Willis Horton

Willis Horton

Willis Horton

Residence: Marshall, Arkansas

Family: Wife Glenda; Sons Cam and Kevin


Born: April 17, 1940, Marshall, Ark.

Resides: Marshall, Ark.

Primary business: Retired from family-owned D.R. Horton, the nation’s leading homebuilder.


  • Willis Horton has reached the pinnacle as a Thoroughbred owner, campaigning two Eclipse Award winners solely and capturing the country’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies in partnership.


  • After reuniting with Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas in the summer of 2012, Horton watched his Will Take Charge become the country’s champion 3-year-old male of 2013 after winning Oaklawn’s $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) and the $1 million Travers Stakes (G1), $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G2) and $500,000 Clark Handicap (G1). Will Take Charge also won the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) in 2014.


  • Horton’s Take Charge Brandi was named the country’s champion 2-year-old filly of 2014 after winning three stakes races, including the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at odds of 61-1.


  • Take Charge Brandi’s final career victory came in the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes in 2015 at Oaklawn. Horton sold Take Charge Brandi for $6 million at the 2015 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.


  • Horton’s Laurie’s Rocket won the $75,000 Hot Springs Stakes in 2013 at Oaklawn.


  • Horton’s family also campaigned multiple stakes winner Partner’s Hero and Lemons Forever, winner of the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (G1) for 3-year-old fillies in 2006 at Churchill Downs.


  • Horton is scheduled to have four horses this year at Oaklawn – all with Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen – after ending his business relationship with Lukas in late 2016.



among his first clients. Willis returned his horses to Lukas primarily because the trainer is based at his home track of Oaklawn Park.

The stable’s first stakes winner, Partner’s Hero, won five stakes, including the Kentucky Cup Sprint (G2) in 1997. Another star was Lemons Forever, owned in partnership with Dallas Stable, who captured the 132nd Kentucky Oaks at 47-1. Other Oaklawn successes include Laurie’s Rocket, winner of the 2012 Bachelor Stakes and 2013 Hot Springs Stakes.