Joan Winchell and her son, Ron, are partners in Winchell Thoroughbreds, continuing the family's prominent racing and breeding operation started by the late Verne Winchell, Joan's husband and Ron's father. Verne Winchell, who died in 2002 at the age of 87, founded the donut company Winchell's and later was the CEO and chairman of the Denny's restaurant chain.
Through the years, Winchell runners have included champions Mira Femme and Tight Spot and the accomplished runners Pyro, Donut King, Olympio, Sea Cadet, Fleet Renee, Valiant Nature, On Target and Exetera. Winchell Thoroughbreds was a breeder of Paddy O'Pado, the Donegal Racing colt who finished third in the Kentucky Derby and won graded turf stakes. The Winchells also raced Tapit, now a leading sire, in partnership. Their homebred Tapit colt, Tapizar, won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes in 2011 and was a Derby prospect, but had to be taken out of training to remove a chip in his left knee. He later won multiple graded stakes and now stands at Gainesway Farm in Kentucky.
Winchell Thoroughbreds bred and owns 2014 Kentucky Derby hopeful Tapiture, who earned a place in the starting gate by performing well in the Southwest Stakes, Rebel Stakes, and Arkansas Derby. They also campaign homebred and top 2014 Kentucky Oaks contender Untapable.