1886: Ben Ali, owned by James Ben Ali Haggin, wins the 12th Kentucky Derby. Haggin owned most of Rancho Del Paso in northern Sacramento County where he developed a successful horse breeding farm. At one time he owned 1,000 thoroughbreds.
Haggin was the son of Ferah Temple Haggin, a prominent Louisville, Ky., attorney. He came to Sacramento in 1850, and by 1860 was a successful attorney in San Francisco.
His partner and brother-in-law, Lloyd Tevis, was sued in 1862 by the owner of 44,374-acre Rancho Del Paso. Tevis won and he and Haggin acquired the land, which is bordered by the American River, Northgate Boulevard, Manzanita Avenue-Fair Oaks Boulevard and Rio Linda’s U Street. They sold it in 1910 for $1.5 million.
Haggin’s legacy here is very apparent: Ben Ali Temple and Activity Center, across from Hagginwood Park; Ben Ali School; and at least seven Haggins or Hagginwoods, including Haggin Oaks Municipal Golf Course. And streets are named for his horses – Frienza, Dixieanne and Salvator.