Talk about a wide-open category: the Steeplechase division of the 2013 Eclipse Awards appears to be anybody's ballgame as no single jumper landed more than one grade I event during the season.
Dual grade I winner Stay Thirsty sired his first reported foal, a colt born Jan. 8 at Coolmore's Creekview Farm near Paris, Ky. The colt is out of the Giant's Causeway mare Opulence.
Showing her affinity for the Gulfstream Park turf, Naples Bay boldly charged between horses in the stretch and pulled clear to win Marshua's River Stakes (gr. IIIT) Jan. 4 in her career finale.
Point of Entry is now off to stud, but the Phipps family may already have his replacement for next season's major turf distance events in Imagining.
Imagining became a graded stakes winner for the first time when he used a clean stalking trip to capture the $250,000 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the grass by half a length at Aqueduct Racecourse Nov. 16.
Helped by dispersals and a global array of buyers, Keeneland's November sale ended Nov. 14 with substantial gains and a record-equaling median.
Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., has announced its 2014 stud fees, led by Giant's Causeway (Storm Cat--Maria's Storm, by Rahy), who will stand for $85,000, the same fee as last year.
Shuffled back at the break and swung wide off the turn, Phipps Stable homebred Abaco overcame with a strong late run to win the $112,800 Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT), her first graded score, on Nov. 9 at Churchill Downs.
About halfway through the first session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, grade I winner Awesome Maria sold for $4 million to owners associated with John Magnier's Coolmore operation.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES
Astaire wasn't bred by trainer Jim Bolger, but he is by the Bolger-trained Intense Focus, and the Irish conditioner would surely approve of the inbreeding found in Astaire's pedigree.
After a pair of starts against males in graded stakes, Canadian classic winner Irish Mission is entered to face other top turf females in the $500,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-IT) Oct. 27 on the Woodbine turf.
Being a tried-and-true Californian in the vast world of horse racing, Tiznow will always be "our" horse, the champion from central California.
The Aga Khan's Dalkala won in a head bob at the finish line to deny favorite Tasaday in a Prix de l'Opera Longines (Fr-I) thriller Oct. 6 at Longchamp.
Having completed its first race meet under the rebranded Barretts Sales & Racing, the company will offer its annual yearling sale Oct. 8 with a catalog of 248 young prospects.
Fed Biz, flying through the homestretch, caught tiring favorite Goldencents late to win the Pat O'Brien Stakes (gr. II) in track-record time at Del Mar Aug. 25, giving trainer Bob Baffert his fifth win in a row in the race.
Caroline Thomas picked up the first stakes win of her career when moved up in the $200,000 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid Stakes (gr. IIT) due to the disqualification of original winner Nellie Cashman Aug. 18 at Saratoga.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Justin Phillip made his racecourse debut Aug. 19, 2010 at Saratoga. Some 28 races later he gained a first grade I victory in Saratoga's Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I).
Secret Gesture was denied classic glory a second time when late-running Penelopa overtook her to win Henkel-Preis-Diana Deutsches Stuten-Derby (Ger-I, German Oaks) Aug. 4 at Dusseldorf.
Consignor John Stuart of Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services has 11 yearlings entered in the Aug. 5-6 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale, including a half sister to multiple graded stakes winner Optimizer.
Following the record-breaking success of last year's top New York freshman sire Frost Giant, a group including that stallion's principal owner will stand his full brother, stakes-placed Heavy Breathing, in New York in 2014.
Book Review made a three-wide bid in the final strides of the A Gleam (gr. II) at Betfair Hollywood Park to prevail by a decisive 2 1/2 lengths over Teddy's Promise.
Spin the King nipped Go Greeley by a nose in the $141,825 Clarendon Stakes for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds at Woodbine July 7 to become the first stakes winner for his sire, Giant Gizmo.
Chief Havoc, enjoying a big tactical advantage over his three rivals, went gate to wire as the odds-on choice to capture the $147,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II) July 4 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
A leading sales agency and three horse owners continue to wrangle with another prominent breeder over the November 2011, $2.1 million sale of the mare Love Me Only, as the purchaser alleges fraud by the consignors.
Jockey Ben Melham's decision to stick to the rail with lightly regarded Escado paid dividends with a breakthrough win for his mount in the Aus$500,000 South Australian Derby (Aus-I) May 4 at Morphettville.
