Team Valor International reached a major milestone July 30 when Blossom d'Orange provided the 1,000th win for a partnership formed by Barry Irwin, scoring by five lengths in the Produccion Nacional (Uru-III) at Maronas in Uruguay.
Irwin and Jeff Siegel began putting together public syndicates in 1987 under the banner of Clover Racing Stables, which eventually became Team Valor in the early 1990s. When Irwin bought out Siegel in 2007, he added "International" to the name to reflect a broadened scope, which Blossom d'Orange exemplified over the weekend.
"I couldn't have accomplished this milestone without the support of my racing partners, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude," Irwin said. "Also, I am just as proud of being able to operate the same business for 30 consecutive years, which to me is as big a feat as winning 1,000 races."
In her third career start, Blossom d'Orange, a Brazilian-bred daughter of Public Purse, became the 145th stakes winner from 558 individual runners (24%) for an Irwin partnership, with a total haul of 289 stakes triumphs, or 29% of the 1,000 win total. She is Irwin's 88th group or graded stakes winner.
The most prolific horse for an Irwin stable was Star of Cozzene, who leads the ledger in career wins (13) and stakes wins (nine) between 1991 and 1993, including back-to-back grade I triumphs in the 1993 Arlington Million and Man o' War Stakes.
Irwin has syndicated 26 grade I winners overall, conquering grade I or group I races across the globe, including Kentucky Derby, the Dubai World Cup, Dubai Duty Free, Breeders' Cup Turf, Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Handicap, and Hong Kong's Queen Elizabeth II Cup.