Sheik Mohammed

Sheik Mohammed

Anne M. Eberhardt

Champion Owner: Godolphin Racing

Maktoum family stable owner of seven U.S. grade I winners in 2009

The Maktoum family’s Godolphin Racing operation won its first Eclipse Award for top North American owner in 2009, proving that quality trumps quantity.

For the 2009 season Godolphin, which encompasses horses owned by Sheikhs Mohammed, Hamdan, and the late Maktoum, sent 67 horses to the post, but won 18 of those contests and earned $3,768,896. Among those victories were eight grade I triumphs, a trio of grade IIs, and a grade III win.

The family has had past success in this Eclipse category, as Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Stable was voted top owner for 2007 and Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley was co-winner in 2006 with Lael Stables.

Vale of York proved the top earner for Godolphin when he got to the wire first in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), banking more than a million dollars for that effort, his only race in North America. A couple of A.P. Indy fillies did some heavy lifting for their owners in 2009, as Music Note, adding to the trio of grade I wins she earned in 2008, came home a winner in the Ballerina Stakes and Beldame Stakes (both gr. I) in 2009; and Flashing made her mark in New York as well, winning the Test Stakes and Gazelle Stakes (both gr. I).

A slew of private purchases panned out well for Godolphin in 2009. Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Gayego took the Ancient Title Stakes (gr. I) after being bought by Godolphin; Vineyard Haven, winner at 2 of the Champagne and Hopeful Stakes (both gr. I), won the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes (gr. I) for Godolphin; Seventh Street took the Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I); and Pyro won the Forego Stakes (gr. I).

Other North American graded winners for Godolphin on the season were Girolamo, who took the Jerome Handicap (gr. II); Regal Ransom, victorious in the Super Derby (gr. II); and Sara Louise, who won the Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) and Victory Ride Stakes (gr. III).

First-place vote totals: Godolphin Racing, 61; Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss, 56; Juddmonte Farms, 40; WinStar Farm, 38; Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick, 15; Augustin Stables, 7; Michael Gill, 6; Darley Stable, 3; Zayat Stables, 2; Heiligbrodt Racing Stables, 1; Midwest Thoroughbreds, 1.