Kentucky Trivia 
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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Trivia of the Day!

September 25, 1773, Daniel Boone and his family, with five other families set out for Kentucky. He was joined in Powell’s Valley with 40 other men where they accepted him as their leader. Ref: 24

Happy Birthday!

September 25, 1875, Industrialist and developer of Calumet farm, Warren Wright was born. In 1890 Wright joined the Calumet Baking Powder Company, founded by his father in 1888, as a stock boy; nine years later he became president of the company. He sold it to General Foods Corporation in 1928 for $40 million. Upon his father’s death in 1931, Wright inherited the bulk of the $30 million estate, which included the 1,038-acre Calumet farm on Versailles Road in Lexington. Wright built Calumet into a premier thoroughbred breeding and racing establishment, which produced eight Kentucky Derby winners, seven Preakness winners, two Belmont winners, and two Triple Crown winners — Whirlaway in 1941 and Citation in 1948.

Wright was a director of First National Bank of Chicago, General Foods Corporation, Calumet Chemical Corporation, Paramont Publix, John R. Thompson Company, and Upper Avenue Bank of Chicago. He eventually withdrew from other business interests to devote his entire efforts to Calumet farm. In 1940 he was honored with the ninth annual award of the Thoroughbred Club of America, and he was the leading thoroughbred breeder in 1948. Wright married Lucille Parker of Maysville on March 25, 1919. They had one son, Warren Wright, Jr. On December 29, 1950, Wright died at his winter home in Miami, Florida, and was buried in Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.

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September 25, 1866, Jerome Race Track opened and it marked the return of thoroughbred racing to New York after a hiatus during the Civil War. The appointments were lavish, with a large dining room, a magnificent ballroom, and clubhouse accommodations comparable to a luxury hotel. The grandstand held 2,500 seats. General Ulysses S. Grant was in attendance along with 25,000 fans. Management barred gambling and liquor. The new track received great press. It rapidly surpassed Saratoga as the most important track in America and a model for first class tracks to be built in the next twenty years which included Monmouth, Churchill and the bay course in San Francisco. In 1867, the Belmont Stakes, one of the three major horse races that constitute the Triple Crown, was held at Jerome Park, and it remained there until 1890.

Jerome Park in 1886, showing the elaborate (and very expensive) coaches that the upper class used for their day trip to enjoy a picnic and the races.

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