Air Force Blue is a three-time group 1-winning son of War Front . Bred by Stone Farm in Kentucky, he was acquired by Coolmore's M.V. Magnier for $490,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale out of Stone Farm's consignment.
After spending almost two hours touring Stone Farm in Paris, Kentucky, our small group was being led back through the main office when owner Arthur B. Hancock III happened to step out of his private office. In his excitement, guest Jeff Holleran turned to our guide Alex — who is also Arthur’s daughter — and asked, “Can I have my picture taken with him?”
In that moment, everyone smiled, and Alex quipped, “Well, you will have to ask him!” While taking the picture, Jeff was able to tell Arthur about how his great grandfather helped build the stone fences around the Hancock family’s Claiborne Farm many years ago.
It was a two-minute conversation that will last a lifetime for Holleran, and it shows the value of what Horse Country is trying to do.
For a variety of reasons Arthur Hancock III has long been one of our favorite people in the industry. Through 70-plus years he has maintained a sharp eye for horses and a sly wit and ready laugh; he has the heart of an artist (and is, in fact, a talented songwriter and musician); and he believes there is more to the universe than meets the eye.
At 27-1 the second longest shot in the field for Saturday’s GI Woodford Reserve Manhattan S., Ascend was roused in upper stretch by Jose Ortiz and won a frenetic sprint to the wire that saw fully six of the contestants shade :22 seconds for the final two furlongs.
Stone Farm and Madaket Stables’ ASCEND, jumping into stakes company for the first time in his 5-year-old debut off six months between races, made a last-to-first move under jockey Feargal Lynch to capture the $75,000 Henry S. Clark.
A full sister to 2015 Champion Juvenile Air Force Blue was foaled March 9 at Arthur B. Hancock III's Stone Farm, in Paris, Kentucky. The filly is out of the stakes-placed Maria's Mon mare Chatham and is by top sire War Front.
Arthur Hancock III can recite pedigrees as well as any other Central Kentucky hardboot, meaning he can go back off the top of his head through generationof equine families at sometimes dizzying speed. Hancock, though, is also a big believer in omens, karma, and philosophical pieces of wisdom, which he can also recite on demand. All of the above played a role in his 2009 purchase of the mare Steady Course from the dispersal of William T. Young’s Overbrook Farm. Steady Course’s name hit the bright lights Nov. 19 when her son Mastery won the Bob Hope Stakes (gr. III) at Del Mar. The son of Candy Ride at that moment became Bob Baffert’s leading contender for the 2017 Triple Crown series.
That man in Bourbon County. The one who bought in Sunday Silence at the Keeneland July sale, discovered that he had bought the colt for himself because the breeder didn't want to retain him, and then watched the colt win two-thirds of the Triple Crown. Well, that horse-breeding Arthur Hancock is at it again, and he has not misplaced his lucky rabbit's foot.