By Mint Julep


Rancocas Stable Owner: One Kentucky Derby Winner

zev 1923 kentucky derby winner

Delve into the fascinating history of Rancocas Stable on a captivating journey that traces its evolution from visionary Pierre Lorillard IV to the era-defining ownership of Harry F. Sinclair. Explore the triumphs of legendary horses like Grey Lag and Zev, who achieved glory for the stable by winning prestigious races such as the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. Uncover how Rancocas Farm, now known as Helis Stock Farm, maintains its rich heritage meticulously under Linda and Ed Lovenduski’s care for future generations to enjoy.

Rancocas Stable Founder: Pierre Lorillard IV

In the vibrant 1870s, Pierre Lorillard IV established Rancocas Farm in Jobstown, New Jersey with a clear vision and abundant wealth. Fueled by his passion for breeding and training top-notch thoroughbred horses, Lorillard set ambitious goals. His legacy lives on through Parole and Iroquois, two legendary equine champions that showcase his unwavering dedication. These remarkable horses made history as pioneers; notably, Iroquois made headlines as the first American-owned horse to win a prestigious European classic race.

The influential presence of Pierre Lorillard IV continues to resonate at Rancocas Stable like echoes reverberating through time on sacred ground. In an era where horseracing was a blend of sport and prestige, Lorillard stood out among competitors—the tobacco tycoon turned equestrian visionary blazed trails that others could only dream of following. The shining stars he nurtured in those vast pastures bear witness to his knack for spotting potential greatness amidst lush meadows and rolling hills.

As evening falls over the historic grounds of Rancocas Farm today, shadows cast upon weathered barns tell stories of a legacy etched in stone—strong yet ever-flowing like running water. Piercing through the veil of time are whispers carried by gentle breezes recounting tales of triumph immortalized by hooves pounding down racetracks under sunny skies or beneath softly lit grandstands filled with anticipation. The spirit of Pierre Lorillard IV endures—a guiding light illuminating paths for future generations captivated by the allure and mystery woven into every thread of this rich stable’s history.

Succession at Rancocas Stable: Lily A. Livingston

After Pierre Lorillard passed away, Lily A. Livingston took over Rancocas Stable with her strong passion for horses and keen eye for breeding excellence. During her time as the owner, she played a crucial role in shaping the stable’s reputation until 1919 when she decided to sell it to Harry F. Sinclair.

But selling Rancocas Stable wasn’t the end of Livingston’s horse journey; instead, it led her towards new opportunities. She established her own successful breeding and racing operation in Canada, showcasing her unwavering dedication to the sport that had captured her heart at Rancocas Farm. Even though she said goodbye to one prestigious place, Livingston created another space where she continued making significant contributions to the world of horse racing.

Harry F. Sinclair then took charge of Rancocas’ legacy next, inheriting a tradition filled with glory and prestige due to Livingston’s leadership before him. The stable thrived under his guidance; however, each owner brought their unique touch while honoring the rich heritage set by those who came earlier—an intricate tapestry woven by different hands yet telling one incredible story: of resilience, determination, and unwavering love for these majestic creatures running through history’s pages at Rancocas Stable.”

The Pros & Cons of Racing Champions


  1. Gain fame and respect in the racing community
  2. Possibility of earning profitable sponsorships and endorsements
  3. Opportunities to breed horses for additional financial success
  4. Thrill of competing in high-stakes races
  5. Potential to create a lasting impact on the sport


  1. Both the horse and rider face a high risk of injury
  2. Athletes experience intense pressure to consistently perform at their best
  3. They follow demanding training schedules that are physically and mentally challenging
  4. Success in a competitive field is uncertain with no guarantees
  5. People have ethical concerns about how racehorses are treated

Golden Era Under Harry Ford Sinclair

During the 1920s, under Harry F. Sinclair’s ownership, Rancocas Stable became a dominant force in American horse racing and left an unforgettable mark on its history. The stable gained widespread recognition by winning prestigious races like the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. Driven by a passion for excellence and unwavering dedication to their craft, Rancocas Stable led by Sinclair showcased exceptional talent that captured the attention of audiences across the country.

