Triumphant: Juddmonte homebred Midday scored at Breeders' CupPICTURE: Edward Whitaker/racingpostpix.com
Juddmonte lands fifth Eclipse Award as outstanding breeder
KHALID Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms operation won their fifthEclipse Award as North America's outstanding breeder on Monday night in Los Angeles.
Europe enjoyed significant success at the 39th annual Eclipse Awards ceremony as dual Breeders' Cup Mile winner Goldikova was voted the overwhelming winner in the female turf horse category.
Godolphin, who had such a wonderful second half of the season in the US, received the award as outstanding owner at a gala dinner in Beverly Hills.
Determined by votes of members of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the National Turf Writers Association and the Daily Racing Form, the Eclipse Awards totally outshine any similar accolades on offer in Europe in terms of prestige.
They define the sport's champions, with the Horse of the Year award representing the pinnacle of horseracing achievement in North America.
Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms earned a clear-cut victory to gain their fifth victory as outstanding breeder after successes in 1995 and 2001-03.
The Juddmonte award broke a five-year monopoly by Frank Stronach's Adena Springs, who finished second ahead of Rachel Alexandra's breeder Dolphus Morrison.
Midday, Ventura and Champs Elysees were among Grade 1 victors in 2009 for the Juddmonte operation, whose US arm is based in Lexington.
The late Bobby Frankel: Juddmonte US trainer, who died in NovemberPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
There is also likely to have been a popular vote in memory of the late, much loved Bobby Frankel, Juddmonte's US trainer who died in November after a long battle with cancer.
The winner of the award of merit, voted on by a panel of representatives from the three presenting organisations, was Will Farish of Lane's End Farm.
The Award of Merit, whose recipient was previously revealed, is presented to honour outstanding lifetime achievement in the thoroughbred industry.
The Freddie Head-trained Goldikova, back in training this term with an eye on an historic third successive victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile, received 172 votes in the female turf category, polling 131 more than the runner-up Ventura.
The daughter of Anabaa is the latest in a long line of European-trained horses to pick up this particular gong, following the likes of Pebbles, Miesque and Ouija Board.
Other equine award winners included Rachel Alexandra, who received every one of 232 first-place votes cast in the three-year-old filly category, while Zenyatta received all but one vote among the older females. Grade 1 winner Icon Project received the vote from the lone dissenter.
Gio Ponti, the horse who finished second to Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Classic, scooped both the older male and male turf horse awards, easilybeating the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Conduit in the latter division.
Top three-year-old male was Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird, who completed a trinity of major New York races with victories in the Travers Stakes and Jockey ClubGold Cup.
In the human categories, Godolphin's US branch fought off Zenyatta's owners Jerry and Ann Moss to land the owners' award by five votes, 61 to 56.
The Dubai team has been honoured after a late-season spreein which they claimed nine Grade 1 events after the start of August, among them the Breeders' Cup Juvenile with Vale Of York, runner-up to Kentucky Derby favourite Lookin At Lucky in the two-year-old male category.
Rachel Alexandra's trainer Steve Asmussen repeated last year's victory as outstanding trainer after a year in which he broke his own world record for races won with 650 victories.
Julien Leparoux: Eclipse Award winner of outstanding jockeyPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
Julien Leparoux, champion apprentice for 2006, lost the money-earnings title among US-based jockeys to Garrett Gomez only with the final race of 2009 at Santa Anita.
However, Leparoux gained his revenge with a runaway success in the Eclipse ballot.
Monique Koehler, founder of race horse rescue programs, was given the special award presented to honour outstanding individual achievements in, or contributions to, the sport of thoroughbred racing.
ECLIPSE AWARD WINNERS 2009
Horse of the year: Rachel Alexandra
Two-Year-Old Male: Lookin At Lucky
Two-Year-Old Filly: She Be Wild
Three-Year-Old Male: Summer Bird
Three-Year-Old Filly: Rachel Alexandra
Older Male: Gio Ponti
Older Female: Zenyatta
Female Sprinter: Informed Decision
Male Sprinter: Kodiak Kowboy
Male Turf Horse: Gio Ponti
Female Turf Horse: Goldikova
Steeplechase Horse: Mixed Up
Owner: Godolphin Racing
Breeder: Juddmonte Farms
Jockey: Julien Leparoux
Apprentice Jockey: Christian Santiago Reyes
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Award of Merit: William S Farish
Special Award: Monique Koehler
BREAKDOWN OF FIRST-PLACE VOTES
Horse of the year
Rachel Alexandra 130, Zenyatta 99
Lookin At Lucky 209, Vale Of York 17, Buddy's Saint 2, Noble's Promise 2, D'Funnybone 1, Jackson Bend 1
She Be Wild 171, Blind Luck 41, Hot Dixie Chick 17, Awesome Maria 1, Biofuel 1, Tapitsfly 1
Summer Bird 225, Mine That Bird 4, Blame 1, I Want Revenge 1, no vote 1
Rachel Alexandra 232
Gio Ponti 184, Einstein 18, Kodiak Kowboy 16, Macho Again 5, Furthest Land 2, Rail Trip 2, Well Armed 1, voter abstentions 4
Zenyatta 231, Icon Project 1
Informed Decision 222, Ventura 6, Game Face 1, Indian Blessing 1, Music Note 1, Diamondrella 1
Kodiak Kowboy 118, Zensational 54, Dancing in Silks 43, Fabulous Strike 9, California Flag 6, Vineyard Haven 1, voter abstentions 1
Male Turf Horse
Gio Ponti 206, Conduit 22, Presious Passion 3, Court Vision 1
Female Turf Horse
Goldikova 172, Ventura 41, Magical Fantasy 7, Midday 7, Pure Clan 3, Forever Together 1, voter abstentions 1
Mixed Up 209, Red Letter Day 3, voter abstentions 20
Godolphin Racing 61, Mr and Mrs Jerome S Moss 56, Juddmonte Farms 40, WinStar Farm 38, Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick 15, Augustin Stables 7, Michael Gill 6, Darley Stable 3, Zayat Stables 2, Heiligbrodt Racing Stables 1, Midwest Thoroughbreds 1, voter abstentions 2
Juddmonte Farms 157, Adena Springs 44, Dolphus Morrison 16, Maverick Productions Ltd 3, WinStar Farm 3, Eugene Melnyk 2, Darley Stable 1, voter abstentions 6
Steve Asmussen 130, John Shirreffs 57, Jonathan Sheppard 19, Bob Baffert10, Saeed Bin Suroor 5, Bobby Frankel 4, Jerry Hollendorfer 2, Hal Wiggins 2, Todd Pletcher 2, voter abstentions 1
Julien Leparoux 122, Garrett Gomez 46, Ramon Dominguez 45, Calvin Borel 13, Mike Smith 3, Kent Desormeaux 2, Russell Baze 1
Christian Santiago Reyes 93, Luis Saez 48, Luis Batista 47, Inez Karlsson 8, Michael Straight 4, Omar Moreno 3, Jose Vega 3, Tony Maragh 2, Casey Papineau 1, Angel Serpa 1, voter abstentions 21, no vote 1