Valkyre Stud

My Preakness Weekend: Highs, Lows and the Fragility of Life

As has been said many times about the Thoroughbred industry: it is a business with highs and lows; more lows than highs; the highs are very high and the lows are very low. It was an emotional weekend of racing for me. The highs have been the results of two races. The lows, the thoughts of those not here to celebrate with me. First, Dazzling Blue ran her record to three-for-three Friday with a, well, dazzling performance at Churchill Downs. Then, Sunday, Weehawken broke her maiden by three lengths at...

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Valkyre Stud: It Starts With the Heart

The passing of Burt Bacharach last week evokes a couple of complementary tales that reflect instructively not only on the great man himself, but also on the different ways that different farms go about their business. Back in the early 1980s Bacharach was staying in downtown Lexington, having been driven down from a concert in Cincinnati the night before so that he could visit his mares and foals before flying on to his next show. Catherine Parke was still in her twenties, having barely established Valkyre Stud on a parcel...

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Letter to the Editor: Catherine Parke

Valkyre Stud cared for Burt Bacharach's Kentucky broodmares for many years. His champion filly Heartlight No. One is buried here. He was a wonderful, caring man who truly loved his horses. He kept personal contact with the people who cared for his horses and was very interested in their well being. He would call during concert breaks and check to see if a mare had foaled and ask about Heartlight. So many memories--in a limousine with him on the way to the Kentucky Derby, he became very quiet and started...

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