01/05/2017 1:40PM

2016 Eclipse Awards: Spendthrift Farm

Shigeki Kikkawa
B. Wayne Hughes of Spendthrift Farm

B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm took quality over quantity to its extremes on the racetrack in 2016, taking home seven graded stakes wins in just 35 non-partnership starts.

Those seven wins accounted for half of the Lexington, Ky.-based operation’s 14 victories, with total earnings of $2,644,672. Spendthrift’s five Grade 1 wins were the most of any North American owner in 2016.

The year was highlighted by the farewell campaign of Beholder, a multiple Eclipse Award winner and Spendthrift Farm’s standard-bearer for the past half-decade. Beholder never finished worse than second in six starts last year, taking the Grade 3 Adoration Stakes and the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes en route to a heart-stopping photo finish victory over Songbird in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

:: Eclipse Awards: 2016 finalists with profiles

Hughes also was represented on the sport’s biggest stages by sprinter Lord Nelson, who went undefeated in four starts last year, including a three-race streak of Grade 1 wins in the Triple Bend Stakes, Bing Crosby Stakes, and Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes. Lord Nelson was retired at the end of his campaign and joined Spendthrift Farm’s 27-horse Kentucky stallion roster.

Other notable runners under the Spendthrift banner in 2016 include Grade 3 winners Cover Song and Cyrus Alexander. Cyrus Alexander was co-campaigned with Stonestreet Stables.

This year marks the first time Spendthrift Farm has been named an Eclipse Award finalist for outstanding owner since Hughes purchased the property in 2004.