With Final-Weekend Blowout, Two Horses Tie for Winningest Horse in 2023

Mahoning Valley | Conrad Photos


After 365 days and a pool of 45,308 starters, two horses with 10 victories each will share the honor of North America's winningest Thoroughbred in 2023 after the filly Divine Fashion (Divining Rod) uncorked a 9 1/4-length romp at Mahoning Valley Dec. 30 to tie the Midwest-based gelding Fayette Warrior (Exchange Rate), who has been resting at a farm since October after securing his continent-topping spot.

One other gelding who was on the cusp of winning 10 times, Uncaptured Storm (Uncaptured), had been the morning-line favorite for the first race at Laurel Dec. 31, but he failed to draw in off the also-eligible list.

Divine Fashion, a 4-year-old who won all her other races in 2023 at Charles Town, and Uncaptured Storm, a 3-year-old who won at Laurel, Timonium and Charles Town, are stablemates, both owned by Richard Burnsworth and trained by Anthony Farrior.

The 7-year-old Fayette Warrior is owned and trained by Troy Bethke, whose son, Scott Bethke, rode the gelding to wins at Energy Downs (three times), Fonner Park, Sweetwater County Fair, and Wyoming Downs (twice each), plus Columbus.

Troy Bethke told TDN last week that Fayette Warrior is a “spunky, cocky little guy” who likes to train and race, and the gelding is currently being freshened at Bethke's home in Minnesota in preparation for a 2024 campaign.

Divine Fashion and Uncaptured Storm are also expected to remain in training for Farrior.

“They're just sound horses and you can keep them running,” Farrior said in a Dec. 29 interview.

Between 2012 and 2022, the North American year-end leaderboard was topped by horses who won between eight (in the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign) and 14 times.

For perspective, only 48 Thoroughbreds in 2023 (one-tenth of one percent of all horses who started at least once) managed seven wins or more.

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