Known as the "horse capital of the World," Lexington, Ky., is home to one of the most internationally recognized horse-breeding operations: Darley Stud at Jonabell. A number of champion steeds, including Bernardini, the winner of the 2006 Preakness Stakes, have been sired on these grounds. Each day from mid-February to June, some of the most prestigious horses in the industry are selectively paired off here and at a number of other local farms with the hopes of producing the next Triple Crown winner.
Owned by the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Darley is the scene of about half a dozen breeding sessions a day, and owners sometimes pay up to a half million dollars to mate a mare with one of the farm's stallions. It is all aimed at preserving the thoroughbred bloodline and producing future excellence.
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