01/06/2015 1:58PM

2014 Eclipse Awards: Winchell Thoroughbreds

Barbara D. Livingston

Winchell Thoroughbreds purchased Tapit for $625,000 as a yearling and later retained an interest in the Grade 1 winner when he retired to stud at Gainesway Farm in Lexington, Ky. That investment has paid dividends, as Tapit became North America’s leading sire with a record-shattering 2014 season, fueled by several Winchell colorbearers.

Winchell Thoroughbreds was started by the late owner and breeder Verne Winchell and is run by his son Ron, and wife, Joan. Leading the charge for the family in 2014 was homebred Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Untapable, a virtual certainty to earn the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly. Another homebred stable star in 2014 was multiple graded stakes winner Tapiture.

Both of those runners are jewels mined by the Winchells’ successful breeding program. Untapable’s first two dams were bred by Verne Winchell, and her third dam was his foundation mare Carols Christmas. Tapiture’s first two dams were bred by Verne Winchell, as was his broodmare sire, Olympio – another son of Carols Christmas.

Through Dec. 16, Winchell Thoroughbreds led all North American breeders in graded stakes victories with nine. The outfit also ranked fifth among breeders by North American earnings and fourth among owners by North American earnings. The family owns and operates Corinthia Farm near Lexington – the former Oakwind Farm established by Verne Winchell.