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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The excitement started when former racehorse Patchen Beauty entered labor last week to deliver her first foal.

Patchen Wilkes Farm manager Barry Ezrine was even more thrilled when he saw the small, gangly colt was pure white, just like his mother and grandmother.

“The odds are not good that you’re going to get a white foal,” said Ezrine, who has worked at the farm since 1981. “But like I told somebody else, the odds are better if you have a white mare to start with.”

The Jockey Club, which registers thoroughbred births in the United States, has recognized only 16 U.S.-bred white thoroughbreds since 1896. Of those, four have been born at Warren Rosenthal’s east Lexington farm.

The first registered white thoroughbred, a filly named White Beauty, was born at Patchen Wilkes in 1963 and gained national attention for her striking hue.

She became one of five white thoroughbreds to race competitively, winning two of 16 starts to claim $5,561 in earnings.

Patchen Beauty’s dam, the Jatullah mare Precious Beauty, followed in 1981. Patchen Beauty, a 7-year-old daughter of Hatchet Man, was born in 1995 and raced from 1997-2000, winning two of 23 starts to earn $54,268.

The new snow-white colt by Pioneering, which has not yet been named, frolicked for nearly an hour in the spring sunshine Wednesday, galloping forcefully on occasion but never straying far from his mother’s side.

“If he stays healthy and strong, he’ll be at the race track,” said Rosenthal, watching proudly as the colt scampered around a small paddock. “I love the white horses. It’s easiest to pick mine out during the races.”

Prior to Patchen Beauty’s delivery, Dalene Knight’s Tropicana Anna was the last mare to produce a white foal.

That filly, Arcticanna, was born last May at Knight’s Painted Desert Farm near Redmond, Ore. She was the fifth white thoroughbred born at that farm since 1999. Another white filly named Silverella was born there Jan. 14, 2001.

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