Hers is a familiar name in these pages, and her star has not diminished over time. Azeri, 2002 Horse of the Year and champion older mare in 2002 and 2003, has now made it a three-peat in that category. The 2004 Eclipse puts North America's all-time leading money earner for fillies and mares on her own plateau--ahead of Paseana (1992, 1993), Bayakoa (1989, 1990), and Susan's Girl (1973, 1975), the only other two-time Eclipse Award-winning older mares.
Todd Pletcher, who was third in Eclipse Award balloting in 2003 after finishing the year in the No. 2 spot by earnings, ended the 2004 season atop the earnings list. That was good enough for him to cop an Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer.
In the days leading up to the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, trainer Todd Pletcher would only say that Speightstown would have to win the six-furlong Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) to be considered divisional champion. Speightstown won the race and now has garnered champion sprinter honors. Pletcher took home the Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer.
Ken Ramsey wants to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) more than any other race, and he tried to make Kitten's Joy a Derby horse. He didn't achieve his goal with the son of El Prado, but the flashy chestnut colt's development into a turf star was a very good consolation prize.
Unaided by the occult, and with no hovering, all-seeing orb to guide the way, it was Great Britain's Ouija Board herself who foretold a near-certain future victory in the VO5 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) for all eyes to behold.
Stand and deliver. That's what Hirapour needed to do to have a chance at the 2004 steeplechase Eclipse Award. He starred in the spring, skipped the summer, and lost a tight Breeders' Cup Steeplechase (NSA-I) decision to McDynamo in October.
Trainer John Servis, who had the ride of a lifetime last spring with Smarty Jones, received the Big Sport of Turfdom award from the Turf Publicists of America Monday afternoon in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Juddmonte Farms' homebred grade I winner Empire Maker had one of his first foals born Jan. 23 at the Lexington, Ky. farm.
Jugah, a 24-year-old son of Northern Dancer, has been pensioned by owner Jenny Ingleton, ending a stage in his famous sire's direct influence through his sons in Australia.
Marco Bay, whose son Buzzards Bay won the Jan. 15 Golden Gate Derby, has been returned to Hidden Hill Farm near Ocala, Fla.
Millionaire and grade I winner Awad, one of the top turf runners in the 1990s, has been relocated to John Giangiulio's Castle Rock Farm near Unionville, Pa.
Retired jockey Roger Danjean, who won more than 700 races, died Jan. 22 in a car crash in Broward County, Fla.
Yes, there are ties to Thoroughbred racing in this year's Super Bowl. The Philly Frenzy that began last spring with Smarty Jones has now carried over to professional football, as Philadelphia once again has reason to celebrate. And who can forget that it was Tiznow who was the impetus for what has become football's next potential dynasty--the New England Patriots.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced today that Grey Goose vodka has become an official sponsor of the NTRA and the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Grey Goose will also receive sponsorship rights at several other NTRA-member racetracks, including Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie and Saratoga Race Course.
The first reported foals by grade I winners Milwaukee Brew and Sligo Bay arrived the first part of January.
The first offspring by stakes winner Stormy Jack is a filly foaled Jan. 23 at the Barretts Sale grounds.
Even though folks are aware the future book is normally a bad bet, with good horses priced way too low, some still can't help taking the plunge. So, here's a look at what's out there.
Stakes winner Aloha Bold will stand at Michelle Rodriguez and Lee Thomas' Elite Thoroughbreds near Folsom, La.
Storm Broker, a graded stakes-winning son of Storm Cat, has been relocated to Rio Rico Ranch near Mercedes, Texas.
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