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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