Self-Made Billionaire Kenny Troutt Went From Poor Childhood To Owner Of Triple Crown Winning Horse, Justify

In 1948, Kenny Troutt was created in Mount Vernon, Illinois. Of his three siblings, he is the oldest. The family was not wealthy because his father worked as a bartender. He started working early to put some money in his pocket and support his family. He attended Southern Illinois University after graduating from Mt. Vernon Township High School and worked selling insurance to help pay for school. His graduation was in 1971. When he was younger, his uncle introduced him to horse racing, and he fell in love with it right away. While in college, he went to the races at Churchill Downs and was actually in the audience when the legendary Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby. Troutt established his first horse farm, called Landview, in eastern Nebraska in the early 1980s after receiving his degree from college. But it would take him more than a decade to become wealthy enough to really consider buying thoroughbred racehorses.

Kenny Troutt (l) and Bill Casner (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

When Troutt and his business partner Steve Smith established Excel Communications, a long-distance telephone service, in 1988, they both had experience in network marketing. For younger readers, long-distance calls used to cost more to make, thus most individuals opted for a long-distance carrier to cut costs. Not only was Excel Communications one of the fastest-growing businesses in its sector, but also in the whole United States. In 1996, he went public with the business. With only eight years since its founding, it was the newest firm to ever enter the New York Stock Exchange. The company had more than a billion in revenue in 1998, ten years after its creation (and not long before the entire long-distance company industry would collapse). The same year, Troutt sold the company to Teleglobe for $3.5 billion. In that year, he attained billionaire status formally. He was able to escape his predicament and no longer fell into poverty, fulfilling one of his childhood aspirations.

Troutt was given the chance to purchase Prestonwood, a 400-acre horse farm in Kentucky, in the year 2000. He grasped the chance to fulfill another one of his adolescent fantasies. The horse facility was given the new name WinStar Farm, and he set out to turn it into one of the top horse breeding and racing farms in the country. WinStar, a farm with more than 2,700 acres, has had great success with its horses. Justify won the 2018 Triple Crown, becoming the 13th horse overall to do so since 1919 and Troutt’s first Triple Crown victor. Additionally, Troutt and WinStar have a tie to another Triple Crown winner, as WinStar owns Pioneer of the Nile, the sire of the 2015 winner (12th winner) of the Triple Crown, American Pharaoh. Super Saver, a 2010 Belmont Stakes champion, and Creator, a 2017 Belmont Stakes victor, are two more successful WinStar horses.

On a personal level, Troutt and his wife Lisa reside in Dallas and are devoted Christians. They are parents of three kids. He is a significant contributor to the Republican Party and has backed Mitch McConnell, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum throughout the years.

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