Print of Lexington, by Edward Troye
Lexington was originally named Darley, for the important sire, Darley Arabian. The name change came after Lexington was purchased by Richard Ten Broeck who planned for the colt to represent Kentucky in the Great State Post Stakes. As Lexington, the colt became known as the best race horse of his day and the best sire for years to come.
The Great State Post Stakes was traditionally a competition between the best horses from each state, but in 1854 only four states were able to find horses worth the $5000 entry fee. Lexington raced against Highlander for Alabama, Lecomte for Mississippi, and Arrow for Louisiana. Lexington easily won this race in two four-mile heats. Following the Great State Post Stakes, a great rivalry developed between Lexington and Lecomte. Lexington lost in his next four-mile heat race against Lecomte but defeated him in the next two competitions.
When his eyesight became too poor for the racecourse, Lexington retired. As a sire, he was virtually unmatched. Beginning in 1861 Lexington led the sire lists a total of 16 times.
Lexington's offspring included: Kentucky, Asteroid, Norfolk, Harry Bassett, Sultana, and Duke of Magenta. Nine of the first fifteen Travers were won by Lexington's sons and daughters.
Lexington was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1955.