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  Grave Matters: Castleton Farm, Lexington, Kentucky

Photos by Liz Martiniak © ©Liz Martiniak 2003; all rights reserved.

Castleton Farm
Castleton FarmAbercrombie
Top: Castleton Farm cemetery. Bottom: Left--Marker listing horses buried; Right--Abercrombie.

CASTLETON FARM near Lexington, Kentucky has had a long history as a nursery for both Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds. It reached its zenith as a Thoroughbred nursery under the ownership of James R. Keene at the beginning of the twentieth century, when Domino stood at stud, and luminaries such as Commando, Peter Pan, Black Toney, Maskette, and a host of others were foaled.

Acquired by David Look after Keene's death in 1913, it became a Standardbred farm, and was maintained as such when purchased by Frances Dodge Johnson in 1945. In 2001 the farm was sold again, and once again became a nursery for runners.

The cemetery lies near an intersection of two of the tree-lined farm roads, and is an open green space flanked on one end by a twelve foot high horseshoe-shaped hedge. The pacing champion ABERCROMBIE is the only horse to have the honor of a marker, placed on his grave upon his death in November of 2000. Those buried in unmarked graves include the Keene runners and sires COMMANDO and KINGSTON, champion American Saddlebred WING COMMANDER, and Standardbreds, the likes of whom include: EMILY ELLEN, Castleton's fabled blind broodmare who lived to the age of 38, passing away in 1945; SPENCER, a winner of the Kentucky Futurity; VICTORY SONG, winner of the Futurity; WORTHY BOY (the sire of Star's Pride); SPEEDY SCOT, trotting Triple Crown winner and sire of Speedy Crown. Stallions BOMBS AWAY, FLORICAN and SPEEDSTER rest in this cemetery, as do pacing champion GOOD TIME, Little Brown Jug winner STRIKE OUT, and KING'S COUNSEL, the great 1940s pacing rival of Adios

Mares include MERRIE ANNABELLE, a world champion two-year-old filly who was injured in a freak accident at The Red Mile, and died despite heroic and lengthy efforts to save her life. Other mares include Hambletonian-winning filly YANKEE MAID and her champion daughter YANKEE LASS; champion mares PROXIMITY and COLONIAL CHARM; and TARPORT CHEER, one of the greatest pacing matrons of all time. --L.M.

CASTLETON FARM BURIALS: Keene Era (Thoroughbreds)
Commando (c.1898-1905, unmarked)
Kingston (c.1884-1912, unmarked)
Stallions, Geldings and Broodmares
Anacacho Shamrock
By Appointment
Flirtation Walk
Love Affair
Ch. Lover's Lane
Mary Lee Highland
Ch. Meadow Princess
Moon Glitter
Ch. Primrose Park
Ch. Show Boat
Ch. Socko
Sparkling Waters
Ch. Star of the Show
Sweet Rhythm
Vanity's Sensation
Ch. Wing Commander (1943-1969)
STANDARDBREDS (All but Abercrombie Unmarked)
Stallions, Geldings and Broodmares
Abercrombie (1975-2000)
Alert Girl
All Alert
Arnie Almahurst
Bit O Sugar
Blue Hawaii
Bombs Away
Breath O Spring
Bret Hanover 1962 (Grave and statue moved to Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY)
Colonial Charm
Emily Ellen
Ensign Hanover
Flory Messenger
Good Council,
Good Time
Josie Scot
Kings Counsel
Leta Long
Libby Scot
Martha Doyle
Meadow Helene
Merrie Annabelle
Miracle Adios
Muriel Hanover
Noble Gesture
Race Time
Record Express
Rose Dean
Scotch Love
Sister Mary
Speedy Scot
Spinster Hanover
Sprite Hanover
Stand By
Strike Out
Sweet Talk
Tarport Cheer
Tarport LadyAnn
Vesta's First
Vesta's Pride
Victory Song
Walter McKiyo
Worthy Boy
Yankee Lass
Yankee Maid

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