Management of WinStar Farm
President/CEO & Racing Manager
Elliott is a third generation horseman from a noted Kentucky family entrenched in thoroughbred breeding and racing. He is the son of the late Ben Walden, Sr., formerly of Dearborn Farm. His brother Ben Walden, Jr. is also a noted horseman in Kentucky who has established several successful breeding operations, most notably Vinery.
Before taking out his first training license in 1985, Elliott worked under trainers such as Leroy Jolley, Dennis Ebert, John Gosden. In 1995, he had his first Grade 1 Winner with Hawk Attack winning the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington.
Walden rose to the pinnacle of the sport in 1998 when he trained Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Victory Gallop, who returned at 4 to win both the Whitney Handicap (G1), the Stephen Foster Handicap (G2), and was named Eclipse Champion Older Horse in 1999. Elliott finished 1999 ranked #3 in the nation with his career-best season earnings of $7.2 million.
Elliott was a three-time leading trainer at Churchill Downs during the prestigious spring meet as well as two-time leading trainer at Keeneland. In July 2005, Elliott changed roles within the organization and went from private trainer to Racing Manager. In December of 2005, Walden was elevated to the role of Vice President of WinStar Farm where he is responsible for management oversight both on and off the farm. Notwithstanding his expanded role at the farm, he remains deeply involved in the management of WinStar's racing operations.
In November of 2010, Elliott was promoted to President and CEO of WinStar Farm.
Born in Washington, D.C., Baker grew up in southern Maryland where he was exposed to agriculture, including horse breeding and racing, on his grandfather's farm. Upon graduation from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Agriculture, Baker worked for Lane’s End for three years, gaining experience in many divisions of the farm. His exposure to racing at Lane’s End resulted in his desire to pursue that side of the business, leading Baker overseas to Australia, New Zealand and England.
Baker returned to the U.S. and worked for a short time at Laurel Park before moving to California for six years. While there, he worked as an assistant trainer, learning from such Hall of Fame conditioners such as Neil Drysdale and Richard Mandella. He also worked with champions such as Kotashaan, Phone Chatter and A.P. Indy. After becoming a public trainer himself in the late 1990s, Baker followed his passion into farm management. He worked as farm manager at Vinery around the turn of the century before being hired in late 2000 by the late Edward P. Evans to manage Spring Hill Farm in Virginia.
From 2000-2011, Spring Hill and Evans ascended as industry leaders in breeding and owning, producing well over 100 stakes winners including top horses such as champion Saint Liam and record-setting Grade 1 winner Quality Road. A perennial Top 10 breeder and owner nationally, Spring Hill and Mr. Evans were honored as the TOBA National Breeders of the Year in both 2009 & 2010 and were also recognized as the TOBA Virginia Breeder of the Year nine times under Baker's watch.
Chief Financial Officer
Jack joined WinStar in May of 2001 as part of our management team. He is responsible for all aspects of WinStar's financial management. Jack's credentials include service as Corporate Controller for Fredrick Van Lennep's Castleton Farm for 20 years. Prior to that, Jack spent 8 years in the public sector with the leading accounting firm Ernst and Young. Since 1981, Jack has been active in the equine industry as a breeder and owner and has volunteered his time and expertise as Treasurer of the Kentucky Equine Institute for 15 years.