Perhaps no Eclipse Award category overflowed with more talent than among the 3-year-old fillies of 2013. They performed admirably against each other and then went out and defeated the best of their older counterparts.
Behind 43 stakes wins, 17 of them graded, Ken and Sarah Ramsey set the bar high for owners in 2013, and are favored to win the Eclipse Award for outstanding owner of fellow finalists Juddmonte Farms and Midwest Thoroughbreds.
In response to widespread media speculation Juddmonte Group chief executive Douglas Erskine-Crum issued a statement Dec. 4 saying Prince Khalid Abdullah's worldwide racing and breeding operation is not for sale.
British invader Seek Again, making his United States debut, rode the rail under Corey Nakatani to an impressive victory in the $250,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT), which was run for the final time Dec. 1 at Hollywood Park.
Frankel will stand the 2014 breeding season at Khalid Abdullah's Banstead Manor Stud near Newmarket, England, for the same £125,000 (U.S.$200,085) fee charged in his inaugural year at stud.
Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms announced the retirement of its senior stallion Zamindar, who will be 20 years old in 2014.
Preferential, a disappointment for Juddmonte Farms since her arrival in the United States this spring, registered her first stateside victory in the $125,000 Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes Oct. 20 on the Keeneland turf.
A smashing winner of the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (gr. I) this spring, favored Emollient returned to Keeneland Oct. 6 to capture the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) in another dazzling effort.
The last reported son of Northern Dancer standing at stud, Shotiche, died Sept. 8 at Boehlke Ranch near Waverly, Minn., where he stood for 10 seasons. The graded stakes-winning stallion died from natural causes.
Close Hatches secured a second straight grade I victory Sept. 21 when she passed Test Stakes (gr. I) winner Sweet Lulu turning for home and held off all challengers in the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (gr. I).
Grade I winners Sweet Lulu and Close Hatches will meet on the track for the first time when an accomplished group of 3-year-old fillies starts in the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 21 at Parx Racing.
Foreteller stunned Puissance de Lune in the Makybe Diva Stakes (Aus-I) Sept. 7 at Flemington, catching the early Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) favorite in the closing strides for narrow victory.
Regally bred Romantica broke through at the group I level in France Aug. 18 when she captured the Darley Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville.
Making her first start on grass, favored Emollient staved off a determined Emotional Kitten in deep stretch to post a half-length victory in the $350,000 American Oaks (gr. IT) July 13 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Juddmonte Farms' progressive Flintshire was a convincing winner of the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-I) July 13 at Longchamp while becoming a horse to watch for the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I).
Eight horses sold for six figures at the Tattersalls July mixed sale, which ended its three-day run July 12 with advances for all major indicators and an 86.4% clearance rate that signified strong demand.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Leading commercial sire Unbridled's Song is still looking for his true heir as a stallion, and he may have found it in First Defence.
Close Hatches became Juddmonte Farms' newest grade I winner when she captured the $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) June 22 at Belmont Park, leaving heavily favored Dreaming of Julia behind on the turn and cruising home.
Khalid Abdullah plans to disperse part of his global Juddmonte equine operation, the organization's chief executive confirmed.
The half sister of European superstar Frankel won May 28 by 3 1/4 lengths at Lingfield Park.
Four strong turf fillies will tangle May 25 in the $200,000 Sheepshead Bay Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park. Hessonite, Strathnaver, Starformer, and Mystical Star all share status as 120-pound highweights in a field of eight.
Juddmonte Farms' Close Hatches drills a half-mile in :47 2/5 in advance of the May 3 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). The daughter of First Defence is unbeaten in three starts, all this year.
Juddmonte Farms' undefeated filly Close Hatches had her first Churchill Downs work in preparation for the May 3 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), breezing a half-mile in :47 4/5 over a fast track under exercise rider Joanna Trout.
Close Hatches led at every pole, repelled Princess of Sylmar in deep stretch, and drew away to keep her unbeaten record intact, registering her first stakes score in the $250,000 Gazelle Stakes (gr. II) April 6 at Aqueduct.
