01/19/2010 12:00AM

Grade 1 wins give Godolphin the edge


The Maktoum family's powerful Godolphin Racing, the 2009 Eclipse Award winner for champion owner, won major races from coast to coast and reached a couple of important milestones. Godolphin led all North American owners by number of Grade 1 wins in 2009 with eight. Godolphin-owned runners who won Grade 1 stakes were Seventh Street, Flashing, Music Note, Pyro, Gayego, and Vineyard Haven. Vale of York, a horse Godolphin leased, won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Midshipman, last year's 2-year-old champion, whom Godolphin purchased from Stonerside, finished third in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, and Regal Ransom won the Grade 2 Super Derby.

Godolphin runners won 18 of their 67 starts last year, or 27 percent, and they finished in the top three 61 percent of the time.

Pyro's victory in Saratoga's Forego Stakes in September was Godolphin's 150th Grade 1 or Group 1 win since its establishment in 1992. The stable achieved another feat earlier in the summer, when its European-based colt Schiaparelli won the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay at Deauville for Godolphin's 500th graded, group, or listed victory.

Godolphin's headquarters are at the Al Quoz training center in Dubai, which the Maktoums consider "a sanctuary, an oasis for man and horse after the rigors of the season just finished and ahead of the renewal of battle the following year," according to Godolphin.