Northern Dancer

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

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

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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The Weekly Wrap: Long Live The King

In the space of a fortnight, Shadai Stallion Station lost its two flagship stallions, Deep Impact (Jpn) on July 30, and King Kamehameha (Jpn) on Aug.10. The pair won back-to-back runnings of the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) in 2004 and 2005. A year older than Deep Impact at 18, King Kamehameha had been pensioned earlier this year and his legacy at stud was outlined by Kelsey Riley in Saturday's TDN. Losing two such heavyweights in the same year is doubtless a blow to Shadai but in Japan's stallion table for...

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