Love him or hate him, no one can begrudge industry maverick Frank Stronach his outstanding year at the track.
The goal of any breeder is to breed a horse that wins a major race. Frank Stronach's vast Adena Springs operation did just that and then some in 2000.
Bobby Frankel is one of only three trainers who cracked the $10-million mark in earnings last year, but look closely at his statistics. He stands apart from fellow earnings leaders Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas because he started about 50% fewer horses than they did and still won 3% more than Lukas and 9% less than Baffert.
From Ascot to Del Mar to Suffolk Downs, Jerry Bailey was aboard 59 stakes winners around the world in 2000.
Race riding is in the blood of Tyler Baze, who excelled as an apprentice in 2000 while competing on the Southern California circuit.
Enough already. If All Gong could talk, that's what he would say. And he would have a point. The steeplechase Eclipse Award winner was victorious in two unrestricted grade I races, placed in two others, led all U.S. jumpers in earnings ($228,000), and captured the year's richest race.
A new track and race record in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) and five graded stakes wins for the year helped in Kona Gold's unanimous selection as North America's top sprinter for 2000.
It's difficult to imagine a colt that wins the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and Travers Stakes (gr. I) as a 3-year-old has much room to improve, but Lemon Drop Kid stepped up his performances to another level in 2000.
Given her sterling record in 2000, Riboletta qualifies not only for her Eclipse Award for top older female, but for a "comeback of the year" award.
Sometimes, it is a fine line that separates a championship season from merely a good, solid campaign. Sometimes, it comes down to a simple "yes" or "no" decision. In the case of Tiznow, that simple "yes" from owners Michael Cooper and Cecilia Straub-Rubens changed the course of racing history.
Surfside's 3-year-old season began the same way it ended--with a victory in a graded stakes race. Particularly impressive about the feat is that Surfside began 2000 in the middle of nine straight in-the-money finishes and suffered an injury halfway through her season, requiring time off. Her reward is an Eclipse Award as top 3-year-old filly.
Winning Breeders' Cup races has become a family affair for the homebred runners of Frank Stronach. In 1998, Awesome Again capped off an undefeated campaign with a three-quarter-length victory over Silver Charm in the Classic (gr. I). Two years later, Awesome Again's half-brother, Macho Uno, held off the determined charge of Point Given to capture the Juvenile (gr. I) by a nose. That performance was good enough to land him the Eclipse Award as the top 2-year-old male in 2000.
Caressing picked the right time to run her best race when she won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Churchill Downs in November. The division was one of the most wide open throughout 2000, and Caressing soared to the top echelon and an Eclipse Award with her half-length victory over Platinum Tiara.
Horse of the Year titles come in all sizes, from a year's worth of heroics to a single moment of glory. In 2000, it came in the size of Tiznow's neck. That's all it took to turn the name of Tiznow from a faint whisper before the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) to a deafening roar after it.
HORSE OF THE YEAR: Tiznow
Two-Year-Old Colt or Gelding: Macho Uno
Two-Year-Old Filly: Caressing
Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding: Tiznow
Three-Year-Old Filly: Surfside
Older Colt, Horse or Gelding: Lemon Drop Kid
Older Filly or Mare: Riboletta (BRZ)
Sprinter: Kona Gold
Male Turf Horse: Kalanisi (IRE)
Female Turf Horse: Perfect Sting
Steeplechase: All Gong (GB)
Owner: Frank Stronach/Stronach Stable
Breeder: Frank Stronach/Adena Springs
Jockey: Jerry Bailey
Apprentice Jockey: Tyler Baze
Trainer: Robert Frankel
Prominent California stallion Habitony, sire of three-time California Horse of the Year Best Pal and 26 other stakes winners, was euthanized the morning of Jan. 30 because of heart problems.
Sensational New Zealand sire Zabeel dominated the first sessionof the National Yearling Sale conducted by New Zealand Bloodstock Tuesday at Karaka, near Auckland. Of the $14,822,500 gross (US$6,434,151), 16 filles and colts by Zabeel accounted for $4,985,000, roughly a third of the total receipts.
The Illinois Gaming Board Tuesday voted against granting a license for Emerald Casino's plan to build a more than $100 million gambling barge in Rosemont, Ill. An appeal is expected.
Graded stakes winner Bursting Forth produced her first foal, a Woodman colt, on Jan. 29 at Catherine Parke's Valkyre Stud near Georgetown, Ky.
Laffit Pincay, racing's all-time winningest rider, set another record on Tuesday afternoon in New Orleans, La., when he became the first two-time winner of the Big Sport of Turfdom award presented annually by the Turf Publicists of America.
The votes are in and the major players are in New Orleans for tonight's Eclipse Awards dinner. In addition to Horse of the Year, Eclipse Awards will also be presented for other equine and human achievements during 2000. Complete results and profiles of the winners will be posted on Bloodhorse.com at 10:30 p.m. (ET). An Eclipse Awards Special will air on ESPN2 on February 4 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. (ET).
The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), the nation's largest organization providing homes for retired and injured racehorses, has received a $5 million endowment gift from the estate of horseman Paul Mellon. And according to TRF president John Stuart, that amount represents just the beginning of a major funding drive.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has announced the winners of its annual board of directors election, but a protest already has been filed, and there are allegations that racetrack officials attempted to influence voters.
The Morris Animal Foundation is funding 14 new equine health studies during its 2001 fiscal year that will focus on colic, digestive tract disorders, foal diseases, genetics, infectious diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, pain management, and surgery.
Different workloads, stages of growth, pregnancy, and lactation require different dietary configurations for the horse. To meet those needs, horse owners often want to use supplements. However, you should realize that supplements could cause more problems than they solve, writes Dr. Joseph J. Bertone in the February edition of The Horse.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman -- When Macho Uno made his first three starts last year, he was a 2-year-old colt by Holy Bull bred in Kentucky by Stronach Stables. When Perfect Sting made her first 18 starts, she was a filly by Red Ransom bred in Kentucky by Frank H. Stronach. But when each won a Breeders' Cup race at Churchill Downs last Nov. 4, something had changed.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- In its first three years, the NTRA has proven it can put out fires -- and there have been many. It's what happens next that is really important, because putting out fires was not what the NTRA's commissioner, Tim Smith, was hired to do. If Smith and his top aides no longer are required to spend most of their time and energy keeping the organization intact, we finally will be able to gauge how effective this national office for racing can be.
Windsor Castle, purchased by a Dogwood Stable partnership after winning the grade II Remsen Stakes last year, has been dealt a setback that will cause him to miss the Feb. 17 Fountain of Youth Stakes. Dogwood president Cot Campbell said Windsor Castle developed a fever several days after a Jan. 6 workout. "It's nothing serious and he's normal now, but it's thrown a monkey wrench into (trainer) Frank Alexander's schedule for him," Campbell said.
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