Darley/Jonabell Farm, Lexington, Kentucky
Located on 780 acres in the beautiful rolling landscape of southwest Lexington, Kentucky, Jonabell Farm is an equine development for Darley Stud. This farm is home to more than 170 thoroughbreds and accommodates all aspects of equine life. Jonabell’s history dates back to 1946 when it was started by noted horse breeder John A. Bell III, who it was originally named for. During his tenure, the farm was home to several important stallions, most notably 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed. In 2001, it was bought by Darley (owned by by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and vice-president of the United Arab Emirates) as their breeding operation, though it retains the Jonabell name. He and his junior wife, Her Royal Highness Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, daughter of King Hussein of Jordan, are both very involved in horses. She rode for the Jordanian show jumping team in the 2000 Olympics. He oversees a global breeding operation in six countries. Jonabell serves as the sheik’s stallion operation; among the 15 stallions standing at stud on the farm are the 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense and his rival Hard Spun, Bernardini, and top American stallions Medaglia d'Oro (Rachel Alexandra's daddy) and Street Cry (Zenyatta's sire). Darley has the distinction of being the only farm with the sires of four Kentucky Derby winners standing at stud at the same time. A stud fee, at Darley, ranges from $7,500 to $150,000.
Affirmed, the 1978 Triple Crown winner and the last thoroughbred to accomplish the feat, was buried whole standing up, and facing the viewer, directly under his statue at Darley along with the familiar flamingo pink and black silks of owner/breeder Lou and Patrice Wolfson's Harbor View Farm. Thirty years ago, he gave his sport not just its last Triple Crown, but an amazing rivalry with a horse named Alydar. Even though Affirmed died before the sheik acquired the farm, he wanted to make sure the legendary stallion had a fitting memorial. Affirmed lived in reverence until January 2001 and the age of 26.
2010 Fee: $150,000 STANDS AND NURSES, Sire of Undefeated Zenyatta, Champion Street Sense and Multiple Record Breaker Street Boss