25 major wins during the year
From the Belmont to the Breeders’ Cup, Godolphin made its mark on the U.S. racing scene in 2021.
Godolphin posted 25 graded-stakes wins last year, most of any owner. Essential Quality, Maxfield, Mystic Guide, and others won prominent events under jockeys wearing the trademark royal blue silks.
Listed below are the top 10 owners from 2021 in terms of graded-stakes wins. Such victories earned on the Dubai World Cup or Saudi Cup cards counted toward these totals.
Grade 1 wins: Dubai World Cup, Meydan Racecourse, Mystic Guide; Belmont Stakes, Belmont Park, Essential Quality; Breeders’ Cup Turf, Del Mar, Yibir; Breeders’ Cup Mile, Del Mar, Space Blues; Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, Del Mar, Modern Games; Travers Stakes, Saratoga, Essential Quality; Clark Stakes, Churchill Downs, Maxfield; Canadian International Stakes, Woodbine, Walton Street; Diana Stakes, Saratoga, Althiqa; Just a Game Stakes, Belmont Park, Althiqa; Natalma Stakes, Woodbine, Wild Beauty; Summer Stakes, Woodbine, Albahr
Godolphin is well-positioned to win a fourth Eclipse Award for Outstanding Owner after also taking the honors in 2009, 2012, and 2020. The powerhouse owner-breeder operation won its first Triple Crown race when Essential Quality took the Belmont Stakes, then added three Breeders’ Cup wins to give it 12 all-time. Godolphin also won a ninth Dubai World Cup with Mystic Guide, who is training toward a 5-year-old season.
Grade 1 wins: Haskell Stakes, Monmouth Park, Mandaloun; Jenny Wiley Stakes, Keeneland, Juliet Foxtrot
Another international racing and breeding operation, Juddmonte won graded stakes last season across California, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Mandaloun won the Haskell after stewards disqualified Hot Rod Charlie for interference. The Juddmonte colt stands to also be promoted to a Kentucky Derby score if state stewards DQ Medina Spirit due to his failed post-race drug test.
Klaravich Stables, 12
Grade 1 wins: Turf Classic Stakes, Churchill Downs, Domestic Spending; Manhattan Stakes, Belmont Park, Domestic Spending; Acorn Stakes, Belmont Park, Search Results
Klaravich Stables racked up another dozen graded-stakes wins in 2021, all for trainer Chad Brown. Domestic Spending won two of them, including the Turf Classic in a dead heat with the Todd Pletcher-trained Colonel Liam. Search Results took the Gazelle Stakes (G3) and Acorn and came up a neck shy of Malathaat in the Kentucky Oaks.
CHC and WinStar Farm, 7
Grade 1 wins: Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, Del Mar, Life Is Good; Cigar Mile Handicap, Aqueduct, Americanrevolution
CHC and WinStar have an exciting duo of 4-year-olds for the 2022 season in Americanrevolution and Life Is Good. Life Is Good won two graded stakes early last season for trainer Bob Baffert, then moved into Todd Pletcher’s barn and won another two, including the Dirt Mile by 5¾ lengths. Americanrevolution, also trained by Pletcher, topped older runners in both the Empire Classic Handicap and Cigar Mile.
Live Oak Plantation, 7
No Grade 1 wins
Six of Live Oak’s seven graded-stakes wins in 2021 came at Woodbine, with Souper Sensational’s Victory Ride Stakes (G3) win at Belmont Park the exception. Our Flash Drive and Souper Stonehenge took two Grade 3 wins at Woodbine each for trainer Mark Casse. 2020 Belmont Stakes runner Tap It to Win made the grade last year for Casse and Live Oak, winning Woodbine’s Seagram Cup Stakes (G3).
Peter Brant, 6
Grade 1 wins: Matriarch Stakes, Del Mar, Regal Glory; First Lady Stakes, Keeneland, Blowout; Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes, Keeneland, Raging Bull
Brant teamed up with trainer Chad Brown for a half-dozen graded-sakes wins in 2021, three in Grade 1 flight. Raging Bull finished his career with a trio of Grade 1 wins coming in three different seasons and will stand in 2022 at Gainesway Farm. Brant’s mare Dunbar Road nearly upset the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at 12-1 odds but 50-1 shot Marche Lorraine edged her by a nose.
Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Westerberg, 6
Grade 1 wins: Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, Del Mar, Golden Pal; Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes, Belmont Park, Bolshoi Ballet; Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes, Belmont Park, Santa Barbara; Beverly D. Stakes, Arlington Park, Santa Barbara
The Coolmore team won three graded-stakes on U.S. soil last year with Golden Pal, including the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. The Uncle Mo colt is 2-for-2 at the World Championships and trainer Wesley Ward hopes for a third such win this November at Keeneland, his home track. Filly Santa Barbara looked to be a rising star with two Grade 1 wins in two U.S. starts but died in September due to a pelvic injury.
St George Stable, 6
Grade 1 wins: Apple Blossom Handicap, Oaklawn Park, Letruska; Personal Ensign Stakes, Saratoga, Letruska; Ogden Phipps Stakes, Belmont Park, Letruska; Spinster Stakes, Keeneland, Letruska
St. George Stable’s six graded-stakes wins came with Letruska, who led all horses in 2021 with her victories in such events. Letruska sports a 23: 17-1-1 record for her career, which began in Mexico before she joined the U.S. racing scene in late 2019. The Super Saver mare will likely be named Eclipse Award winner for top older dirt female, and trainer Fausto Gutierrez plans to bring her back in 2022.
Three Diamonds Farm, 6
No Grade 1 wins
Three Diamonds enjoyed a successful 2021 campaign with trainer Mike Maker, winning graded stakes in California, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, and New York. The farm campaigns Army Wife, winner of the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) on Preakness Stakes weekend. Other Grade 2 victories came with Cross Border in Saratoga’s Bowling Green Stakes and Field Pass at Del Mar in the Seabiscuit Handicap.
LNJ Foxwoods, 6
No Grade 1 wins
LNJ Foxwoods scored half its graded victories in 2021 with veteran turf runner United. Trained by Richard Mandella, he crossed first at Del Mar in the Eddie Read Stakes (G2) and won Santa Anita’s John Henry Turf Championship Stakes (G2) and San Luis Rey Stakes (G2). Subconscious topped Santa Anita Derby (G1) hero Rock Your World and eight others to win the Twilight Derby (G2) for Mandella.