01/06/2011 5:00PM

2010 Eclipse Awards: Owner

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ANN AND JERRY MOSS

Ann and Jerry Moss have a small broodmare band that produces outsized success, often putting the California couple among the nation’s leading breeders by percentage of winners and stakes winners from starters. But in 2010, as in 2008 and 2009, an inexpensive yearling purchase put the Mosses at the top of the game as owners.

Zenyatta famously cost the couple $60,000 as a yearling in 2005, then went on to win 19 races in a row. Her sole loss came in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic, where she lost by a head to Blame. In 2010, Zenyatta won five races, all Grade 1’s: the Santa Margarita Handicap, the Apple Blossom Invitational, the Vanity Handicap, the Clement L. Hirsch Handicap, and the Lady’s Secret Stakes. She is the sport’s all-time leading female earner, with $7,304,580.

It wasn’t just Zenyatta’s race record that made the Mosses finalists for the Eclipse Award as leading owners. Their supporters have lauded the couple, as well as trainer John Shirreffs, for an extraordinary openness with Zenyatta’s army of fans. In a move cheered by her fans, the Mosses reversed their initial decision to retire the mare after she won the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic. They allowed fans to visit the mare at Shirreffs’s California barn. And, after announcing Zenyatta’s retirement in 2010, they arranged for her to parade publicly at Hollywood Park and at Keeneland before she left for a more secluded life at Lane’s End farm in Kentucky.

Zenyatta was their obvious headliner, but the Mosses did enjoy stakes wins with other runners in 2010, including graded victories with homebreds Neko Bay and Cozi Rosie. In 2010, the Mosses were ranked 15th among North American owners by earnings with 25 victories from 111 starts and $2,697,333 in winnings.

CLAIBORNE FARM AND ADELE DILSCHNEIDER

The Hancock family’s Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider have had a fruitful association that dates to the early 1990s. One of their significant early successes was Arch, the Kris S. colt they campaigned in 1997 and 1998. He set a track record at Keeneland when he won the 1998 Fayette Stakes, and that same year he gave them a Grade 1 win in the Super Derby. Now he has given them something better: a Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year contender in his son Blame. Dilschneider and Claiborne bred and raced the colt, who would be the first Horse of the Year for Claiborne in its 100-year history.

Blame’s $3.7 million in earnings account for the vast majority of the partnership’s winnings this year. Horses raced by Claiborne and Dilschneider earned $4,163,036 in 2010, third on the North American owners’ rankings by earnings. Their runners won 14 times in 64 starts last year and finished second 11 times and third six times. Claiborne and Dilschneider own 30 broodmares and 15 racing-age horses in partnership. They also bred and owned such graded winners as Yell, Roar, and Congrats, now a leading first-crop stallion.

Founded by A.B. Hancock Sr., Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky., is now in its fourth generation of Hancock family ownership with Seth Hancock serving as the farm’s managing partner on behalf of himself and his sisters Clay and Dell. An Illinois native, Dilschneider now lives in St. Louis but frequently can be found at the racetrack when her horses run. She also has a deep family connection to the Thoroughbred sport. Her grandfather, John Olin, was a breeder and owner who won the Kentucky Derby in 1974 with his homebred Cannonade.

WINSTAR FARM

The year 2010 was a special vintage for WinStar Farm. The Versailles, Ky., racing and breeding operation won the Kentucky Derby with homebred Super Saver and the Belmont Stakes with Drosselmeyer, a $600,000 yearling purchase. The farm was North America’s leading owner by earnings, with $5,183,379. WinStar-owned horses won 46 of 248 starts in 2010 and finished second or third 71 times.

Seven other WinStar runners won graded stakes in 2010. Court Vision, already a two-time Grade 1 winner, came back at age 5 to win two more at that level – the Woodbine Mile and the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap – and he placed in two other Grade 1 races. Doubles Partner captured the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes at Churchill. Rule and American Lion each won a pair of Grade 3’s, and Rule also was third in the Florida Derby. Endorsement, another talented WinStar 3-year-old, won a Grade 3.

Juveniles also won stakes for WinStar, notably Glint and Blue Laser.

The year was also was one of changes. Co-owner Bill Casner sold his interest in the farm to longtime business partner Ken Troutt, leaving Troutt as WinStar’s sole owner. Casner and Troutt opened WinStar together in 2000 after purchasing the 1,450-acre Prestonwood Farm from brothers Art, J.R., and Jack Preston. Doug Cauthen, a part of the WinStar management and advisory team since its inception, also departed in November. Casner said he and Troutt remain close friends. Casner and his wife, Susan, are still WinStar clients and maintain a house on the WinStar property.