Today, we travel to Lexington, Kentucky, the Horse Capital of the World, stopping for lunch at Claudia Sander’s Dinner House. In 1959, at the age of 69, Colonel Harland Sanders and his wife, Claudia, moved from Southeastern Kentucky to Shelbyville. Prior to this, the Colonel had spent many years in Corbin, Kentucky, developing his now world-famous chicken recipe. His move to Shelbyville was prompted by the opening of Interstate 75 which bypassed Corbin and his restaurant. It was from this very building that Kentucky Fried Chicken grew into a world-wide organization.
We will then begin visiting Horse Country of Lexington, beginning with Godolphin at Jonabell, Home of the Darley Stallions. Jonabell Farm is one of the leading horse farms in the USA. It is the American headquarters of Sheikh Mohammed’s global Godolphin operation and home to the Darley thoroughbred stallions in the United States. Godolphin is the global thoroughbred breeding operation and horseracing operation founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Today Team Godolphin spans across four continents, from their home in Dubai to Europe, Australia, Japan and America.
Our tour will begin at the farm office where we will learn about the history of Jonabell Farm as well as the scope of Godolphin. We’ll then head outside to see the stallions, including Kentucky Derby winners Nyquist and Street Sense, multiple G1 winner Frosted, and leading sires Medaglia D’Oro and Bernardini. We’ll also walk through the breeding shed and visit the gravesite of 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed.
We’ll then check into our hotel for the next three nights, The Campell House. Once an equestrian farm, this 1951 building is a member of Historic Hotels of America. Today, we offer award-winning dining, renovated antebellum interiors.
Dinner is included tonight. (L, D)
This morning, we’re headed to Keeneland Race Trace for breakfast at the Track Kitchen; then we’ll watch the horses warm up on the track for a little while. Then, we will visit Spy Coast Farm to learn about the sport horse industry! Spy Coast Farm specializes in the breeding and training of top-quality performance horses, specifically Grand Prix show jumpers. Located on 800 acres adjacent to the Kentucky Horse Park, visitors will be given the opportunity to explore the different facets of Spy Coast Farm and learn how they have grown to be a major player in the show jumping community. Guests will tour our state-of-the-art Rehabilitation and Fitness Center, Stallion Barn, CEM Quarantine, Young Horse Development Center, Equine Education Center, and Reproduction Center where our mares and foals reside. Touring these facilities provides a great opportunity to learn about show jumping and how horse management, training, and care differs from other equine industries. This is an active tour where there will be walking. Close-toed shoes are advised.
Lunch is included before we depart for a tour of Buffalo Trace Distillery. The Trace Tour is an incredible
introduction to the history and science of bourbon at Buffalo Trace Distillery. We will walk amidst the path of rolling bourbon barrels and captivated by the alluring smell and atmosphere of bourbon sleeping inside the aging warehouses. All along the tour, you will feel the story of Buffalo Trace come to life.
We will then tour Rebecca Ruth Candy, where we will see where the world-famous Bourbon Chocolates was born. This unique confectionery operation is known worldwide as “The Inventor of Bourbon Candy!” and is located in historic downtown Frankfort, KY – just a stone’s throw from the Kentucky state capitol building. The tour highlights the story of Ruth Hanly Booe and includes “Edna’s Table,” antique candy furnace and hand-stirred copper kettles that are still used to this day. Tours includes chocolate sniffs and a view of the candy production line. The Rebecca Ruth Candy Tours utilizes an eclectic mix of antique & modern equipment to produce the most delightful offering of over 120 confections.
Dinner is included tonight. (B, L, D)
This morning, we will visit Mill Ridge Farm, near iconic Keeneland Racetrack, and experience a farm renowned for raising and selling first class Thoroughbreds. Owner Alice Headley Chandler’s father, Hal Price Headley, was the main force in the founding of Keeneland, and the first President of what is considered one of the greatest racetracks in the world. It was said of him, that “every brick and stone at Keeneland has a drop of Hal Price Headley’s blood on it.” After his death in a Keeneland barn in 1962, Alice inherited the land that would become Mill Ridge Farm. Just six years later she became the first woman to breed an Epsom Derby winner in SIR IVOR, and since 2000, Mill Ridge has raised and/or sold 34 Grade 1 winners including 7 Breeders’ Cup winners, 5 Horse of the Year Titleholders, 1 Kentucky Derby winner, 1 Santa Anita Derby winner, and 1 Bluegrass Stakes winner. Come see the land that inspired the heart of the Headley family in the late 1800’s. Named for its location atop the highest point of Bowman Mill Road, your Mill Ridge tour: Begins in the Breeding Shed where you will: Gain an understanding of why this land is so uniquely suited for the Thoroughbred, and participate in the storytelling of the Headley family involvement in the industry.
