Up to the Mark

High Five For Godolphin At The Eclipse Awards

It was an evening to remember for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Godolphin team, as the worldwide operation accumulated no fewer than five statuettes over the course of the evening at Thursday's 53rd Annual Eclipse Awards Presented by FanDuel TV, John Deere, Keeneland and The Jockey Club, honoring and recognizing excellence in Thoroughbred racing. And they saved the best for last, as Cody's Wish (Curlin), whose story resonated with nearly every fan of Thoroughbred racing and beyond, was named Horse of the Year and champion older dirt male for...

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Up to the Mark, Inspiral Earn Turf Titles

Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables' Up to the Mark (Not This Time) and Cheveley Park Stud's Inspiral (GB) (Frankel {GB}) were named turf champions during Thursday's Eclipse Award ceremony in Florida. Up the Mark won three straight Grade I events, starting off with the GI Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic in May, adding the GI Manhattan S. in June and the GI Coolmore Turf Mile in October. On championship weekend, he found just European invader Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) too good while trying 1 1/2 miles for...

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Eclipse Awards 2023: A Rough Morning Line For Horse of the Year

The winners in 10 equine and seven human categories will be revealed beginning around 7:30 Thursday evening at the 53rd Annual Eclipse Awards at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. A who's who of the American Thoroughbred industry will be dressed to the nines as the newest group of champions is announced. Of the equine divisions--as is frequently the case--the majority feature little suspense, while there exists a fair bit of intrigue and arguments to be made for multiple horses in the older dirt male division, the female sprint division,...

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Mating Plans, Presented By Spendthrift: Wasabi Ventures

by George Adams, Housatonic Bloodstock Wasabi has been focused on upgrading the quality of the foals that it's breeding over the last few years, and to that end will be using some higher-end stallions in 2024 than what we've bred to in the past. A stallion that we'll be patronizing heavily this year is Maclean's Music.  He's about to jump from a crop of 2023 2-year-olds numbering 41 and conceived off of a $20,000 stud fee (out of which he already has nine winners, three of whom have also picked...

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Kentucky Value Sires for 2024, Part I: New Stallions

And so another cycle opens, bringing all the usual dilemmas. To assist their resolution--albeit the exercise seldom fails to entail a degree of provocation, sometimes even offense--today we commence our annual quest for value among Kentucky stallions. This time round, value feels likely to prove quite elusive. With the middle market increasingly porous, stud fees overall are at a challenging level. If they were driven up by a long bull run in international bloodstock, that appears to be tapering away and there's evidently going to be quite a lag before...

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First-Crop Value Sires: The Breeders Speak

After hearing from Chris McGrath in his 2024 Value Sires Part I, we thought we'd ask several breeders who they thought offered particularly good value this year. Here's what they said: Jody Huckabay The horses I have chosen are expensive, but I think they are good value. GOLD: Elite Power (Curlin--Broadway's Alibi, by Vindication), Juddmonte Farms, $50,000. The first horse I like for his body of work, race record, and pedigree is Elite Power. To me, he's on top of the list, with everything being considered. I look at it...

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Dirt Genes Put Turf Star Up to the Commercial Mark

The commercial travails of turf stallions in Kentucky have become notorious. But there are a couple of aligning trends that give Up to the Mark every right to make a breakthrough when he starts his new career at Lane's End in 2024. For one thing, there appears to be a growing consensus that opportunities for grass horses will only increase over the years ahead—even as those coming round to that opinion find their options much reduced by the loss of Kitten's Joy and English Channel. At the same time, Up...

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Equinox Tops Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings

Japanese superstar Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) has topped the rankings at 129 in the ninth edition of the 2023 World's Best Racehorse rankings followed closely by Arc winner Ace Impact (Ire) (Cracksman {GB}) and Mostahdaf (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), who are tied for second with a rating of 128 each. Noteworthy movement in the rankings include dominant G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. victor Big Rock (Fr) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}), now the co-fourth highest along with Hukum (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}). The Breeders' Cup had its impact on the...

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MGISW Arcangelo To Stand At Lane's End For $35,000, MGISW Up To The Mark Set At $25,000

MGISW Arcangelo (Arrogate) will stand at Lane's End Farm for $35,000 LFSN, while MGISW Up to the Mark (Not This Time) will be set at $25,000 LFSN, the breeding operation said in a release Wednesday afternoon. Winner of both the GI Belmont S. and the GI Travers S., Arcangelo clocked a stellar year on the track. Hailing from the female family of Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour (Deputy Minister), he will be a strong contender for Eclipse Champion 3-Year-Old Male. Top older horse Up to the Mark had...

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The Week in Review: The Case for Idiomatic as Horse of the Year

More often than not, when the horses hit the finish line for the last Breeders' Cup race of the day, we know who the Horse of the Year is. Usually, someone has done enough to separate themselves from the pack: Flightline (Tapit), Knicks Go (Paynter), Authentic (Into Mischief). Or no one stepped up to unseat the leading contender going in. We have nothing of the kind this year. There were plenty of standout performances on Breeders' Cup Day, but that's part of the problem. The leading contenders are so evenly...

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Auguste Rodin Pretty As a Picture in the BC Turf

Announced as a season-ending target long before such announcements are typically made, the GI Longines Breeders' Cup Turf proved fertile ground for the Coolmore partners' Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), who enjoyed what turned out to be a dream trip beneath Ryan Moore, got through when the real running commenced at the head of the lane and charged to the wire to defeat top U.S. hope Up to the Mark (Not This Time). It was a sixth victory in the mile-and-a-half second-richest race on the card for trainer Aidan...

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Pletcher Breezes Breeders' Cup Dozen at Keeneland

Trainer Todd Pletcher breezed a remarkable 12 of his intended Breeders' Cup starters at Keeneland on Thursday morning over the main track.  Heading the dozen was GI Breeders' Cup Classic hopeful Bright Future (Curlin), who arrived in Kentucky this week from Saratoga. He worked five furlongs in 1:01.40. Also working five furlongs for a possible Breeders' Cup start was Charge It (Tapit), who covered the distance in 1:01.20.  "We originally were going to work all of our Saturday (Nov. 4) horses tomorrow but with rain in the forecast for tomorrow,...

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