Arthur Hancock III had honed his own knowledge of racing by working at Claiborne as well as spending more than a year at the racetrack. He worked for the great trainer Eddie Neloy, who trained for the Phipps family--mainstays among the Hancock clients for several generations.
In 1970, Bull Hancock sent young Arthur III to run a 100-acre tract known as Stone Farm. It was a farm in microcosm, involving all details of administration and business as well as horsemanship. Like his father, Arthur succeeded.
Stone Farm later became the property of Arthur III, who added parcels until the rambling, rolling property embraced 2,000 acres. Like Capt. Richard Hancock, he has created a new chapter in the family history, compatible with, but separate from what had come before.
Hancock knew that one man alone could not achieve success in breeding and racing, and among the clients he thanks for their support over the years are Bob McNair, Roy Bowen, Teruya Yoshida, Aaron U. Jones, Tom Tatham, Mary Jones Bradley, and Leone J. Peters. It was Peters who sent him his first stallion, Cabin, and the partnership of Hancock and Peters bred and raised Stone Farm's first Kentucky Derby winner. This was Gato Del Sol, who won the Run for the Roses in 1982. Gato Del Sol was a son of Mrs. Bradley's versatile champion Cougar II, whom she had sent to stand at Stone Farm.
In 1989, Hancock won a second Kentucky Derby with Sunday Silence, whom he had foaled and raised for Tatham and later purchased to race for a separate partnership in the Hancock yellow and gray colors. Following the Derby (that revered grail of the Hancocks and other sporting families), Sunday Silence also won the Preakness. Thus, Arthur Hancock III was victorious in the greatest event run at Pimlico--the same Maryland racetrack where his great-grandfather had been awed by Eolus 118 years earlier. Sunday Silence also won the Breeders' Cup Classic--bellwether among more modern developments of the Turf--and was Horse of the Year in 1989. Sold to Japan, he has become an icon of breeding and racing in that country.
Between Gato Del Sol and Sunday Silence, Stone Farm also trod the Triple Crown trail when the big Secretariat colt Risen Star won both the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. Risen Star had been raised at Stone Farm and raced for Louis Roussel and Ronnie LaMarque. He was the champion 3-year-old of 1988. That same year,Hancock and Alex Campbell in partnership raced one of the top fillies of her time, the Kentucky Oaks winner Goodbye Halo.
Hancock returned to the Kentucky Derby again in 1994, when homebred Strodes Creek
finished a strong second. Back again in 1999, when Menifee (another Stone Farm-bred owned, coincidentally, in partnership with James Stone) rallied to be a close second. The colt later won the Grade 1 Haskell and had also won the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. As is typical with Hancock's homebreds, Menifee is by a Stone Farm sire, Harlan. He returned to Stone Farm as a stallion for seven years. Menifee now stands at the Korean Racing Association Jeju Stud Farm.
In 35 years, more than 100 stakes winners have been raised at Stone Farm - and 30% of them are graded stakes winners. In 1998, Stone Farm, in partnership with Robert McNair's neighboring Stonerside Stable, sent into the Keeneland sale ring a handsome yearling by Mr. Prospector out of Angel Fever. This colt was so impressive that he brought the top price of the year, $4 million, from Fusao Sekiguchi. Given a name of mythical flavor, Fusaichi Pegasus, he emerged as the hero of the Kentucky Derby of the year 2000, proving that the Stone Farm tradition had endured into a new century.
Arthur Hancock III and Stone Farm have become known for raising horses in a way to encourage strength, vigor, and a confident, competitive nature. Stone Farm has 100-acre paddocks, and horses are turned out virtually all the time - while still under the diligent and watchful attention of Hancock and his expert crew.
The slogan at Stone Farm is, "We're trying to raise you a good horse." And for over 35 years, Arthur Hancock III has been raising good horses by building on the expertise instilled years ago by his father, on the excellence of the soil and grass, the improvements of modern veterinary science, and the intangibles of horsemanship that echo through his family's history.
The Hancock Family