History of Patchen Wilkes Farm

Patchen Wilkes Farm was a land grant by President Thomas Jefferson to General Benjamin Warfield after the Revolutionary War.

In 1832 General Warfield named the estate, which originally was over 1100 acres, BENEVENNE.  He and then his sons raised shorthorn cattle and farmed the land.  In 1896, the land was sold in New York at an auction to W.E.D. (Will) Stokes and Peter Duryea. 
Stones and Duryea, who were often partners in business as well as horses, bought the property sight unseen the day after they had bought the great trotter named Patchen Wilkes.  They changed the name of the farm to Patchen Wilkes Stock Farm.  In addition to 
Patchen Wilkes, the outstanding stallions that stood at the farm 
included Peter the Great, Onward and J.J. Audubon.

Stokes moved to Lexington and lived on the farm.  He was responsible for upgrading and developing the property into an outstanding standardbred horse farm.  However, Duryea decided what stallions to stand at stud and handled the sale of yearlings.  Yearlings were sold not only to American buyers, but also to people in Germany, France, Russia and Japan.  Vast improvements were made on the farm by Stokes and Duryea.

In the early 1930s, the farm was sold to Joseph Goodwin, a car dealer in Lexington, who moved into the farm house manor and converted the farm to raising and training thoroughbreds.  Patchen Wilkes was managed by Herman Goodpaster, who was permitted to own some horses himself and to breed, train and race them as he did the horses of Mr. Goodwin.  In 1963, one of Mr. Goodpaster’s mares gave birth to a pure white, non-albino filly which was named White Beauty.  After much effort on his part, the Jockey Club finally agreed the horse was white – the first ever so recorded by the Jockey Club.  He continued to breed mares from the family of White Beauty, producing several more white horses.

In 1980, following Mr. Goodwin’s death and the death of his wife, Aunt Jane, the farm’s ownership was transferred to a niece and two nephews.  Shortly thereafter in June 1980, they sold the farm to Warren and Betty Rosenthal, who continued to raise thoroughbreds. 

Mr. Goodpaster developed his own farm, first in partnership with Aunt Jane.  Goodpaster visited Patchen Wilkes frequently and was pleased with the way the farm had been remodeled and the care that was taken to make it beautiful.  As a result, he made Rosenthal a gift of a mare foaled in 1981 who he named Precious Beauty.  In 1995, Precious Beauty had a white filly which was named Patchen Beauty.  After racing and winning twice, Patchen Beauty became a broodmare and her first three foals have been white.  The first, a colt foaled on April 5, 2002, was named The White Fox.  As a three year old, he raced 3 times, winning 1 and coming in third twice.  Later, when Mr. Goodpaster sold his farm, he gave Rosenthal two more white mares who were too old to breed.  Currently there are four white horses on the farm in addition to The White Fox, which is at the track.

Patchen Wilkes Farm has decreased from its original size due to land taken for the interstate, a school, and a park until it now is only 242.6 acres.  Plans are for the farm to continue to be a broodmare farm until expansion of the subdivision restricts the available pastures for raising thoroughbreds.