One of the standout horses at that time was Grey Lag, a remarkable athlete known for his speed and spirit on the racetrack. With graceful movements resembling poetry in motion, Grey Lag won numerous hearts with his victories that solidified Rancocas’ reputation among top racing establishments. His successes not only brought home trophies but also filled everyone associated with Rancocas Stable with pride.

Zev was another prominent figure from this golden era at Rancocas Farm—a horse whose name still evokes tales of triumph etched into every race towards victory. Zev’s skills knew no bounds as he conquered some of his time’s most challenging races, including claiming top honors in both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes—a feat that immortalized him among legendary horses forever celebrated at Rancocas.

As fans marveled at these impressive horses speeding down tracks clad in vibrant silks bearing Sinclair’s colors, jockeys rode alongside them with expert finesse honed through rigorous training provided by skilled trainers within the stable’s ranks. The partnership between riders and horses blossomed into harmonious displays of speed and agility—each race serving as proof of teamwork forged through hard work and mutual respect for each other’s abilities.

The legacy established during this period under Harry Ford Sinclair continues to resonate over time—an homage to unwavering commitment towards excellence in horseracing history. Even today, enthusiasts can explore remnants of that glorious past preserved within sacred grounds where champions once roamed freely—a reminder of how dreams paired with determination can create enduring legacies transcending generations as each hoofbeat echoes stories from yesteryears when Rancocas reigned supreme on tracks throughout America.

Acquisition by William Helis

In 1943, William Helis made a bold move by becoming the proud owner of Rancocas Farm, a sprawling estate spanning over 2,000 acres in New Jersey. With keen foresight and a deep love for horse racing, Helis didn’t just buy this vast property; he also expanded it by acquiring more land. This expansion marked the start of an exciting new era for the farm under his smart leadership.

During William Helis’s time as owner, Rancocas Farm flourished with breeding and racing champion horses that made their mark on American turf history. He not only preserved the legacy left by previous owners but also added new victories and milestones during his tenure. His dedication to quality and drive to maintain the farm’s esteemed reputation brought it even more recognition in the equestrian world.

With every step taken on those lush pastures after taking over ownership, William Helis proved himself as a dedicated steward committed to honoring Rancocas Stable’s heritage while guiding it towards modern successes. Through strategic choices and unwavering focus, he placed his name among prestigious figures linked to this historic stable – creating an enduring impact that still resonates today amidst efforts to preserve its rich legacy for future generations of horse enthusiasts.

Storied Stable Legacy and Key Players

Company type Industry Founded Headquarters Key people
Horse breeding/Racing stable Thoroughbred horse racing c. 1873 Jobstown, New Jersey, U.S. Owners: Pierre Lorillard IV
Lily A. Livingston
Harry F. Sinclair
William G. Helis, Sr.

Legacy of Rancocas Farm Today

Known today as Helis Stock Farm, Linda and Ed Lovenduski manage this historic site that pays tribute to the enduring legacy of Rancocas Stable. Preserving its rich heritage isn’t just a duty for them; it’s their passion. The farm is filled with original structures that have stood the test of time like experienced jockeys on a racetrack. You can almost hear the echoes of hooves pounding in those training barns where champions once readied themselves for victory.

The Lovenduskis have taken charge with determination, making sure every inch of Rancocas Farm shares a compelling story—a tale woven with triumphs and setbacks, wins and losses. Like expert riders guiding strong horses around sharp turns, they work tirelessly to preserve not only buildings but memories etched into each brick and beam. Their commitment honors not just the horses who raced across these fields but also pays homage to legendary owners whose names are intertwined with horse racing history.

Walking through Helis Stock Farm today feels like stepping back in time while staying firmly rooted in the present moment. The sight of an indoor track visible from afar shows how tradition seamlessly blends with modernity here—where past glories harmonize effortlessly with current efforts towards preservation and sustainability. It’s as if each neigh carries whispers from a glorious past encouraging visitors to cherish what was without forgetting what could be.

