tom k. crouch
Tom K. Crouch was born on October 1, 1942 in Elwood, Indiana. He was raised on a farm and spent considerable time at the stables owned by his uncle, Ed Crouch, where he learned to raise and train Standardbreds. Tom had always been interested in livestock; and this interest was encouraged by his father, who believed that the key to success in the industry was to endure hard work, to never make excuses, and to maintain a love and respect for the land and one’s stock. While in high school Crouch was a member of the school’s livestock-judging team, which was considered one of the best in North America. This experience led to his being hired as a cattle and hog buyer for a large firm that shipped hogs and cattle to packing plants, mostly located in the eastern part of the United States. Because of his experience in assessing the quality of the animals and his knowledge of market conditions, in 1970 he was able to obtain a seat on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Crouch believes that theses skills have been invaluable to him in judging Standardbred quality.
In 1967 Crouch bought his first Standardbred yearling, a filly named Boutineer. After racing her at fairs for two years, he sold her for a profit. A later acquisition, when Crouch was living in Chicago and operating as part-owner of a large commodity house known as Packers Trading Company, was Try Scotch p,5,1:54.3 ($956,770) whom he owned with partners Steve Newcom and Craig Mahlstedt. The horse went on to become the 1979 Aged Pacer of the Year.
Crouch first broodmare was purchased in 1969, and in 1975 he and his wife Betty became owners of a 110 acre Thoroughbred breeding facility that would become Kentuckiana Farms. At approximately the same time as the acquisition of Kentuckiana Farms, Crouch purchased Miss Windfall, a broodmare prospect from Indiana. Her daughter by Ambro Alert, Happily Involved, would become the dam of Kentuckiana-bred Breeders Crown winner and 1993 Horse of the Year, Staying Together p,4,1:48.2 ($1,692,832). During the same time frame, Crouch acquired several top broodmares from prominent breeder, Immortal Bill Shehan of Clermont Farm, Kentucky. Included in the group were Ambiguity and Angel Hair, who was carrying a filly whom Crouch named Naughty But Nice p,3,1:54f ($1,062,197). Naughty But Nice won the 1984 Breeders Crown and 1984 Jugette for him and eventually retired as the richest pacing filly of her day. The later breeding of Ambiguity to Albatross produced the champion filly Three Diamonds p,3,1:53.1 ($735,759). Another acquisition from Shehan was the Immortal Rosemary 3,1:57.2 ($223,647) who was voted the 1978 Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year and later became a revered dam, granddam and great-granddam. She produced the 1986 Trotter of the Year, Royal Prestige 3,1:55.1 ($1,234,279).
Among the top horses produced by Kentuckiana Farms are 1997 Pacing Triple Crown winner Western Dreamer p,4,1:49 ($1,812,176) and Breeders Crown winners Sand Vic 5,1:51.2 ($2,117,382); Mystical Sunshine 6,1:50.3 ($1,793,755); Grinfromeartoear p,3,1:50.1 ($1,746,009); the 1987 Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year Firm Tribute 3,1:54.3 ($1,231,324); Follow My Star p,4,T1:52.3 ($1,537,503); Kingsbridge p,4,1:51.2f ($693,569) and Charley Barley p,3,1:52.2f ($385,855). Also on the list of breeding successes are Harmonious 3,1:53.2 ($1,036,392), the 1990 Hambletonian winner and Trotter of the Year; Tell All p,3,1:48.3 ($1,509,227), the 2007 winner of the Little Brown Jug and North American Cup; Riyadh p,6,1:48.4s ($2,763,527); Enroute p,4,1:53.4 ($753,768); Almost An Angel 3,1:56 ($498,577); Ball and Chain p,6,1:49 ($1,435,390); Mercy Mercy Mercy p,4,1:51.1s ($565,148); and So Cozy p,3,1:54.2 ($880,492). Over the years Crouch has also acquired top stallions. The list includes Hall of Famer Jate Lobell p,3,1:51.2 ($2,231,402), the sire of Riyadh and David’s Pass p,3,1:50.4 ($1,652,500), and Yankee Glide 3,1:55.1 ($506,904), the sire of Passionate Glide 3,1:52.2 ($2,060,447).
With the success of Kentuckiana Farms, Crouch went on to co-found the Kentucky Standardbred Sales Company in 1980. Using video technology and different organizational structures, the company has helped revolutionize the way Standardbreds are bought and sold. The company is also responsible for the Ohio Selected Jug Yearling Sale, which coincides with the Little Brown Jug stake. In 2005 Kentucky Standardbred Sales Company joined forces with Tattersalls to sponsor the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion during The Red Mile’s Grand Circuit fall meet.
In 1989, to encourage racing opportunities for two-year-old fillies, Crouch established races now known as the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes. They have been held at Indiana Downs since 2002 but prior to that were raced at Rosecroft Raceway from 1990 to 1994 and Hoosier Park from 1995 to 2002.
In 1993 Crouch received USHWA’s Breeder of the Year Award. He currently serves on The Hambletonian Society board of directors.
Tom and Betty Crouch now divide their time between Lexington, KY and New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The operation of Kentuckiana Farms has been turned over to their three daughters and their spouses: Becky (Bob Brady), Lisa (Ken Jackson) and Michelle (Robert Goodman). Completing the family are nine grandchildren.