Historic Elmendorf Breeding

Elmendorf Farm, Lexington
(historical data courtesy of Lexington History Museum and Daily Racing Form)

Elmendorf Farm on Lexington's Paris Pike has one of the Thoroughbred sport's most remarkable histories. Founded in 1874 by Milton H. Sanford as Preakness Stables, part of its vast acreage is now home to Sancal Racing's breeding operation.

The farm's iconic Thoroughbred residents have included champions Baden-Baden, Miss Woodford, Springbok, and Protagonist; Horse of the Year and sire Salvator; classic winners Ben Ali, Apollo, and Kingfisher; sires Virgil (sire of Kentucky Derby winners Vagrant, Hindoo, and Ben Ali), Spendthrift, Speak John, and Verbatim; and Man o' War's sire and dam, Fair Play and Mahubah.

Two stately marble lion statues originally stood guard at the entrance of J.B. Haggin's "Green Hills" mansion which was built circa 1900 as a wedding gift to his wife. The lions now guard the main entrance to all of Elmendorf Farm.

Near the main entrance, the Combination Barn was built to house stallions and coaching horses.  The barn was of fireproof construction, made of stone and brick, with a red terra cotta title roof.  The center section and wings were divided by a fireproof brick wall (to prevent the spread of any fire).  Large circular ventilators, made of galvanized iron, provided free air for the entire barn.  The second floor contained sleeping quarters for the men in charge of the horses.

During 1901, a residence for the general manager was built near the main gate, completed in 1902 at a cost of $75,000.  After Charles H. Berryman was hired during 1904 to be the farm’s general manager, the house was known as the Berryman Mansion. 

© Sancal Racing 2018

Photography Mary Ellet, Holly M. Smith Photography, Loretta Lustag, Maria Sol Aller and Gwen Davis

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