When Greg Harbut sat in the owner’s box at the 2020 Kentucky Derby to root for Necker Island, the horse he co-owned, it was a bittersweet moment. Greg was claiming his rightful spot at Louisville’s world-renowned Churchill Downs racetrack – a spot was that denied to his grandfather, Tom Harbut, because he was Black.
Even though Tom had bred and co-owned Touch Bar, a horse that ran in the 1962 Kentucky Derby, he was not listed as an owner or even allowed in the stands to watch the race.
As the owner of the Harbut Bloodstock racehorse management company in the nearby town of Lexington, Greg is a force in Kentucky’s illustrious equine business. He specialises in acquiring thoroughbreds for those with big dreams of cheering on a lightning-fast horse as it thunders to victory at the Kentucky Derby, the US’ most prestigious horse race that takes place annually on the first Saturday in May.