Freshman stallion Frankel will be available to cover a limited book of mares to Southern Hemisphere time, Juddmonte Farms announced March 27.
Juddmonte Farms' homebred Starformer continued to shine in the $100,000 The Very One Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 16, cruising to 3 1/4-length victory as much the best over seven other older fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park.
Frankel, who won all 14 of his races, will be visited by an outstanding lineup of mares, including around 60 who have either won a group/grade I race, produced a group/grade I winner, or both.
Juddmonte on Jan. 29 announced the arrival of the first foal out of 2009 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) winner Midday. The six-time group I-winning mare will form part of Frankel's first book in 2013.
Mizzen Mast, the sole stallion to sire as many as two Breeders' Cup winners this year, will stand in 2013 for $15,000, up from $12,500 in 2012.
Frankel, the world's highest-rated racehorse, left training Nov. 8 to return to his birthplace, Khalid Abdullah's Banstead Manor Stud, near Newmarket, England, where he will start a new career as a stallion.
Great Britain will stage its highly anticipated season finale Oct. 20 at Ascot, where superstar Frankel, one of the best racehorses of the modern era, will bid to remain undefeated in his final career start.
A field of nine, including the 3-year-old filly Haldane, will contest the 1 1/8-mile event in which 5-year-old Lunar Victory is the 8-5 favorite to pick up his fifth win in six 2012 starts for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
Eltish, the 1994 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) runner-up who stood at stud in Florida and later in New York, was euthanized the last part of September because of complications from EPM.
Trainer is keen for workout to "feel like a race" as the British champion prepares for his next start in the QIPCO Champion Stakes Oct. 20. Frankel will work with two other Juddmonte Farms runners.
Prince Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms is reviving its West Coast racing division. Juddmonte purchased three yearlings for $1,105,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale that will be sent to Bob Baffert.
Juddmonte Farms' Frankel, having extended his unbeaten streak to 13 with a victory in the 1 5/16-mile Juddmonte International (Eng-I), will make his next start in the 10-furlong Champion Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot Oct. 20.
Running Stag, a globe-trotting son of Cozzene who competed in many top races, died at stud in South Korea in June after suffering from an unspecified illness.
The Tattersalls July sale ended its three-day run in England with a gross that was down 19.7% from a year ago. The average price and median price declined 8.7% and 7.1%, respectively.
Juddmonte Farm's Frankel, the top rated horse in the world, has been cleared to resume training after an ultrasound scan April 18 did not reveal any tendon damage.
The first scan of an injury that occurred during a gallop April 11 was inconclusive.
Undefeated Frankel may not make his scheduled 2012 debut May 19 due to what is being called a "superficial" injury to a foreleg sustained during an April 11 workout.
Juddmonte Farms' homebred Cityscape took over turning for home and burst clear of the field in the stretch en route to a record-setting victory in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) March 31 at Meydan Racecourse.
The Dec. 11 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races have enough subplots to keep any racing fan guessing.
The 1 3/4-mile Valedictory Stakes (Can-III) came down to just a head when distance-loving Eagle Poise outfought Harrods Creek in deep stretch to capture the $150,388 event on Woodbine's closing day Dec. 4.
Midday, a two-time English champion and winner of the 2009 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), has been retired from racing to became a broodmare.
Workforce, winner of last year's Investec Epsom Derby (Eng-I) and the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I), has been retired from racing and will stand in 2012 at Teruya Yoshida's Shadai Farm in Japan.
Trainer Bill Mott put an exclamation point on his big Breeders' Cup weekend at Churchill Downs when the regally-bred Deluxe held on for a half-length victory in the $109,900 Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov 6.
Juddmonte Farms 6-year-old homebred Twice Over posted a surprising three-quarter length victory over multiple group I winner and stablemate Midday in the Aug. 17 Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I) at York.
Juddmonte Farms' Aviate, with one U.S. race under her belt, rallied strongly in the stretch and pulled away for an easy victory in the $227,800 Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares May 7.
Frankel remained undefeated with an impressive score in the Greenham Stakes.