Big-Race Showdown: Kentucky Derby Championship Series Visits Fair Grounds, Turfway
Contemporary Thoroughbred racing in North America is indebted to several significant individuals, and perhaps none more than Frank Stronach, who purchased his first racehorse in 1962 and in the 57 years since has expanded to own several racetracks, campaign numerous champions, and develop bold, creative ideas such as the Pegasus World Cup Invitational. His most lasting influence arguably has been as a breeder, however, and his Adena Springs Kentucky operation outside of Paris continues to rank as a leading stud farm that produces top-class racehorses for Stronach’s own stable as well as for the commercial market.
Stronach, a successful tool and die business owner, opened his first farm in the early 1960s in his native Ontario. Now called Adena Springs North, it still is in business today with its own stallion roster. But in August of 1989, Stronach expanded into the competitive Bluegrass region by purchasing 640 acres in Woodford County east of Lexington, Ky. He named that farm after an American Indian tribe who lived on the land, the Adenas, and over subsequent years built it into a thriving operation.
In 2005, Stronach purchased over 2,000 acres of land in Bourbon County north of Lexington, near Paris, and two years later moved his entire Adena Springs Kentucky operation to this property. The Kentucky farm is a full-service facility, standing nine stallions during the 2019 breeding season and also operating a sales division. Their veteran sire, Awesome Again, has anchored Adena’s stallion business for 20 years. Adena also stands his son Ghostzapper, the 2004 Horse of the Year and a current leading sire. Another father-son duo of note standing at Adena is Macho Uno and Mucho Macho Man.
Stronach has won an incredible 21 Sovereign Awards (Canada’s version of the Eclipse Awards), including a record 12 as Outstanding Breeder. He has won 12 Eclipse Awards overall, including a record eight as Outstanding Breeder. In 2018, Stronach received the Eclipse Award of Merit for his lifetime contributions to the Thoroughbred industry. For more about Stronach’s illustrious career, read Tom Pedulla’s profile for America’s Best Racing.
Tours of Adena Springs Kentucky are offered year-round through Horse Country and last one hour. They include a stallion show where visitors can see the farm’s leading sires mentioned above and also a tour of the stallion barn and breeding complex. For more information, click here.