Winchell Thoroughbreds

Untapable, Kentucky Oaks, Churchill Downs, May 2nd 2014; Cotillion S, Park Racing, September 20th 2014; Breeders' Cup Distaff, Santa Anita, October 31st 2014; Apple Blossom, Oaklawn Park, April 10th 2015

Trained by, Steve Asmussen, Sire: Tapit. Dam: Fun House by Prized

Winchell Thoroughbreds is a partnership of Joan Winchell and her son, Ron, who are continuing the operation of Joan’s husband and Ron’s dad Vernon, who died at the age of 87 in 2002. Vernon Winchell found the donut company, Winchell’s, in 1948 and subsequently was CEO and chairman of Denny’s restaurants. His success in business allowed Winchell to continue his passion with Thoroughbreds which began more than a half-century ago. He bred and raced $300,000-earner Mira Femme, and, in partnership, 1991 turf champion Tight Spot. His other top horses included Donut King; Olympio; Sea Cadet; Fleet Renee; Valiant Nature; On Target, who finished fourth in the 1994 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile; and Etcetera, who was seventh in the Juvenile the very next year.

The Winchells bought Oakwind Farm near Lexington, Kentucky, and renamed it Corinthia Farm after a house that was built on the property in 1854. Racing manager and farm manager David Fiske has been with the Winchell family for more than 30 years. Steve Asmussen has been the family’s trainer for more than 25 years.

Ron Winchell, who is 42, is involved in gaming bars/restaurants, construction, and real estate development. Among the Winchell Thoroughbreds’ long list of outstanding horses is Summerly, a $410,000 Keeneland September yearling who won the 2005 Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. She was sold as a broodmare for $3.3 million at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton November Mixed Sale, the second highest price of the sale. 

Cuvee was a Grade 1 winner who was bred by Vernon. Tapizar gave the Winchells their first Breeders’ Cup victory when he captured the 2012 Grade 1 Dirt Mile. Pyro, who was bred and initially raced by the Winchells, won the Grade 1 Forego Stakes for Godolphin, which purchased the colt privately from the Winchells during his three-year-old season. Another star bred by the Winchells was Donegal Racing’s Paddy O’Prado, who won the 2010 Grade 1 Secretariat, the Grade 2 Virginia Derby and Colonial Turf Cup, and the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes on grass and was third on dirt in the 2010 Grade 1 Kentucky.

The Winchells’ current star is their spectacular homebred three-year-old filly Untapable, whose victories in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks in May and Grade 1 Mother Goose in June, made her six-for-eight lifetime with more than $1.3 million in earnings. The Winchells campaigned Tapit, who won the 2004 Grade 1 Wood Memorial and has emerged as one of the dominant stallions in North America, currently ranking first in North America progeny earnings for 2014 standing at Gainesway Farm and the sire not only of the leading filly in Untapable, but one of the top three-year-old colts in Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist.