By Kellie Reilly/

Born in an historic New York neighborhood, Audible hopes to become only the second horse bred in the Empire State to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) after Funny Cide (2003). But there’s also a lot of Kentucky in this colt who was raised in the Bluegrass.

Audible was bred by Richard Leahy’s Oak Bluff Stables and foaled at Berkshire Stud in Pine Plains, New York. As the historical page on the farm’s website explains, this area of the Hudson Valley has been prime real estate for both horses and cattle for centuries. Imported stallion Messenger, the Standardbreds’ patriarch as well as a significant influence on the early American Thoroughbred, called Pine Plains home for a few years in the late 1790s. The town even had a racetrack in the 19th century.

After an uneventful birth at Berkshire Stud, the three-week-old Audible moved to Winter Quarter Farm in Kentucky with his dam, Blue Devil Bel. That was because the mare was due to be bred back to a Kentucky stallion, so Blue Devil Bel and her foal would spend time in the Bluegrass as she was covered and began her new pregnancy.

Thus baby Audible went from one historic location to another, for Winter Quarter is the birthplace and childhood home of Hall of Famer Zenyatta. The Lexington nursery also has a connection to a Hall of Famer of an older vintage, 1960s superstar Kelso. His dam, Maid of Flight, was herself foaled and raised on the farm.

Winter Quarter was founded in 1948 by World War II veteran Burnett Robinson and named after a Coast Guard lightship. His son, Don, took over at the helm in the late 1970s. Recently honored with the Hardboot Breeders’ Award in recognition for his career achievements, Don runs Winter Quarter in tandem with his own son, Ferran Robinson.

Ferran spoke of the teamwork between Winter Quarter and Berkshire Stud, owned and operated by veterinarian Douglas Koch, to care for the Leahy mares and their babies.

“Doug does the scary stuff,” Ferran said of Dr. Koch’s presiding over the foaling and newborn stages in New York. [Read More]