It’s official: Calumet Farm sold for $36 million

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Entrance to historic Calumet Farm Entrance to historic Calumet Farm

It is now official. The storied Calumet Farm, which bred and raced Triple Crown winners Whirlaway and Citation and numerous other classic winners and champions, is being sold by the heirs of Henryk de Kwiatkowski to a trust controlled and then leased to Brad Kelley. The price for the nearly 800-acre farm is almost $36 million, a cost of $45,000 per acre.

The Paulick Report first broke the news on April 18 that the farm was in the process of being sold to Kelley.  Click here for the details

A brief statement, distributed by the de Kwiatkowski family’s Kennelot Stables, said a purchase agreement has been signed with the Calumet Investment Group Trust for the sale of the 700-plus acre property that was originally developed as a standardbred farm in 1924 by William Wright, whose business was Calumet Baking Powder. It stayed in the Wright family until 1992, when, thrust into bankruptcy while under the management of J.T. Lundy, it was sold at auction. De Kwiatkowski, an aviation magnate who who bred and raced Horse of the Year Conquistador Cielo and the outstanding stallion Danzig, outbid Lebanese Issam Fares to purchase the property for $17 million.

The statement said the “new owners plan to continue to maintain Calumet Farm in its historic and visible setting.”

According to Charles Middleton, who represented the buyer in the transaction, the farm will be vacated July 15 by employees and horses currently boarded there, including the stallions Cactus Ridge and Ice Box. “It will be a private operation,” Middleton said.

Middleton said the names of the individuals who control the trust that purchased Calumet are “confidential.” He said Kelley has signed a long-term lease for the farm.

Kelley, notoriously publicity shy, declined an opportunity to comment.

Kelley, a native of Franklin, Ky., who now lives in the Nashville, Tenn., suburbs, is listed by Forbes magazine as the 263rd wealthiest American and is said to be one of the largest landowners in America, with more than 1.25 million acres, many of them devoted to wildlife preservation. He made his fortune in the tobacco business and at one time was among the largest shareholders of Churchill Downs Inc. and was an owner of Kentucky Downs.

Kelley owns Bluegrass Hall adjacent to Calumet near the Bluegrass Airport, along with Hurricane Hall farm north of Lexington and two plots of land on Parkers Mill Road not far from Calumet.

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  • Glimmerglass

    Good hear your tipster wasn’t simply a rumor, as the Courier-Journal called it in print.

    Worth noting as it was pondered before about Kelley’s horses maybe someday wearing the famous devil red and blue silks. That wouldn’t be possible at present. The Brazilian-based stable Stud
    TNT acquired them (actually Gonzalo Borges Torrealba purchased the rights) in the bankruptcy auction.

    A Stud TNT runner was last seen wearing them in the US back in 2010.

  • Glimmerglass

    Good hear your tipster wasn’t simply a rumor, as the Courier-Journal called it in print.

    Worth noting as it was pondered before about Kelley’s horses maybe someday wearing the famous devil red and blue silks. That wouldn’t be possible at present. The Brazilian-based stable Stud
    TNT acquired them (actually Gonzalo Borges Torrealba purchased the rights) in the bankruptcy auction.

    A Stud TNT runner was last seen wearing them in the US back in 2010.

  • Don Reed

    Indian Charlie only went as high as $35 mil.

  • Don Reed

    Indian Charlie only went as high as $35 mil.

  • Vickijensen

    If the new owners plan to continue to maintain Calumet Farm in its historic & visible setting then Pls open the farm back up for visitors.  Calumet was open prior to Lundy. Mr H de K opened the farm for tours but his heirs closed it.  This farm is a huge pc of history-the cemetary alone…on par w/ Claibornes.  Racing fans need to have access to this.  Anyone who knows the hx of Calumet would get goosebumps just being on the property, let alone the stallion barn or walking thru the cemetary. 

  • Vickijensen

    If the new owners plan to continue to maintain Calumet Farm in its historic & visible setting then Pls open the farm back up for visitors.  Calumet was open prior to Lundy. Mr H de K opened the farm for tours but his heirs closed it.  This farm is a huge pc of history-the cemetary alone…on par w/ Claibornes.  Racing fans need to have access to this.  Anyone who knows the hx of Calumet would get goosebumps just being on the property, let alone the stallion barn or walking thru the cemetary. 

  • Richard

    The Kelley family is incredibly blessed to have purchased such a remarkable piece of land. Best wishes to the Kelley’s/

  • Richard

    The Kelley family is incredibly blessed to have purchased such a remarkable piece of land. Best wishes to the Kelley’s/

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