Our History

At the beginning of the 20th century, the legendary Colonel E. R. Bradley developed a top-rate equine facility and assembled breeding stock from the finest Thoroughbreds in the world at his farm he named Idle Hour. Bradley’s efforts produced four Kentucky Derby winners: Behave Yourself, Bubbling Over, Burgoo King and Brokers Tip. After Colonel Bradley’s death, John W. Galbreath purchased the core property of Idle Hour.

Renaming the farm Darby Dan, Galbreath’s results were profound. In 1961, Galbreath imported the undefeated (16-for-16) European superstar Ribot. That effort paid large returns when Ribot’s sons Graustark and His Majesty proved very successful in the decades that followed. He also engineered the lease of the great European horse Sea-Bird, as well as the acquisition of Kentucky Derby hero Swaps, and Horse of the Year Sword Dancer.

In 1963 and 1967, Darby Dan added to the farm’s classic heritage with Chateaugay and Proud Clarion’s victories in the Kentucky Derby. In 1972, Darby Dan’s homebred Roberto won the English Derby at the famous Epsom Racecourse, making Galbreath the first person—and still one of only four—to win both the original Derby and the Kentucky Derby. Then in 1985, Darby Dan’s Proud Truth won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, making Darby Dan the only farm in history to accomplish this most coveted trinity of races.

Galbreath’s grandson, John Phillips, remains committed to this heritage. Since the end of the 80s, Darby Dan has been represented by the likes of Sunshine Forever, Brian’s Time, Grass Wonder, Tribulation, Wonder Again, Plenty Of Grace, Soaring Softly, Memories Of Silver, and Winter Memories. Further solidifying Darby Dan’s reputation of producing world-class performers, one of Soaring Softly’s final foals, Manitoulin, won the 2017 Hollywood Turf Cup in the historic Darby Dan silks.

Since the days of Colonel Bradley, horse racing and breeding has changed considerably. Similarly, Darby Dan has made the transition from private facility to a commercial one, offering a full array of services. At Darby Dan, there are over 150 mares owned by Thoroughbred enthusiasts from all over the world.

The 21st century has also brought the rebirth of a thriving stallion operation with stallions representing some of the most regal bloodlines, including A.P. Indy, Storm Cat, Sadler’s Wells, Unbridled, Northern Dancer, and Mr. Prospector. The current stallion roster features proven stallions and promising young stallions, including: Klimt, who will have first 2-year-olds, and Country House and Higher Power, who will both stand their first seasons in 2021.

Rooted in a distinguished private history and now flourishing in the commercial present, Darby Dan is a special farm committed to its motto: Devoted to the horse. Dedicated to our clients.