01/05/2017 2:40PM

2016 Eclipse Awards: Darley

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Barbara D. Livingston
Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum

Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum has a presence in nearly every corner of the global Thoroughbred industry, and the North American wing of his Darley breeding operation once again proved to be among the best on the continent in 2016.

The ruler of Dubai was represented by 110 North American winners as a breeder in 2016, and his farm’s earnings of $6,819,154 ranked third.

While Sheikh Mohammed is perennially a major player at auction, he boasts one of the world’s strongest breeding programs and stallion rosters, with farms in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Australia, and Japan. Darley’s primary U.S. base is Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Ky., which houses 11 stallions, with additional stallions located in New York.

Darley-bred runners were led in 2016 by a stable of homebreds in the signature Godolphin blue, including two-time Grade 1 winner Frosted, who retired to Darley’s stallion roster for the 2017 breeding season; Grade 2 winners Hemsworth, Penwith, and Dancing House; Grade 3 winner Innovative Idea; and Grade 1-placed Sentiero Italia.

Joking, a Grade 1-winning sprinter; and She’s Not Here, a Grade 2 winner; also were bred or co-bred by Sheikh Mohammed’s operation.

Sheikh Mohammed’s program has been named an Eclipse Award finalist as outstanding breeder four times since 2000. It won the trophy in 2012. He also won the outstanding owner Eclipse Award three times, in 2006, 2009, and 2012.