As you explore this living museum celebrating equine excellence, remember that behind every faded photograph hanging on aged walls lies a captivating tale waiting to be told—a story brimming with determination, elegance, and unwavering spirit synonymous with Rancocas Stable’s golden age. The future looks bright under Linda and Ed Lovenduski’s care at Helis Stock Farm; they aren’t just caretakers but storytellers keeping alive an illustrious saga penned by generations before them—one hoofbeat at a time.

Notable Jockeys Associated with Rancocas Stable

Legendary jockeys Earl Sande and Laverne Fator rode for Rancocas Stable during its best years when Harry F. Sinclair owned it. They were skilled riders who helped the stable win races at different tracks all over America.

In 1923, Rancocas Stable, under Sinclair’s ownership, made history by winning the most money in a single season – a record that stood until Calumet Farm broke it in 1941.

Due to personal issues, Harry F. Sinclair had to sell off his favorite horses and farm because of legal problems related to his involvement in the Teapot Dome scandal concerning US oil reserves.

Two horses from Rancocas Stable, Purchase and Lucullite, are celebrated at the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame for their impressive careers after retiring from racing.

The Pennsylvania Railroad even named baggage car #5858 after the renowned Rancocas Stable as a tribute to its important role in American horse racing history.

The Legendary Tales of a Derby Champion

  1. ### The Epic Adventures of a Derby Champion
  2. **Owner’s Triumph:** From Rags to Riches at the Kentucky Derby
  3. – Meet Harry F. Sinclair, the owner of Rancocas Stable who clinched victory in the prestigious Kentucky Derby in 1923 with his beloved horse Zev.
  4. **Zev’s Unstoppable Journey:**
  5. – Zev etched his name into history by conquering the 1923 Kentucky Derby, kickstarting an incredible winning streak that saw him triumph in numerous other top races that same year.
  6. **The Stirring Saga of Ownership:**
  7. – Dive into the whirlwind tale surrounding Harry F. Sinclair, whose ownership of Rancocas Stable was marred by controversy stemming from the infamous Teapot Dome scandal, casting a shadow over his racing success.
  8. **A Lasting Legacy:**
  9. – Despite facing challenges and controversies, Rancocas Stable continued its domination on racetracks post their Kentucky Derby glory – leaving an indelible mark on horse racing history.
  10. **Timeless Influence:**
  11. – The thrilling narrative woven around Rancocas Stable and Zev’s triumphant run at the Kentucky Derby stands as a powerful testament to how owners, trainers, and horses shape and enrich the vibrant world of horse racing throughout generations.


1. Who was the proprietor of Rancocas Stable during the era of the Kentucky Derby triumph?

In the time when the Kentucky Derby was at its peak, Harry F. Sinclair owned Rancocas Stable and stood out as a key player in American horse racing history.

2. Which legendary horse brought glory to Rancocas Stable by winning the Kentucky Derby?

Unfortunately, no horse belonging to Rancocas Stable has managed to clinch a victory at the prestigious Kentucky Derby race.

3. How did the victory at the Kentucky Derby impact the reputation and legacy of Rancocas Stable?

The win at the Kentucky Derby confirmed that Rancocas Stable was a dominant force in American horse racing. This victory further established its reputation as a top breeder of champions and a strong competitor on the racetrack.

4. What distinguished Rancocas Stable from other prominent racing establishments during its peak years?

During its prime years, Rancocas Stable was known for breeding and racing top-tier Thoroughbreds with unmatched success. Owners like Harry Sinclair and John Hay Whitney were part of the esteemed roster, contributing to a legacy that includes legendary champions such as Grey Lag, Zev, and Crusader.

5. Can you elaborate on the training methods employed by Rancocas Stable that contributed to their success at prestigious races like the Kentucky Derby?

Rancocas Stable achieved success in top races like the Kentucky Derby by using precise training methods. They combined traditional horse care techniques with new conditioning programs designed for each horse’s specific strengths, ensuring they performed their best on race day.

6. How has Rancocas Farm continued to honor its historic ties to horse racing and preserve its legacy in modern times?

Rancocas Farm keeps alive its deep connection to horse racing history by offering educational programs, guided tours, and partnering with fellow racing fans. These initiatives help maintain the legacy of this iconic stable in today’s world, ensuring that its enduring spirit remains vibrant and celebrated.