The Story of a Ranch

KLEIN TO CRAIG TO GATES

by Jackie McFarland & Pam Maley

Throughout several decades, Rancho Paseana was home to outstanding Thoroughbreds, famous and successful racehorses at the top of their game. However, the beginning of a new equestrian era for this recently purchased Ranch appears to be underway.

IN THE BEGINNING: GENE KLEIN

Developed in 1982 as Rancho Del Rayo by business powerhouse and San Diego Chargers owner Gene Klein along with Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, the expansive property has a six-furlong training track and stall space for 140 horses, not to mention an olive orchard. It nestles into a gorgeous valley in Rancho Santa Fe, encompasses 229 acres, and is just minutes from the Del Mar Race Track. Among many famous equines that called Rancho Del Rayo home was the vibrant Winning Colors, who captivated the nation in 1988 by becoming only the third filly to win the Kentucky Derby. Soon after, Klein’s health declined. He sold his 146 horses and retired from racing just a few months before he died.

In the mid-1980s Klein also developed two luxury residential projects near his stables, Del Rayo Estates and Del Rayo Downs. Over two decades later their 92067 zip codes earned a Forbes ranking among the most elite in the nation.

Now the story takes a strange twist. Three months after Klein’s death, the ranch was purchased for $27 million by Jean-Laurent Andreani, a Frenchman who was attempting to build a Thoroughbred enterprise. The plan fell apart, Andreani defaulted, was forced to sell off his racing stock, and the bank took ownership of the ranch.