01/08/2014 2:23PM

2013 Eclipse Awards: Juddmonte Stable

photo by: Barbara D. Livingston

Khalid Abdullah’s international powerhouse Juddmonte Farms gained an Eclipse Award nomination on the basis of outstanding performances by several of the stable’s racehorses at the highest level of competition in North America. Juddmonte, honored twice previously as outstanding owner, in 1992 and 2003, accumulated six Grade 1 wins, second only to the seven won by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, and also ranked second to the Ramseys with nine graded stakes wins overall.

Those Grade 1 returns were produced largely by two talented 3-year-old fillies, Close Hatches and Emollient. Emollient, a homebred daughter of Empire Maker, won a trio of Grade 1 events – the Ashland and Spinster Stakes, both on Keeneland’s synthetic Polytrack, and the American Oaks on turf at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Throughout the year, Close Hatches competed against a superlative group of 3-year-old dirt fillies and held her own, picking up Grade 1 wins in the Mother Goose at Belmont and the Cotillion at Parx Racing. A daughter of Juddmonte stallion First Defence, Close Hatches also won the Grade 2 Gazelle and finished second to Beholder in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Late in the year, Juddmonte was represented by another Grade 1 winner, British import Seek Again, a homebred Speightstown colt who won his U.S. debut in the Hollywood Derby.

Juddmonte also tallied a Grade 2 win and a Grade 3 win from turf router Starformer, another homebred. In addition to success as an owner, Abdullah and his breeding operation were flattered by the performances of such turf standouts as repeat Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint star Mizdirection, Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf and Beverly D. winner Dank, and Flower Bowl and Diana winner Laughing, all sired by
Juddmonte stallions. Juddmonte has received the Eclipse Award five times as outstanding breeder.