Sheikh Mohammed's Eclipse Award as outstanding breeder was due to an overabundance of quality rather than quantity.
His Darley operation was responsible for breeding five grade I winners. In 2012, Sheikh Mohammed was also represented by Monterosso and Encke who won group I races in the United Arab Emirates and England, along with group I winners Hunter's Light (Italy) and Cappoini (UAE).
Darley's chances for leading breeder skyrocketed at the Saratoga meet with grade I scores by Alpha , Emcee, and Questing. All three competed for Godolphin Racing, a racing outfit formed by Sheikh Mohammed for himself and family members.
Questing proved extra special, capturing the top two races for 3-year-old fillies at the Spa. She started with a victory in the TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) and then took the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) by nine lengths.
Alpha and Emcee also proved themselves in big events. Alpha won the Travers Stakes (gr. I) in a dead-heat with Golden Ticket after capturing the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II). Emcee took the Forego Stakes (gr. I) following a third-place effort in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I).
Alpha and Questing were more than just homebreds. Their respective sires, Bernardini and Hard Spun , stand at Darley near Lexington.
Darley's other grade I winners, Better Lucky and Nahrain, were turf stars. Better Lucky won the Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) at Betfair Hollywood Park and the Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park. At Saratoga she was beaten a neck in the Lake George Stakes (gr. IIT). Nahrain's grade I win came in the Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont.
Overseas, Darley-bred Aesop's Fables won the Prix Jean Prat (Fr-I).
Darley also was represented as breeder in 2012 by graded stakes winners Grace Hall, My Gi Gi, and Out of Bounds, who got out to a solid start in 2013 with a runner-up effort in the Longines Al Maktoum Challenge-Round I in Dubai.
On the money list as breeder, Darley finished third with $7,526,855 behind the $11,615,141 recorded by Frank Stronach's Adena Springs and the $7,961,894 registered by Brereton C. Jones of Airdrie Stud.
|Brereton C. Jones||15|
|Fred and William Bradley||1|
|William D. Graham||1|
|Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey||1|