01/05/2017 1:40PM

2016 Eclipse Awards: Clearsky Farms


The past four years have produced breakthrough after breakthrough for the Cleary family’s Clearsky Farms, all from a broodmare band much smaller than most of its contemporaries.

In 2013, the Lexington, Ky., farm was represented by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day. The following year, Clearsky consigned eventual Grade 2 winner Mohaymen as a yearling for a sale-topping $2.2 million at the Keeneland September auction and followed that up in 2015 with Kentucky Derby runner-up Firing Line.

The 2016 slate topped them all and earned Clearsky Farms its first nod as an Eclipse Award finalist for outstanding breeder.

From just 214 starts, Clearsky-bred runners notched 38 wins and cleared earnings of $6,616,310, the fifth-highest among North American breeders.

The bulk of those earnings came courtesy of Arrogate, one of the nation’s top 3-year-olds, who established himself on the national scene with an eye-popping score in the Travers Stakes and then proved himself on the next level by winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Clearsky Farms also bred Lord Nelson, a three-time Grade 1-winning sprinter, and Abel Tasman, a 2-year-old filly who won the Grade 1 Starlet Stakes. Mohaymen scored a pair of Grade 2 victories in 2016 and finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby.

Clearsky Farms was founded in 2008 by the late Eamon Cleary, and is now run by his sons, Bernard and Eamonn, along with farm manager Barry Robinette. The operation houses about 30 broodmares.