Brereton C. Jones: Former Kentucky Governor's four noted Thoroughbred connections

September 19th, 2023

Brereton C. Jones, who along with his wife Libby founded Airdrie Stud in 1972 and later served one term as governor of Kentucky from 1991-95, died on Sept. 18 at the age of 84. Widely respected as an owner, breeder, and public advocate for the horse industry, Jones made a lasting impact on many fronts in the five decades following his migration from West Virginia to central Kentucky.

Here, in chronological order, are four of the many noteworthy Thoroughbreds associated with Jones and Airdrie.

Indian Charlie

Winner of the 1998 Santa Anita Derby (G1) and third as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby (G1) in his only career loss, Indian Charlie spent most of his stud career at Airdrie, where he sired the champion fillies Fleet Indian and Indian Blessing.

His most impactful offspring was 2010 juvenile colt champion Uncle Mo, a prolific sire in his own right whose progeny includes Nyquist, Golden Pal, Mo Donegal, and recent Pacific Classic (G1) winner Arabian Knight.


Jones bred this Honour and Glory filly, whose half-length win as a 47-1 longshot in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Churchill Downs secured an Eclipse Award as champion of her division.

Sold for $180,000 as a yearling to Churchill director Carl Pollard, Caressing later produced 2017 champion three-year-old male West Coast and was the second dam of Japanese Group 1 winner Danon Kingly.

Harlan's Holiday

Like Indian Charlie, Harlan's Holiday was the beaten Kentucky Derby favorite in his year but later enjoyed a prolific stallion career at Airdrie. Prior to spending his final years at WinStar Farm, the three-time Grade 1-winning Ohio-bred sired champion juvenile colt Shanghai Bobby and sprint star Majesticperfection.

Harlan's Holiday's biggest impact on the breed is through another son, Into Mischief, who has reigned as North America's leading sire since 2019.

Proud Spell

Bred and raced by Jones, Proud Spell was voted champion three-year-old filly of 2008 following victories in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Alabama (G1), Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), and Delaware Oaks (G2).

Jones won the Kentucky Oaks on two others occasions, with homebred Believe You Can in 2012 and with Lovely Maria (a daughter of Airdrie stallion Majesticperfection) in 2015.