires as Bull Lea and Alydar were in its midst and classic winners burst from its seams, Calumet has managed to weather the massive correction that hit the Thoroughbred breeding industry in 2008. With the overall market showing signs of recovery in 2011, officials with the farm — which is owned by a trust — felt the time was right to dip its toe back into the stallion waters it once ruled.”
“I certainly hope we have found the bottom of this (correction) and it is time to build back. We’ve been looking from the sidelines for a year or two about the prospects of getting in the business. The opportunity was afforded us and we took advantage of it.”
Calumet’s renowned devil red and blue jockey silks were well respected and seen at race tracks all over the country. Calumet Farm has quite a history with Triple Crown winners Whirlaway and Citation along with six other Kentucky Derby winners: Pensive, Ponder, Hill Gail, Iron Liege, Tim Tam, and Forward Pass. The farms familiar white fencing along with their red and white barns can be seen as you drive on Versailles Road near Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky.
Kentucky Derby Tours stopped at Calumet Farm on our 2010 visit for jockey Jorge Valesquez to visit Alydar’s grave. Alydar and Jorge finished second to Affirmed in all three Triple Crown races in 1978. To see more photos of the 2010 Kentucky Derby Tours – see website www.kentuckyderbytours.com/photo-gallery/tour10/ Thanks to Cindy Pierson Dulay for the photo.