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Virginia Kraft Payson

In The News:

 Biography and Highlights:  
  • Born: New York City
  • Residence: Indiantown, Fla., with bases in Kentucky, New York and Colorado.
  • Family: husband David Libby Cole, son Dean Grimm; daughters Tana Aurland, Jill Aurland and Tara Grimm; three grandchildren
  • Professional Background: Described herself as an “outdoors adventuress” while a writer for Sports Illustrated for 26 years. Her interests included big-game hunting, scuba diving and sled-dog racing. She wrote five books on such subjects as boating, training dogs, shotgun sports and tennis
  • Racing Background: Became involved with Thoroughbreds after marrying Charles Shipman Payson, a widower, in 1977. The two met when she was an associate editor at Sports Illustrated and wrote a story about Payson’s hunting lodge in Florida in 1962 … His first wife, Joan Whitney Payson, was a partner with her brother, Jock Whitney, in the famous Greentree Stud and owned the New York Mets. Charles Shipman Payson died in 1985.  Payson married David Libby Cole, founder of the Colorado Board of Realtors in December 2008 at the Vail (Colorado) Chapel.
  • Racing Career: Payson’s first prominent runner was Carr de Naskra, who won the 1984 Travers Stakes. Carr de Naskra resided at Payson's training facility until October 2008 when he was euthanized at age 27 due to foot problems… Payson bred Breeders' Cup starters Carrielle, L’Carriere and Milesius, as well as 2002 Juvenile winner Vindication and that year’s Distaff runner-up, Farda Amiga, who earlier in the year won the Kentucky Oaks. Payson sold Vindication for $2.15 million at the 2001 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale. Vindication and Farda Amiga both earned Eclipse Awards as division champions ... Payson bought the mare Northern Sunset with her late husband for $105,000 at the 1982 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale. Northern Sunset produced four stakes winners for her: Salem Drive, Lac Ouimet, European Horse of the Year St. Jovite and L'Carriere. At one time, L'Carriere was the all-time leading New York-bred earner with more than $1.7 million. He now ranks fifth on the list behind Funny Cide, Say Florida Sandy, Commentator and Gander ... Northern Sunset, the 1995 Kentucky broodmare of the year, was euthanized in October 2003 at age 26… Payson was named the New York breeder of the year in 1997 by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
  • Breeding/Racing Operation: Owns Payson Stud near Lexington, Ky., located on part of the former Greentree Stud. The bulk of the property is leased to neighboring Gainesway ... Owns 750-acre Payson Park Thoroughbred Training Center near Indiantown, Fla., nearly 100 miles north of Gulfstream Park. She and her late husband, Charles Shipman Payson, purchased the training center in 1980 … Currently has the homebred Grade 1 winner Rutherienne in training with Christophe Clement ... Rutherienne won the G2 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland in 2008 and finished second in the race this year behind champion Forever Together, winner of the 2008 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf ... Rutherienne snapped a seven-race losing skid in May 2009 when she captured the G2 Nassau Stakes by three lengths at Woodbine in Canada, followed by a loss of less than a length to her rival Forever Together in the G1 Diana Handicap. Payson subsequently suggested to Clement to try to avoid running against the formidable champion, and she won the Noble Damsel Stakes (G3) and is pointed toward Keeneland's First Lady Handicap (G1) ... Also bred One Caroline, winner of her first five career starts including the G2 Rampart Stakes in ’09 ... Owns several hundred acres next to Payson Park that she lovingly calls the “geriatric farm.” It is home to her retired broodmares; pensioned stallions, including Salem Drive and Lac Ouimet; retired geldings, including L’Carriere, and several riding horses … Raced in England, Ireland and France in the early 1980s, and won the Group 1 Irish Derby with St. Jovite, who set a course record at the Curragh in the process …  Payson's Grade 3 winning colt Scipion, a three-quarter brother to Vindication, is a son of A.P. Indy and stood his first year at stud in 2008 at Murmur Farm in Maryland … Bought Rutherienne’s second dam, the Alydar mare Adoryphar, for $110,000 at the 1990 Keeneland July yearling sale. Sold her for $47,000 at the 2004 Keeneland January mixed sale … Bred and raced Rutherienne’s dam, the Rahy mare Ruthian, who became a stakes winner. Named Ruthian after a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., where she heard slugger Babe Ruth’s career described as “The Ruthian Era” … Ruthian has a 2006 colt by Vindication, a 2007 filly by Afleet Alex and a 2008 filly by Pulpit, a full sibling to Rutherienne ... Payson also bred the multiple graded stakes placed 3-year-old of 2008, Blackberry Road ... Blackberry Road is a half-brother to both Scipion and Vindication ... In a span of just ten days, both Strawberry Reason and Vindication passed away in the summer of 2008 ... Payson sold a half sister to Vindication by Unbridled's Song through Stone Farm, agent, for $1 million to agent John Ferguson at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Breeders' Cup Record

1989TurfMilesius 10th
1993TurfFairy Garden7th
1997Juvenile FilliesCarrielle8th

NOTE: Stats include North American and selected international races. Click here to view selected international race list.

Biographies on jockeys, trainers and owners are from the Breeders' Cup World Championships events from 2001 through 2009, and are intended as informational resources. Biographies will be updated if an individual is again a participant in the Breeders' Cup World Championships.

Biographies are available for most horses appearing in the top 100 money earnings list, and/or for those who are frequently making headlines in the news starting with the 2006 Triple Crown season.


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