Bull Lea

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Bull Lea
Bull Lea.jpg
Sire Bull Dog
Grandsire Teddy
Dam Rose Leaves
Damsire Ballot
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1935
Country United States
Colour Brown
Breeder Coldstream Farm
Owner Calumet Farm
Trainer Frank J. Kearns
Record 23: 5–6–1
Earnings $64,815
Major wins
Blue Grass Stakes (1938)
Kenner Stakes (1938)
Widener Handicap (1939)
Leading sire in North America
(1947, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1953)
Leading broodmare sire in North America
(1958, 1959, 1960, 1961)
Grave of Bull Lea at Calumet Farm, surrounded by the graves of racehorses he sired; those of Hill Gail and Iron Liege are visible in the foreground.

Bull Lea (March 11, 1935 – June 16, 1964) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who is best known as the foundation sire responsible for making Calumet Farm one of the most successful racing stables in American history. In their article on Calumet Farm, the International Museum of the Horse in Lexington, Kentucky wrote that Bull Lea was "one of the greatest sires in Thoroughbred breeding history."[1]

Bred by E. Dale Schaffer's Coldstream Stud in Lexington, Kentucky, Bull Lea was sired by Bull Dog and out of the mare, Rose Leaves by Ballot. He was purchased as a yearling by Calumet Farm's Warren Wright, Sr. and sent to race at age two under trainer Frank J. Kearns. The colt finished second in the 1937 Hopeful and Champagne Stakes, two important races for his age group.

At age three, Bull Lea set a new Keeneland Race Course record for nine furlongs in winning the 1938 Blue Grass Stakes. Made a 3:1 second choice by bettors for the Kentucky Derby, he finished eighth and then ran sixth in the Preakness Stakes. The following year, the four-year-old's most important win came in the Widener Handicap.

Stud record[edit]

Bull Lea entered stud in 1940 at Calumet Farm's operation in Lexington, Kentucky. He became the Leading sire in North America for five years and Leading broodmare sire for four years. He was also the first sire in the history of American Thoroughbred horse racing to have offspring with earnings of more than $1 million in a single season.

Bull Lea sired fifty-eight stakes winners, seven of which are Hall of Fame members. His progeny includes:

Damsire of:

Grandsire of:

Bull Lea died on June 16, 1964 at Calumet Farm and is buried there with a statue overlooking his grave.


Pedigree of Bull Lea
Bull Dog
Teddy Ajax Flying Fox
Rondeau Bay Ronald
Plucky Liege Spearmint Carbine
Maid of the Mint
Concertina St. Simon
Comic Song
Rose Leaves
Ballot Voter Friar's Balsam
Cerito Lowland Chief
Merry Dance
Colonial Trenton Musket
Thankful Blossom Paradox
The Apple


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-10. 
  2. ^ a b c d Leicester, Charles (1969). Bloodstock Breeding. London: J.A. Allen & Co. 

External links[edit]