Whether Winning Cause is a good horse anywhere else is still to be tested, but he sure likes Keeneland's Polytrack.
He managed the stallion career for Storm Cat for W.T. Young's Overbrook Farm. Storm Cat was euthanized April 24 due to the infirmities of old age at 30.
by Anne Peters
Who will be next to join Storm Cat, Mr. Prospector, and A.P. Indy?
Alto Racing's Winning Cause got up in the final strides of the $200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III) April 20 at Keeneland, earning 20 points on the road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Trainer Wesley Ward added to his reputation as a conditioner of young horses when Sweet Emma Rose sprinted clear early and rolled to a nine-length victory in the first of eight "baby races" scheduled for Keeneland spring.
Michael B. Tabor's Ciao Bella ran like a favorite should at Gulfstream Park March 30, holding the advantage from gate to wire and drawing off to a 4 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Rampart Stakes (gr. III).
Soft Falling Rain got a less than ideal trip in the $1 million Godolphin Mile before storming to victory in the first race on the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) card March 30 at Meydan.
Bill Peters, who raced multiple grade II winner Mariah's Storm, died Feb. 17.
With his dominating 3 1/2-length allowance score going 1 1/16 miles March 15, War Academy is ready to join the Derby party, according to both Bob Baffert and Mike Smith.
Booked full for the current season, young sire Frost Giant will be headed from his base in New York to stand at Yarradale Stud in Western Australia for the Southern Hemisphere season that begins in August.
Favorite Soft Falling Rain easily dispatched pacesetter Deauville Prince in the stretch and drew off to a clear win in the $250,000 United Arab Emirates Two Thousands Guineas (UAE-III) Feb. 14 at Meydan.
Fed Biz, a colt that came with a big price tag and a world of potential, recorded the first graded stakes win of his career with a gate-to-wire triumph in the $151,000 San Fernando (gr. II) Feb. 12 at Santa Anita Park.
Shug McGaughey's Hall of Fame training career was built on good old American dirt, but he's rounding out his resume with several accomplished turf runners targeting starts at the Gulfstream Park meet in 2013.
Keeneland has cataloged 1,893 lots for its 2013 January horses of all ages sale to be held Jan. 7-11 in Lexington. The sale will feature the complete 80-horse dispersal of Fares Farm.
Courageous Cat, a grade I winner and millionaire son of Storm Cat, will move to Questroyal North near Stillwater, N.Y., after spending his first season at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky.
Giant's Causeway, who stands at John Magnier and partners' Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., will stand in 2013 for $85,000.
Grade I winner and world record holder Red Giant was represented by his first winner the evening of Oct. 25 when Snow Leopard won a maiden special weight at Penn National Race Course.
The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale is the last major yearling auction of the year. But 2012's generally upbeat market didn't show any sign of fatigue during the sale's opening session in Lexington Oct. 22.
Santiva, a grade II winner by 2012 leading sire Giant's Causeway, has been retired from racing for stallion duty in 2013 at Gerry and Dana Aschinger's War Horse Place near Lexington.
Grade I winner Creative Cause, one of the top performers of his generation at both 2 and 3, has been retired to stud duty at Brereton and Elizabeth Jones' Airdrie Stud near Midway, Ky.
Favored Book Review, invading from New York for trainer Chad Brown, took down the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks with a big sweeping move from the back of the pack on the night of Sept. 22 at Charles Town.
Naples Bay broke through with her first stakes victory in the $150,000 Noble Damsel (gr. IIIT) on the turf at Belmont Park Sept. 15, collaring pacesetter Silver Screamer past mid-stretch en route a 1 1/2-length win.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
First Samurai is regaining considerable momentum this year, and sits third on the table of leading sires of 2-year-olds and fourth on the third-season sire rankings.
Trainer Todd Pletcher went to $750,000 Sept. 13 to acquire an attractive son of Giant's Causeway as the top-priced offering during the early portion of the Keeneland September yearling sale's fourth session.
Fillies accounted for two-thirds of the 2012 Canadian Triple Crown when the late-running Irish Mission outfought Aldous Snow to capture the $506,739 Breeders' Stakes by a half-length on the Woodbine turf Aug. 5.
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