American Graded Stakes Standings brought to you by Keeneland: Kentucky Proud
From the tens of thousands of foals born each year, only a handful become winners of Breeders' Cup championship races. Of this year's 14 winners, 10 were foaled in Kentucky, with three coming from Florida and one bred in Ireland. It will be interesting to see, with the new international nomination program phased in next year, whether the origins of Breeders' Cup winners changes very much in 2011 and beyond.
Kentucky boasts that it is the “Thoroughbred Capital of the World,” and this year's results from the two-day event held at Churchill Downs Nov. 5-6 certainly confirm that. Classic winner Blame, Turf winner Dangerous Midge, Filly & Mare Turf winner Shared Account, Ladies' Classic winner Unrivaled Belle, Dirt Mile winner Dakota Phone, and Juvenile winner Uncle Mo were Kentucky-breds, along with More Than Real, Chamberlain Bridge, Pluck, and Eldaafer.
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Sprint winner Big Drama, Filly & Mare Sprint winner Dubai Majesty, and Juvenile Fillies winner Awesome Feather hail from Florida. Last but certainly not least, the three-time Mile winner, Goldikova, is an Irish-bred mare.
The two stallions that had the biggest direct impact on the 14 championship races were More Than Ready and Arch. More Than Ready sired the 2-year-old grass winners More Than Real (Juvenile Fillies Turf) and Pluck (Juvenile Turf), which really should come as no surprise. The Vinery stallion, who has been a success at the farm's Kentucky and Australian divisions, was precocious himself as a racehorse, and he has been a leading sire of 2-year-olds in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.
Arch, who stands at Claiborne Farm, sired Classic winner Blame, who now joins his sire at the Hancock family's farm in Paris, Ky., for the 2011 breeding season. Arch was also the broodmare sire of Uncle Mo, the sensational winner of the Juvenile. Arch is a son of Kris S., who himself sired five Breeders' Cup winners.
Five of the 14 winners sold at public auction—four at the Keeneland September yearling sale (Shared Account, Uncle Mo, Unrivaled Belle, Dangerous Midge) and one at the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training (Dakota Phone). Uncle Mo sold as a weanling at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale for $160,000 before Mike Repole bought him the following September for $220,000. That looks like a bargain now for the lead-pipe cinch 2-year-old champion and early favorite for the 2011 Kentucky Derby.
Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider had a very good week. Not only are they co-owners and co-breeders of Blame, they are partners in two other horses that won American Graded Stakes during the week: Grassy, winner of the G2 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct in New York, and Apart, winner of the G3 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs on the undercard of the Breeders' Cup's opening-day program.