Joan Winchell and her son, Ron, are partners in Winchell Thoroughbreds, continuing the family's prominent racing and breeding operation started by the late Verne Winchell, Joan's husband and Ron's father. Verne Winchell, who died in 2002 at the age of 87, founded the donut company Winchell's and later was the CEO and chairman of the Denny's restaurant chain. Through the years, Winchell runners have included champions Mira Femme and Tight Spot and the accomplished runners Pyro, Donut King, Olympio, Sea Cadet, Fleet Renee, Valiant Nature, On Target and Exetera. Winchell Thoroughbreds was a breeder of Paddy O'Pado, the Donegal Racing colt who finished third in the Kentucky Derby and won graded turf stakes. The Winchells also raced Tapit, now a leading sire, in partnership. Their homebred Tapit colt, Tapizar, won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes in 2011 and was a Derby prospect, but had to be taken out of training to remove a chip in his left knee. He won the Grade 2 San Fernando in January and was second in the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap on March 10.