We do our best to let fans meet their favorites; however, there are no guarantees at any horse farm that can be made for any horse on any tour. Showings depend on the health and daily activities of the horses. Tours are conducted rain or shine (please no umbrellas!); while tours are rain or shine, in the case of severe or dangerous weather, or extenuating operational circumstances, experiences may be cancelled. no weapons will be permitted on horse farm properties.
Lunch is included at the Kentucky Castle. Construction on the castle was started by real estate developer Rex Martin and his wife Caroline Bogaert Martin in 1969. The finished project was to have seven bedrooms, fifteen bathrooms, a fountain in the driveway, and a tennis court. In 1975, the Martins divorced and left the castle unfinished. Rex Martin listed it for sale in 1988 but died in 2003 without selling it. In 2003 the so-called “Martin Castle” was sold for 1.8 million dollars to Thomas R. Post, a lawyer from Miami who graduated from University of Kentucky, and the name was changed to “The Castle Post”.
On May 10, 2004, after months of renovations, tragedy struck when newly installed woodwork and wiring caught fire in the main building. Post, who was at his home in Miami at the time, had already spent months renovating it but vowed to rebuild. Approximately twice the castle’s original cost went towards the reconstruction project. Reconstruction was completed in Fall 2008. New additions include twelve luxury suites, a library, game room, music room, dining hall, ball room, swimming pool, formal garden, basketball court, bar, and tennis court. It is used as a tourist inn, fund raisers, weddings, special events, and corporate functions. It has sixteen bedrooms, four of which are in the outside turrets.
In November 2010, the property was listed for sale at $30,000,000. Post said he would continue to operate it as an inn while it was listed. It was sold in 2017.
Following lunch, we will depart for Keeneland Racetrack, a National Historic Landmark. Keeneland is an internationally renowned racecourse and the Thoroughbred industry’s leading auction house, featuring beautifully landscaped grounds that are open to the public every day. Founded in 1936, Keeneland’s mission is to continually invest in the industry and to preserve the tradition of Thoroughbred racing. From its inception, Keeneland’s founders intended it to be a special place – one that symbolizes the best in Thoroughbred racing in the heart of horse country. This founding vision continues more than eight decades later as Keeneland continues to provide racing and sales at the highest level. Fans and horsemen alike are welcome to enjoy its spectacular racing, attend one of its annual horse sales or simply visit the grounds and celebrate Keeneland’s timeless beauty.
Dinner is included tonight at Holly Hill Inn. (You might remember this wonderful restaurant from an overnight mystery tour a few years ago.) (B, L, D)
This morning, we visit Claiborne Farm – The home of Secretariat and one of the most storied farms and families in Horse Country. Meet the stallions at this historic farm and pay respects to Secretariat at his gravesite. Come and visit Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky, an historic Thoroughbred operation for over 100 years. Behind our gates you will find thoroughbred holy ground with a storied history. Guests first will see our traditional breeding shed which has produced more than 80 Champion racehorses. Guests will then be able to walk the shed rows of our iconic stallion barns which have been home to a world-renowned roster and is home to current stallions War Front, Blame, and Orb just to name a few. Lastly, the tour will end in our cemetery boasting over 20 champions including the legendary Secretariat.
Lunch is included before departing for home. (B, L)
- Four horse farms – Godolphin at Jonabell, Home of the Darley Stallions; Spy Coast Farm; Mill Ridge Farm and Claiborne Farm, Home
- 3 nights at The Campbell House/luggage handling
- Buffalo Trace Distillery
- Rebecca Ruth Candy Tour
- Fully escorted by Jane’s Journeys
- 10 meals; 3 breakfast, 4 lunches and 3 dinners
- Lunch at Kentucky Castle
- Keeneland Racetrack Tour
- Deluxe motorcoach transportation and driver’s gratuity
COST PER PERSON:
Quad: $ 992.00
$250 deposit with reservation; final payment is due by April 1. $25 early bird discount with deposit received before 1/1/21. Travel cancellation insurance due to illness is $70 quad; $112 double, triple and single per person.