Northern Dancer

Hartack Derby Trophies Top Sports Memorabilia Auction

A group of five Lemon & Son brand sterling silver engraved Kentucky Derby trophies won from 1957 to 1969 by legendary jockey Bill Hartack, was the top offering at Julien's Auctions' three-day Sports Legends auction held over the weekend online and live in the company's auction house in Beverly Hills. The trophies sold for $317,000. Hartack's five wins (aboard Iron Liege in 1957; Venetian Way in 1960; Decidedly in 1962; Northern Dancer in 1964; and Majestic Prince in 1969) tie him with Eddie Arcaro for most Derby victories by a...

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MHBA, MTHA Host Tesio Talk

The Maryland Horse Breeders Association and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association will host a Tesio Talk and continental breakfast in the International Room at Laurel Park on Federico Tesio S. day, Apr. 15. The "Talking Tesio" event begins at 10:30 a.m. and will feature a continental breakfast followed by a panel discussion with industry leaders about Tesio's influence on the breed. Speakers include Country Life Farm's Josh Pons, J. William Boniface, the owner of Bonita Farm, and Ned Moore, owner of Corner Farm in Clark County, Virginia, bloodstock agent, and...

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Taking Stock: Mr. Prospector is the Most Influential

A few weeks ago, I was a guest on the weekly Going In Circles podcast, which is hosted by Chuck Simon, the former trainer who's also a top-notch writer at his blog, and Barry "The Sniper" Spears, an excellent handicapper and well-known figure on Twitter. Simon asked for my opinion on which stallion I'd consider to be the most influential of the past 50 years. You can listen to a nine-minute clip of the conversation here. My answer? Claiborne's iconic Mr. Prospector, of course. The clip generated quite a bit...

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Mr Prospector Line Boosted Among Europe's Busiest Stallions

Covering numbers are more an indication of fashion than of success but, this being, as we so often hear, "a numbers game", it is worth having a closer look at the Flat stallions in Britain and Ireland who have been gifted books into three figures this year. We will also be looking in more depth at the French covering numbers in the coming days. According to the statistics recently published by Weatherbys in the annual Return of Mares, there were 62 stallions who covered 100 or more mares in 2022,...

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What's In A Name: Fonteyn

It is simply wonderful that there is a Group 1 winning filly called Fonteyn. The name has such a life of its own that a quick look at pedigrees from the near and distant past shows at least 20 other horses so baptized, all over the world. Why is that? When the great Northern Dancer (1961, bay, by Nearctic out of Natalma) ruled the Thoroughbred world, the names of his sons arrived fast and furious with solid connections to the stars of ballet, especially the Russian ones--a very rich vein....

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Longtime Claiborne Manager Gus Koch Dies at 74

Robert "Gus" Koch, died Saturday, March 20, 2021, at his beloved Mt. Carmel Farm, after a 24-year battle with cancer. He was 74. The retired longtime manager of Claiborne Farm, Koch was a Marine and a Vietnam veteran. Koch was the subject of one of the TDN and Keeneland's Life's Work Oral History project, and Chris McGrath's story on him may be read here. Hired when Seth Hancock took the reins at the farm, Koch was at the helm at Claiborne for 31 years, running perhaps the best lineup of...

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Jockey Club of Canada Graded Stakes Committee Announces Two Upgrades for 2021

The Jockey Club of Canada's Graded Stakes Committee held its annual review of graded and listed stakes races in Canada. The number of graded stakes in Canada will decrease to 41 in 2021, due to individual racetracks choosing to place selected races on hold. Additionally, two races currently with black-type status--the Ontario Racing S. and the Woodbine Cares S.--will be upgraded to listed status. The GI Northern Dancer S., GIII Eclipse S., GII Nijinsky S. and the GII Play the King S. have all been placed on hold and will...

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Obituary: Mary R. Odom
Obituary: Mary R. Odom

Mary R. Odom, widow of George P. "Maje" Odom, passed away Nov. 10 after a long illness. Odom owned Marydel Farm from 1960 until 1987, and with her husband, campaigned numerous stakes winners such as Orbiter, Waggley, Lachesis and others. In 1964, she joined with Allaire DuPont and Anna Sasso to develop a Mid-Atlantic nursery, the Maryland Stallion Station. In 1965 the partnership dissolved and Odom continued the project and stood Nail, Sunrise Flight and TV Commercial at the nursery before Eddie Tayler bought the facility in 1968 to make...

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Taking Stock: Sires and Racing Environments

The advent of Twitter over the last decade or so has made racing results quickly accessible to fans and observers anywhere in the world, so much so that it seems that a greater number of people in the U.S. are more familiar with European racing than ever before. Back when I was a kid, we'd have to wait for the Blood-Horse magazine to arrive in the mail to scan the 10-day old European results in the agate type in the back pages. Now, we get a video of a race...

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Taking Stock: Race Records and Stallion Prospects
Taking Stock: Race Records and Stallion Prospects

Sackatoga Stable's Tiz the Law (Constitution) was a Grade l winner at two, won the Grade l Florida Derby this year, and goes for the first Classic of the season as the favorite in the Gl Belmont S. on Saturday. His breeding rights have been tied up for months, and if he does nothing from here on in--highly unlikely as that is--he'll still have a place at stud at a prominent farm. Tiz the Law's racetrack future is bright. After the Belmont, he'll likely contest the Gl Travers at Saratoga...

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Op/Ed: Danzig, The Universal Donor

Horse breeding is a science of sorts, or more specifically a series of science experiments. In every stud farm there are categories of 'scientists': the careful technician, the white lab coats and protective goggle-wearers that use tried and tested formulas, with slight variations, to create newer versions of successful models; career professionals who have done their homework and work with what works for good reason. Then there are the creative geniuses/mad scientists that test the limits and push beyond, creating new theories that only see the light of day if...

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Poet's Word on the Move to Boardsmill Stud

MG1SW Poet's Word (GB) (Poet's Voice {GB}--Whirly Bird {GB}, by Nashwan) will move to Boardsmill Stud in Ireland for his second season, the stud announced on Tuesday. A fee will be set later. A winner of the G1 Prince Of Wales's S. and G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S. last term for Saeed Suhail and Sir Michael Stoute, the 300,000gns Tattersalls October Book 2 yearling ran second to Roaring Lion (Kitten's Joy) in the G1 Juddmonte International S. "Poet's Word is an exciting addition to the stallion ranks...

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